The Province of Western Pomerania, in
particular its northern and western parts, has large
areas where wintering waterfowl congregate. It is
characterized by variable weather conditions during the
wintering period (mid-October – mid-April). Wintry
weather and light frosts are usually limited to short
periods (from a few days up to several weeks). However,
from time to time long periods with severe frosts occur.
In such conditions the numbers of wintering birds
fluctuate strongly in response to the periodic weather
changes and move away over short distances. Thus, to
determine the population status of wintering waterbirds
in these conditions while neither over- nor
underestimating the results requires a special approach.
Based on long-term observations, ZTP (the Western
Pomeranian Nature Society) has developed an effective
methodology that allows a fairly precise determination
of the status of wintering waterfowl populations in the
region. Since 2002, ZTP has scheduled the counting of
waterbirds. Counts are carried out three times per
season, i.e. in autumn, winter and spring. The count
areas, which host significant numbers of waterfowl
during the migration and wintering periods, are the Odra
Valley, Lake Dąbie, Lake Miedwie, the Szczecin Lagoon,
the Kamień Lagoon, the Świna Delta , the River Dziwna
and the ponds at Dzwonowo. The aim is to monitor
migratory and wintering waterbird populations,
particularly geese and ducks, but also raptors. Our
monitoring area includes five IBAs (Important Bird Areas
of international importance): the Lower Odra Valley, the
Szczecin Lagoon, the Świna Delta, the Kamień Lagoon and
River Dziwna, and Lake Miedwie; these sites are also
Natura 2000 SPAs.
Data collected during the counts were the
basis for establishing some of the most important Natura
2000 SPAs in Poland for the protection of waterbirds,
among them, the Szczecin Lagoon, the Kamień Lagoon and
River Dziwna, the Lower Odra Valley and the Świna Delta.
During each count the number of birds usually exceeds
100 thousand ind. (see below).
Figure 1 Numbers of waterbirds (Anseriformes, Phalacrocoracidae,
Gaviiformes, Podicipediformes, Rallidae, Charadriiformes) at the most important
wintering sites in Western Pomerania (Szczecin Lagoon, Kamień Lagoon, Świna
Delta, Lake Dąbie, Lake Miedwie, Lower Odra Valley); mean, minimum and maximum
numbers from the November, January and March counts (2002-2015).
The Szczecin Lagoon is the most important wintering site in
Poland and one of the few major such sites in Europe of Greater Scaup Aythya
marila; the highest number was recorded in April 2011 – 95 000 individuals.
Below is a video by Zbigniew Kajzer showing concentrations of
ducks in the Szczecin Lagoon.
The January census is part of the State Environmental Monitoring
Programme carried out by the General Environmental Conservation Inspectorate (GIOŚ)
and implemented by OTOP in cooperation with members of ZTP; additional
information can be obtained from:
Data from the January counts since 2010 are passed on to the
Wetlands International organization, and are the basis for the current updated
population assessments. These assessments can be viewed on the website:
Marchowski D. Ławicki Ł. Guentzel S.,
Kaliciuk J. 2015. Znaczenie Estuarium Odry dla ptaków nurkujących: zagrożenia i
ochrona. Poster na czwartą ogólnoeuropejską konferencję kaczkową, Hanko,
Ławicki Ł., Czeraszkiewicz R.,
Guentzel S., Jasiński M., Kajzer Z., Kaliciuk J., Oleksiak A. 2008.
Waterbirdsin the Western
Pomerania in the years 2002-2008. Not. Orn. 49: 235-244.
(in Polish with English summary).
The persons participating in the counts from 2002 to 2015:
E. Adamowska, J. Artemiuk, M. Barcz, D. Berliński, M. Balcer, P. Bonter,
Ł. Borek, P.
Czechowski, R. Czeraszkiewicz, W. Dittberner, T. Grabowski, S. Guentzel, M. Górecka,
K. Grzegorczyk, H.J.
Haferland, A. Jackowski, A. Jakubowska, R. Janowski, K. Jarska, M. Jasiński, Z. Kajzer, J. Kaliciuk, M. Kalisiński,
C. Kalkof, Ł. Kałek, M. Kapturkiewicz, M. Kizielewicz, K. Kordowski, R.
Kościów, M. Kotowicz, A. Kozłowska, G. Kiljan, J. Kokociński, E. Kratke, U.
Kratz, D. Krummholz,K.
Kryza, A. Lisicka, Ł. Ławicki, J. Łuczyńska, A. Malecha, M. Małysa, M. Maniakowski, D. Marchowski, Z. Martyniak,
W. Meissner, D. Michalonek, I.
Młynarczyk, W, Mrugowski, P. Nowacki, A. Oleksiak, M. Pęchorzewska, P.
Piliczewski, Z. Prucnal,
M. Przybysz, J. Przybyłowski, B.
Racławski, T. Rek, P. Sadanowicz, U. Schunmann, M. T. Smoliński, Sowa,
A. Staszewski, M. Sołowiej, P. Siuda, J. Stachów, J. Stańczak, P.
Stańczak, M. Szymczak, B. Suzin, Z. Śnieguła, K. Tomaszewska, K. Wawryniuk, E. Wendt, M. Wilińska, A. Witka,
H. Wojcieszak, C. Worona, D.
Wysocki, P. Zawadzka, D. Zyskowski, M. Żarek, G. Żegliński, A. Żywiczka.
participating in thecounts
please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org tel:668139 139
Part of a60
000-strong flock of Greater Scaupin the Szczecin Lagoon. The
photo was taken from a
boat by M. Sołowiej on 21 November 2013.
After happy landing
28.03.2009, fot. DM
Pilot 28.03.2009, fot. DM
Pilot and me :), starting,
14.11.2009, fot. DM
Dashboard, 14.11.2009, fot. DM
Szczecin port, 14.11.2009, fot. DM
Siedlińska Kępa Island14.11.2009, fot. DM
Police 14.11.2009, photo: DM
Old concrete barge near Inoujscie
and Mewia Island, 14.11.2009, photo: DM
Islands: Długi Ostrów, Karw Mały i Karw
Wielki, 14.11.2009, fot. DM
Wind farm in Zagórzu by Szczecin Lagoon 14.11.2009,
Kamień Pomorski and Chrząszczewska
14.11.2009, photo: DM
The flock of 70-strong of Whooper Swans
on Kamień Lagoon 14.11.2009, by:DM
Dziwnówek, 14.11.2009, photo: DM
Sea shore by Dziwnow, 14.11.2009,
Rów Peninsula by Wolina, 14.11.2009,
Cormorants in Odra river by Gryfino, 2009, photo by: DM