This was a rather ambitious trip to locate the European Lynx in Southern Poland organised through the Europes Big 5.


Sunday 11th March

After meeting Jan and Kristof at the airport our guide / driver Jakob drove us to pick up our main guide Felix and we headed south to an area of man made fishponds to do some birding. However they were mostly frozen and nothing was about, a quick lunch and we continued our journey, visiting a UNESCO Heritage wooden church and passing a good area for black grouse but none were around. We reached our destination just outside the Pieniny National Park on the Slovakian Border. We settled in then headed out for a quick walk in the nearby forest but did not find much, possibly some old lynx tracks, and a fox on the walk back to our base.

Monday 12th March

We drove a short distance into the National park itself and had breakfast before heading on a walk up the impressive mountains. The conditions were very icy and it was tricky going, but we had a golden eagle just as we left. The views gradually. We lost the scenic views as conditions worsened but we had some excellent views of a grey headed woodpecker, bank vole and a few red squirrels to compensate. Late afternoon we drove to a nearby town for shopping, eating etc.

Tuesday 13th March

After breakfast we once again visited the local forest, conditions away from the forest tracks were deep snow and we struggled with the walk. The highlights were two golden eagles just as we started walking. We returned early afternoon for some lunch and then just Jan, Kristof and I took a short walk into Slovenia, scanning the valley all the way without any real success but a blast of screaming hare from the MP3 player tempted a fox out into the open. At dusk we walked into the village to eat at a local guesthouse, on the way we spotlighted the beaver dams and lodges, a Beaver was swimming in one of the pools and a pine marten was foraging nearby.

Wednesday 14th March

The toughest day so far with very little seen in almost blizzard conditions at times, the deep snow proving difficult to walk in and it was late afternoon when we finished (and I was). After a rest we staked out the beavers again, a brief view of the b>pine marten again but no beaver.

Thursday 15th March

A much more pleasant day, with good weather and good walking on forest tracks and a bit more scanning rather than trekking, but it did not produce any sightings of significance. The night stakeout for Beavers was very productive with four showing well.

Friday 16th March

With almost summer like weather we did a similar walk to the previous day, enjoying the conditions as did a few butterflies. There was much more bird activity but not much apart from a black woodpecker and the briefest of views of a calling hazel grouse. Once again beavers were active near the lodge in the evening.

Saturday 17th March

We were up and left at 4am heading east for the next few days, passing a beech marten in the village as we left. We drove through Slovenia for a while, where there were plenty of both red and roe deer and a couple of foxes in the lowlands. We arrived at our destination just on the edge of the Magurski National Park in time for breakfast. We headed for a walk in the area a a few Lynx had been seen recently but no luck. After some lunch we took a drive into some excellent areas for wildlife watching and did very nicely. A few rough legged buzzards amongst the numerous common buzzards and a nice male hen harrier. However a large eagle drew some attention and after it landed the ID was firmed up as an Eastern Imperial Eagle, apparently less than 30 records for Poland. We watched a fox gingerly try to move it off which was really interesting. We drove around a bit more and went up a nice river valley, where we had two perched golden eagles and a white backed woodpecker, the only mammal was a nice beaver. As dusk fell we drove round some good areas spotlighting but only had several foxes.

Sunday 18th March

After breakfast we continued east again to the edge of the Bieszcady mountains national park. Stopping at a few likely sites for Bison, we had plenty of recent signs but no animals themselves were present. But a couple of very accommodating nutcrackers were. After some lunch in the weirdest pub ever we headed to a good looking valley. A walk up the valley side was quite productive with plenty of very recent signs of wolf, and the skin of a wild boar. A good scan of what looked a great area came up with nothing, but we had a fox on the drive back.

Monday 19th March

After breakfast we drove to another valley where the previous day a bear had been at the feeding station, but nothing here today. We headed off to an isolated house, where a friend of our guide / driver lived. The route was through very deep snow and going was very difficult, particularly when I sprained my ankle and knee, very badly timed as we located very fresh Lynx tracks shortly after. We of course had to follow them through streams (the Lynx had crossed using fallen trees!), overgrown areas, deep snow etc. and we followed for quite some time before loosing the tracks in a snowless area and could not find them, close but no luck. We heard a few pygmy owls on the walk to the house where we had a cup of tea and rest which was very welcome. We left just as the rain came, and the walk (hobble) back through deep snow was not the best.

Tuesday 20th March

A 5am start was quite hard after the efforts of previous day, but we took a pre breakfast drive round the National park. The scenery was stunning and no people were about that early in the morning, down a side road the shout came up wolf, and indeed there were four wolves along a stream, they split up into two pairs and we followed the alpha pair for a while before they were lost up a valley. Finally a cracking mammal for the trip. We drove the scenic route to the airport a golden eagle and dozens of herds of roe deer of note. So our target was not seen but the wolf views almost made up for it.

Birds 64


Mute Swan



Golden Eagle

Eastern Imperial Eagle

Hen Harrier

Rough Legged Buzzard

Common Buzzard




Peregrine Falcon

Hazel Grouse

Common Pheasant


Caspian Gull

Feral Pigeon

Stock Dove


Collared Dove

Tawny Owl

Pygmy Owl

Black Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker

Grey Headed Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

White Backed Woodpecker

Three toed Woodpecker


White Wagtail



Black Redstart


Mistle Thrush




Great Tit

Coal Tit

Blue Tit

Crested Tit

Willow Tit ssp borealis

Long Tailed Tit ssp caudatus


Short Toed Treecreeper






Hooded Crow



House Sparrow






Common Crossbill


Great Grey Shrike



Mammals 11

Red Fox

Red Squirrel

Bank Vole

Wood Mouse

European Beaver

Pine Marten

Beech Marten

Red Deer

Roe Deer

Grey Wolf

Brown Hare


Insects 2


Small Tortoiseshell



Pieniny Mountains
Pieniny Mountains

Beaver Video
Beaver Video

Red Squirrel
Red Squirrel

Rough Legged Buzzard
Rough Legged Buzzard

Eastern Imperial Eagle
Eastern Imperial Eagler

Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle

Red Fox
Red Fox


Lynx Tracks
Lynx Tracks

Lynx Tracks
Lynx Tracks



Grey Wolf
Grey Wolf

Grey Wolf
Grey Wolf

Grey Wolf
Grey Wolf

Beaver Dam
Beaver Dam


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