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Photosafari and photohides

Main topic: Elk, beaver, water birds, riverfloods, carpets of marsh marigold

Photo season: March-May

Date: to suit

Price: ca. 140 Euro/person/day
Click to view the images

Area: Biebrza Marshes (Biebrza National Park) is an extensive area of marshes, fens, wet meadows, ox-bow lakes, reedbeds and wet forests stretching along the Biebrza river. This is the Elk kingdom, which is very common here and relatively easy to photograph (mainly in winter and spring). Beaver and otter are available in February/March. The abundance and variety of birds (both breeding and migratory) is amazing here. Ruff leks are most spectacular (April/May) as well as geese and duck migration in March.

Number of participants: 2-6

Suggested itinerary:

First day – arrival, transfer from Warsaw airport to Biebrza Marshes (220 km, ca. 3h driving)

Days: 2-5 – 3-4 full days of nature photography in the Biebrza and Narew Valley

Last day – transfer from Biebrza marshes to Warsaw airport (220km; ca. 3h)

Main highlights of the tour:

- Elk – early morning car-trips and 2-6 km (depending on participants’ abilities) hikes in the marshes
- wetland birds (ruff!) from tent hides
- birds from the car during car-trips
- beaver and otter (February/March)
- birds and beavers from a boat (boat trip)
- picturesque spring floods of Biebrza and Narew rivers (incl. sunrises and sunsets from best viewpoints)
- mating blue frogs (Moor frog, Rana arvalis)
- pristine landscape with amazing river floods of Biebrza and Narew
- wonderful carpets of Marsh Marigold

exemplary bird species possible to photograph during this workshop (depending on the time):

White Stork, Lapwing, Redshank, Wood sandpiper, Green shank, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, White egret, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Mallard, Garganey, Teal, Wigeon, Black-headed Gull, Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Whiskered Tern, Redthroat, Penduline Tit, Cranes, Snipe, Water Rail, Marsh Harrier, White-tailed Eagle

Accommodation: B&B in Gugny or Wizna, double and triple rooms, usually en-suite

Meals: all meals served at B&B

Necessary additional equipment: wellington boots or/and waders (can also be rented), warm clothes, right angle finder

Price: ca. 140 Euro/person/day

included: accommodation and all meals (full board) in B&B, all transport, guiding, entrance tickets to the Biebrza NP, boat trip
not included: personal insurance, alcohol drinks and all items of personal nature, optional activities

Optional activities :

Baloon flight over the marshes, ca. 1h
Price: 120-200 Euro/person (depending on the total number of passengers)

Canoe trip on the Biebrza river, ca. 4-5h
Price: 60 Euro per group

Extension of the trip: 3 extra days in the Bialowieza Forest

Photos from previous Biebrza tours:

May 2013
(very snowy and cold) March 2013
April/May 2011, 2012

Testimonials from previous Biebrza tours:

"We visited the Biebrza area with Marek in April 2011 – to see Ruff, Eagles, Raven, Snipe, Woodpeckers, Bluethroat, and of course Elk. The weather was great, the Marigolds just started to bloom, Marek showed us all the right places and put up effective hides, and we came away with very satisfying pictures including some species we had not counted on before (Penduline Tit, Wryneck). Lodging was simple but good, with excellent food and a friendly host. All in all a very enjoyable and successful week – thanks to Marek and the wonderful Biebrza environment."

Peter and Renee Overbosch, The Netherlands, April 2011 www.overbosch.de

In April 2012 I made my third phototrip with Marek Kosiński as my guide. This time to the Biebrza Marshes. It's a unique wet environment for birds and water loving mammals. A real birders paradise with 270 different species of birds.
We stayed in a bed and breakfast in Gugny, a hamlet in southern part of the Biebrza marshes. This places offers us a adequate lodging and a very good cook.
The Biebrza marshes covers a big area, but Marek knows his way around. He knows the birds and to find the birds. He had already set-up some hides and these hides were situated in the wetlands, so we needed waders during the walk to the hides. We had hoped to catch a flock of ruff, but the ruff is mainly a migrating bird in the Biebrza area, so you need some luck.
The weather was a mix of clouds with a bit of rain and some sun.
I am not a birder but a photographer and thanks to Marek, I have taken photo's of birds I had never seen before. When Marek catches a glimpse of a bird, he knows which kind it is, even when he hears the sound of a bird, he do recognise that bird. When you encounter a small flower, Marek recognise that flower and can give you the full Latin name.
Marek, thank you very much for a great time. I came home with lots of photo's and lots of impressions. One day, I hope to come back.

Rob de Jonge, The Netherlands, April 2012

Trip reports from previous Biebrza workshops:

Biebrza spring 2011 by Renee and Peter Overbosch