Green areas, beach, birds and even seals
The Vistula, one of the largest European rivers empties into Gdańsk Bay on the East. That is where “Mewia Łacha” nature reserve has been created in 1991. Its main aim is protection of the unique nesting and resting area for migrating and wintering birds. But they are not the only visitors – grey seals come there regularly, sometimes even rare species such as harbor seals and ringed seals can be spotted. “Mewia Łacha” is an extraordinary place of human and nature peaceful coexistence.
THE CLUTCHING BIRDS
The clutching season (between April and July) is the busiest time of the year in the reserve, making it one of the most interesting places in the country, ornithology-wise. The presence of the only sandwich tern colony in Poland also contributes to that. Sandwich tern is one of the most rare clutching bird in Poland, and its preservation requires special protective actions.
It is, however, not the only tern species present in the reserve. We can also spot common terns and little terns. These species are strongly attached to the sandy islands, beaches and rivers. Apart from them, there are also nests of common ringed plovers, and even some Kentish plovers. Both plovers’ and terns’ nests are fairly simple – they look like pits in the sand. The eggs are dappled, making it very difficult to spot them on the ground.
Watch your steps and keep your dog on the leash
Those less acquainted with the birds run the risk of accidentally trampling the eggs or scaring the birds from the nests. Dogs are also dangerous on the reserve for the very same reasons. Their good sense of smell can lead them straight to the not-yet-flying hatchlings.
THE MIGRATING BIRDS – also during fall and winter.
The nesting birds are not the only reason for visiting the reserve, as the migrating birds are no less interesting and spectacular. As the name suggests (“mewa” means “seagull”), it is perfect place for the seagulls, but they are not the only ones who find shelter and food on the reserve. During the spring and fall migrations it becomes resting and feeding place for thousands of birds – seagulls, terns, plovers and ducks. Because Sobieszewo Island is the place where sweet and salty waters of Vistula and the Baltic Sea meet, there is an abundance of invertebrates which makes the area a perfect stop for the migrating birds.
THE WINTERING BIRDS
Fall is the time of gathering for the birds wintering at the Polish seaside. The river mouth is quiet and shelters herds of thousands from the hardships of winter. Among these birds are: long-tailed duck, common goldeneye, velvet scoter, greater scaup and tufted duck. We can also spot and observe other birds such as smew, horned grebe and white tailed eagle (the one you can see on Polish and Serbian coats of arms).
Thousands of birds gathered on this relatively small area is bound to be a show of colors, shapes and sounds, on the ground, water and sky above our heads.