Monday 27 May 2024

European Bison & European Elk (Moose) in Poland, May 2024.

European Bison at sunrise

Our trip to Poland with friends from the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Photographic Group was a great success and I'm pleased with many photos.

I thought I'd share a few at a time as and when I get around to processing the many images.

A 4am.start was essential to find the European Bison or Wisent when it was out of the forest and grazing in the meadows at sunrise. The Bialowieza Forest straddles the Polish border with Belarus and this is where the bison are found. They are the largest animal that ever lived on the European continent but were hunted out by the end of first World War. They were re-introduced to the forest in 1929 and  now number over 1400 individuals.

We were lucky to find 3 bison grazing in the early morning light in a forest meadow near a village and had the opportunity to photograph them with long lenses from a safe distance.

Many thanks to Tomasz Jezierczuk from Wild Poland for his organisation and wildlife skills, much appreciated.

Our time spent in the Biebrza marshes also brought us into contact with another of Europe's large mammals the European Elk or Eurasian Moose, the largest of the deer family and second only in size to the bison.

Called Elk in Europe, it is in fact the same species as the North American Moose which I've had the pleasure of photographing many times in the US.

The wet marshes with Birch and Willow are the ideal elk habitat and we got lucky and watched them on 2 early morning drives out from our hotel.

The first time we saw a bull with small antlers in velvet and the second 2 youngsters, possibly siblings.

All photographs were taken either through the open door or window of the van or from the road with us hiding behind the van. Long lenses were used on both occasions.

Here are a few images....

Hopefully I'll get some more images posted again soon, with lots of birds to come!



Jasmina said...

They were truely great to see - especially in the early morning light😊