What direction would be perfect for a trip for an ornithologist? It's simple - reserve of bird habitats. To find the areas inhabited by diverse species of birds, you don’t have to search too far.
In Poland, we have at least few national parks, where we can observe the bird life. One such place is Lake Luknajno in Mazury Landscape Park. Although it remains in the shadow of his famous fellows (Mamry, Śniardwy), it totally deserves the interest and attention - not only fans of ornithology. It’s worth to visit this place, the more that it lies just a few kilometers from Mikolajki.
Wandering around the nature reserve, you should stick to carefully designated routes. Exploring the area in group tours is possible only with the consent of the director of the Park.
Where white-tailed eagles live
Mazury Landscape Park, on whose territory Łuknajno Lake is located, was created in the absolutely magical area - in the primeval forest Piska. Nature lovers will be captivated by the views they’ll encounter here. They’ll see meadows shrouded in moist fog suspended in space and time, meandering Krutynia River, as well as forest lakes taken straight from some fairy tale. During canoeing tourists can enjoy the view of rare species of fauna and flora.
Reserve "Lake Łuknajno" is a priceless natural location on the map of Land of the Great Mazury Lakes. The area is known not only in Poland – it is one of Europe's most important waterfowl refuges, with particular emphasis on the mute swan. Majestic birds, renowned for their fidelity have their habitat here. In the past, masses of them were coming to the lake for their molting period, but unfortunately today the number of these long-necked beauties decreased. Among the factors that have contributed to that we can mention the American mink, who feeds on their nests, but also the disappearance of charophyte (swans’ food), and, unfortunately, feeding birds by tourists.
Apart from the swans, on the lake we can also meet numerous species such as bearded tit, heron, grebe and water moorhen. Moreover you can encounter coots, marsh harriers and bitterns. Because the lake is rich in fish, it’s often visited by white-tailed eagles, cormorants, ospreys and black terns. Ornithologists (both professional and amateur) can watch them swoop from the periphery of the reserves from the towers located in there. It should be noted that on Łuknajno Lake it is forbidden to fish or sail.
The reserve is also a home to several species of mammals, including raccoon, vole (water rat) and water shrew. The lucky ones can sometimes see a silhouette of the moose.
Łuknajno - a biosphere reserve
The edges of the lake are densely covered with reeds, and thus not easily available, and the tank itself is surrounded by marshes and vast meadows. It is connected with the largest Polish lake, Śniardwy, by a narrow canal with a length of 500 meters.
Since 1983 Łuknajno is covered with the international RAMSAR Convention, which protects wetlands and mud. It’s an ornithological nature reserve and a biosphere reserve inscribed on the list of world natural heritage. We can be proud of our national pearl appreciated by UNESCO.
Night at the reserve - where to stay?
Those, who wants to find accommodation as close to the reserve as possible, can stay in guesthouse Folwark Łuknajno Gościniec Pod Łabędziem, located on the other side of the canal linking the Lake Luknajno and Śniardwy. It offers 1-, 2- and 3-person rooms and studios for 4 people, besides there’s also a campsite located within its premises. You can come here with a dog or cat (25 PLN/day- 5,5 EUR).
Guests have an access to the lookout tower and a platform, they can use deck chairs, barbecue and a bonfire. It’s a perfect place for relaxing, fishing, and if you succeed with the latter, hosts will prepare the delicious fish for dinner. Moreover, tourists can explore the surrounding area on a bike, ride a horse-drawn carriage through the woods Ługanie, arrange long walks or listen to the stories about the reserve and Mazury Landscape Park.
For families with children this tour is a great opportunity to show their little ones the beauty and richness of nature.