Nature and ornitology
The extraordinary character of the Vistula is in the fact that, despite the dynamic growth of civilization, the river remained wild, virgin and, in a sense, inaccessible. It resembles a natural oasis in the heart of the concrete, glass and aluminum desert that Poland is becoming, like other industrialized countries. Most European rivers were regulated, cascaded and their banks were mostly “grasped” in tight concrete corsets. It is only on the Vistula that we may find the riverbank flora characteristic for big rivers: from thickets to marshy meadow woods (built by willows, poplars and ash-trees). The eco-systems are recognized as unique in terms of the fauna and flora species variety and richness as well as its complex structure!
As Wojciech Giełżyński wrote in „Moja prywatna Vistuliada” [„My Private Vistuliada”]: „The main hosts of the islands (and the Vistula river banks) are birds. There are countless seagulls and swift common terns crowding curiously on each island.Many other bird species live in the riverside thickets, on the Vistula marshy meadows, near the deserted sandbanks, birds unknown to me either by feathers or the sounds they make. Every now and then a chirping peculiarity appears".
As a thorough observer of wildlife, although a total laic in the ornithological field, I must add that the variety of birds nesting on the Vistula also made a shocking impression on me. The most astonishing thing is the short distance from which an average, uneducated tourist may observe the flying specimens. Even those so common in Poland, like the stork. But the black stork that I have seen on the Vistula a few times, is a real rarity! For easier observation of the Vistula birds, we provided a professional binocular aboard each yacht.