Nature of the Sobieszewo Island
Sobieszewska Island is very diversified in terms of nature, and mainly delta location of this land decided about it. There is a variety of habitats, seaside beaches, dunes, meadows, fields, ponds, sea lakes, widespread canes, channels, pine forests, mixed forests, forest young stands and artificial planting, forming willow and alder thicket, everything surrounded by Vistula arms and sea. Each from the mentioned habitats has a specific flora and fauna.
There are almost 500 species of plants on the island (including orchid dark red helleborine and sea holly) and over 300 species of vertebrate animals. The fauna of island’s vertebrates is not well discovered, but it is certainly very rich, judging by the amount and diversity of insects. Quite often, over the blooming fragments of meadows, a beautiful butterfly Papilio Machaon can be observed (under protection).
Except from forest animals such as roe-deer, fox, boar, marten or weasel, a raccoon dog can be met here, which came to Poland from the east; close to the sea shore seals can be seen, and in the north-eastern part of the Island, at a small lake, beaver family lives.
But the biggest natural richness of the Island are birds. There are almost 300 species of birds. Many of them (115 species) have their breeding season here, many of them pas the winter on the waters surrounding the Island (75 species in herds up to several dozen thousand pieces), and the biggest number of birds visit the Island in the period of trips, particularly in the autumn. Birds, which in other periods of the year stay thousands kilometers from here, e.g. in northern Siberia or in the south of Africa, can be observed here. Two ornithological reservations for the birds were created on the island: in the western part Birds Paradise Reservation and in the eastern part – The Seagull Shoal Natural Reservation.
Sobieszewska Island is not only the ecological island, but also the area of protected countryside. Therefore, on the Island, in Górki Wschodnie, there are two natural scientific and researching institutions are located here: Biological Station of Gdańsk University and Ornithological Station of Ecology Institute PAN.