For the monitored males from the Upper River Valley and Biebrza Marshes in 2013-2015, the average date of departure to wintering grounds was 18 August (N = 11, range: August 9-27, M. Korniluk - unpublished data). The autumn migration is basically unnoticeable, as most birds migrate from the breeding areas to Africa in a non-stop flight or making very short stops (Klaassen et al. 2011, Lindström et al. 2015). Migration from the breeding grounds located in north-eastern Poland to the Sahel zone in Africa takes only about 3 days, with the maximum speed in prevailing winds exceeding 160 km/h (M. Korniluk - unpublished data).
Spring migration from Africa begins on average on 20 March (N = 10, range: March 9 - April 8). After crossing the Mediterranean Sea (in a non-stop flight from wintering grounds), they make several stops in Europe before reaching breeding grounds in Poland, which takes in total about two weeks. Based on telemetry data, it is known that great snipes from the Polish population stop in: Ukraine, Belarus, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, Albania, Greece, Turkey and Italy, with a clear migration corridor at the level of Albania off the coast of the Balkan Peninsula (M. Korniluk - unpublished data). During the spring migration great snipes are exposed to pressure from hunters and poachers, especially from southern European countries, where hunting for migratory birds is a tradition. This situation does not apply to Poland, where the great snipe and common snipe are not game species.
The first records of great snipes in Poland come from the last decade of March however, the peak arrival time to the breeding grounds is considered to be mid-April (Tomiałojć and Stawarczyk 2004).