Autumn Migration Spectacle
Estonia is the smallest and northernmost of the Baltic countries, situated between the Gulf of Finland, the Baltic Sea, Lake Peipsi on the Russian border and its neighbour Latvia to the south. This geographical position places Estonia on the crossroad of the Eastern Atlantic migratory flyway and makes the country an ideal place to observe one of nature’s best spectacules: bird migration on a massive scale.
Millions of birds fly every year from their Arctic breeding grounds to their wintering quarters in autumn and repeat the reverse movement again in spring, traversing Estonia. The country’s long and highly indented coastline, shallow and sheltered bays, coastal meadows, marshes, lagoons, promontories and over 1000 islands create perfect stop-over sites for birds. During the migration season, hundreds of thousands of waterfowl and passerines can be seen passing per day at the peak season. Geese, swans, ducks, and grebes are the most frequent migrants. Brambling, Siskin or Chaffinch might not be the most sought after birds, but seeing a passage of thousands of these birds is truly a spectacular sight. Migrant birds of prey can also be seen in good numbers nd the most common are buzzards, harriers and Sparrowhawks.
Estonian’s quality as a birdwatching destination is greatly enhanced by the fact that the majority of habitats in the interior of the country are truly unspoiled due to low intensity farming and lack of industrialisation over the decades of socialistic regime. Deciduous and dense coniferous forests, which make up 40% of the country, are home to a large population of Capercaillie, Black Grouse, Hazel Grouse and eight species of woodpeckers. The vast network of bogs, marshes and riverine meadows provide not only perfect nesting habitat for many species of waders in spring and summer, but also serve as a good feeding ground for the migrating wildfowl and waders in autumn. Common Cranes uses these habitats as a resting ground during their autumn migration too, and their numbers reach up to 30,000 towards the end of September.
The best testimony to Estonia’s remarkable birding experince is the fact that eleven sites in Estonia have been included in the Ramsar list of internationally important bird areas. In 1999, the country held the European record for the highest number of species seen in a day - an incredible 189.
This yet undiscovered country has the lowest human density of any country in Europe which, combined with vast network of unspoilt wetland and forest habitats, offers a remarkable birdwatching experience. Estonians are aware of their natural heritage and one of their great ideas are the board walks and observation towers, placed along nearly every hiking trail. They facilitate good views over a rather flat countryside and offer great birdwatching. Despite a rather turbulent history, with wars, invasions and suppression over many years, Estonians are friendly and our time here will be greatly rewarded with fine food and hospitality.Detailed Itinerary Booking Info
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
Arrival to Tallinn and transfer to Haapsalu
Haapsalu: Matsalu National Park, Puise Peninsul, Põõsaspea and Silma Nature Reserve
Pärnu: Kabli bird station
Departure from Tallinn
The Price Includes
all accommodation on a shared basis
all excursions and transfers by vehicle
park and tour guides’ fees
The Price Does Not Include
all items of a personal nature
drinks at the bar
flight cancellation, baggage and medical insurance
scheduled return flight from Britain to Tallinn. A group booking, however, is made, but you will have to deal with a travel agent directly. Alternatively, you can make your own arrangements
walks are easy and over flat terrain
all passengers must cover themselves against flight cancellation, luggage loss and medical costs for the duration of the trip
a deposit of £200 is requested with a booking form