Birdwatching in Spring
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 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.
Milions of birds fly every year from their wintering quarters in spring to their Arctic breeding grounds and repeat the reverse movement again in autumn, traversing Estonia. The country’s long and highly indented coastline, shallow and sheltered bays, coastal meadows, marshes, lagoons and over 1000 islands create perfect stop-over sites for birds.
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 large populations 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.
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.
This early spring tour aims to give you the benefit of experiencing both spring migration and the first glimpse of breeding season. Migrant ducks, geese, waders and passerines should still be seen in good numbers, whereas at the same time, meadows and marshes will be teaming with displaying waders and wildfowl, and forests will be filled with the first choirs of passerines and calls of woodpeckers, owls and grouse.
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. These 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
28 April - 5 May 2017
Arrival to Tallinn and transfer to Roosta
Roosta: Põõsaspea, Silma Nature Reserve, Matsalu Bay & Puise Peninsula
Pärnu: Matsalu National Park, Soometsa forests & Häädemeeste
Tartu: Tolkuse bog, Lake Vortsjarv, Alam-Pedja & Aardla
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
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.
all passengers must cover themselves against flight cancellation, luggage loss and medical costs for the duration of their trip (proof of which must be provided with your final payment)
a deposit of £100 is requested with a booking form. The final payment is required by 1 February
Walks are easy and over flat terrain