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ESTONIA IN AUTUMN

 

An 8-day holiday focusing on the autumn bird migration in Western Estonia.

Price: 1150 € pp.

Programme can be viewed when choosing Tour dossier from the right menu.

BOOK HERE...

Although not widely discovered yet, Estonia is the ideal country for observing one of the most spectacular natural shows – massive bird migration. This smallest and northernmost Baltic country lies on the crossroads of the Eastern Atlantic migratory flyway: Estonia is locked between the Finnish Gulf, the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea and Lake Peipsi near the Russian border. Geographically the Estonian waters and coastline are stepping-stones along the flyway between breeding and wintering areas for millions of Arctic waterbirds, making birdwatching in Estonia fabulous at this time of year. 

 
Period:
Fri 19Sep – Fri 26Sep 2014
Group size:
6/8 pax
Grading:
Day walks only, for all ages
Leader:
Tarvo Valker
Accommodation:
Comfortable hotels with private facilities
Food:
Restaurants and local farms
Extensions:
Cultural/sightseeing extensions available on request

 



Cranes / Mati Kose  Migratory ducks / M.Kose

 

Itinerary:

Day 1 Arrive in Tallinn, to Haapsalu
Day 2 Põõsaspea & Matsalu National Park
Day 3 Taebla & Martna fields, Matsalu
Day 4 Matsalu National Park, to Saaremaa
Day 5/6 Saaremaa Island, to Pärnu
Day 7 Soomets forests & Kabli
Day 8 Departure


Highlights

Birds: Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, tens of thousands of Common Cranes, White-fronted Geese and Bean Geese, peak autumn migration of songbirds, waders and waterfowls, Goshawk, Peregrine Falcon, Black Grouse, White-backed Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Yellow-browed Warbler (probably), Nutcracker, Crested Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Bearded Tit, Lapland Bunting etc.
Mammals:
Red Fox, Raccoon Dog, Wild Boar, Elk, Roe Deer, European Beaver, tracks of  Brown Bear, Wolf or Lynx (probably) etc.

Client comments: 

“Thanks very much for another superb holiday. As ever, we were delighted with all that we saw and heard. Nothing beats the sight and sound of thousands of Cranes coming in to roost on an autumn evening! Thanks especially to Mati for his expertise and good humour and for ensuring that we missed nothing. Our accommodation was just right and it was lovely to meet up, once again, with all the ladies who provided such delicious lunches for us in their villages. Hope it won't be too long before we're back again. We still have to see all those wonderful spring and summer flowers."
P.R. and R.R. / Sept 2011

“First of all we want to tell you how much we enjoyed our 3rd trip to Estonia! Mati tried his best to find woodpeckers, but without success, but we did see thousands of cranes and geese and lots of other birds. We also saw 2 elks, which was very exciting! Poor Mati was suffering with toothache, which was fixed in Parnu, and then he was his normal self again.
Thank you for organising a wonderful tour, especially the lunches at farms and guesthouses, we had a real taste of Estonian food!”
K.B. / Sept 2011

“Thank you for organising a great week for us. It was a privilege to get to know your wonderful country better during our stay. We were initially attracted by your high quality advertising, especially the full page spread in BBC Nature Magazine. Your "Estonia" brochure was also eye catching and very well put together. I first become interested in Estonia and its wildlife a few years back but the rest of my family had been reluctant to join me until they saw your product and were able to fully appreciate what your exceptional country has to offer! We were a bit limited as Sinead is pregnant at the moment but were able to enjoy most of the tours. The guides were very knowledgeable and keen to show us everything. The only limit was our energy!

Unfortunately we did not see the bears from the hide but were treated with excellent views of the raccoon dogs and the next days tracking rewarded us with bear and wolf prints and good views of capercaillie, black grouse and hazel grouse so we were not disappointed. Matsu Talu guest house was comfortable and the food excellent. We will have to come back in spring!”
N.C. / Sept 2011

"Despite the cloudy, cold and windy days at the start, we only experienced rain on one afternoon and evening, and with the skies clearing leaving a beautiful final full day and a half, the changes helped move many migrants and provide us with some superb birding spectacles. The mass exodus of Common Cranes and mass arrival and passage of Barnacle Geese at the start, followed by large numbers of seemingly disorientated small birds over the Sõrve bird observatory and movement of small birds, especially those gorgeous white-headed Long-tailed Tits, at the Kabli ringing station were all excellent examples of the phenomenon of visible migration at this migration crossroads. Apart from these spectacles, I’m sure we’ll all have our own highlights, with the Racoon Dog running along the road, the surprise Eurasian Eagle-owl, or observations of both Grey-headed and European Three-toed Woodpeckers in the same tree, probably figuring among them. I hope so! And 142 bird species recorded on an autumn tour certainly can’t be bad going!
I look forward to seeing you again on a Travelling Naturalist tour, and wish to thank you all for helping make this such a rewarding, and indeed groundbreaking, holiday." John Muddeman /   Travelling Naturalist  September - October 2010

"This six-day promotional tour in West-Estonia (18-23 September) was an eye-opener for me. Unless I visited some places in northern Europe before, I saw four new birdspecies, including white-backed woodpecker which competed my European woodpecker-list! And I will never forget the beautiful evening at Matsalu Bay, with 6.000 cranes coming in, some parties dancing on the ground, black grouse in front, a hovering great grey shrike on the left, and some moose with there youngs coming out of the forest in the back. And this was only the first day… " Paul Böhre, editor of Grasduinen Nature Magazine, Holland / FAM trip September 2010

" Thank you all for making our Estonian such a nice one. Here are some of my pictures, taken on our seal safari, on the outermost tip of Hiiumaa (the lighthouse of Ristna + brent geese) and the surroundings of Lepanina hotel (sanderling and the Hornets, which had their nest in the trunk of a pine just outside the entrance of the hotel). " Magnus Östman, Finlands Natur, Finland / FAM trip September 2010

" It is good to discover a country in full bloom, looking toward the future, and respecting nature. The days we spend in Estonia will stay forever in my mind. Birds contrasting in wonderful skies, like thousands of cranes, white-tailed eagles, thousands of ducks, sparrowhawks, and in the same trip the corncrake and the snowbunting, the nightjar and the black guillemot...this is unforgettable. Mammals are also very attracting in Estonia, and will definitely call me back to this country. But the people will most of all stay in my mind, with a real sense of welcome, the will of developping the country with taste, and to welcome the hosts with wonderful food..." P. L., Belgia / FAM trip September 2010

"I took part of a promotional tour organized by Estonian Nature Tours in September 2010. The arrangements were excellent and the guide was very well-informed. I recommend this organizer warmly." Juha Honkonen, the managing editor of Suomen Luonto magazine / FAM trip September 2010

"This was my third time to Estonia, and first with Estonian Nature tours, on a 6 day promotional tour to the Western side of the country. I was impressed by how well-organised the programme was, a real full on trip, with excellent accommodation and food.

Marika did a wonderful job in organising & putting together the programme, and Tarvo was an excellent bird guide. Highlights - 6000 honking cranes coming to land in a meadow field, with Elk and young running across the field, an animal I thought was mythical as it as taken me over 10 years to actually see one!

I never realised that Great Grey Shrikes could hover, that is what you call a Groovy groover! But what I will remember is the amazing autumn colours of the forests, and mires, as well as standing in the middle of a Taiga, the full moon shining over the meadow as the mist hung low, listening for Wolf, Owl or Elk - very mystical. Unfortunately, it does mean I will have to come back in Spring to see Brown Bear. What a shame!" Amanda da Rocha, Greentours Wildlife Guide, UK  / FAM trip September 2010

"Just wanted to say a big thank you for inviting me on the promotional tour, and to Tarvo for all his guiding skills and enthusiasm. I really do appreciate being able to come and see Estonia, and I very much enjoyed our little group. I am already looking forward to coming back in May or June - peak mammal-watching time - to visit the bear hide, see the flying squirrel and beavers, as well as getting better views of the other mammals". H.F. / FAM trip September 2010

" Beautiful stormwaves of Ristna! The many old manor houses of German origin and their surrounding parks are just charming – and rich in birds!Never seen so many cranes flying across the evening sky as we did at Matsalu bay! Very nice meeting with a juvenile sanderling resting on the beach of the Gulf of Riga near Lepanina hotel. Well arranged accomodation and excellent food!" Magnus Östman, Finlands Natur magazine / FAM trip September 2010

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