Interesting findings 2011
This year´s Spring has provided a lot of exiting bird rarity observations for Estonian twitchers. The biggest rarity was undoubtedly a Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola), which originated from North-America and has now become the 381st bird species in Estonia. Among other exciting finds Gull-billed Tern (4th record for the country), Black-winged Stilt (7th), Ferruginous Duck (9th) and Red Phalarope (12th record for the country) should be mentioned. Besides the accidental visitors above average number of local rare breeders were observed, e.g. White-winged Terns, Marsh Sandpipers, Grey Wagtails, Little Crakes and Booted Warblers. Read more...
Tower Birding Contest
In May 22, Tower Birding Contest 2011 took place for the first time in Estonia, organized by the Estonian Ornithological Society and Tallinn Bird Club. Pretty spring weather and the opportunity to get more information about our winged neighbours attracted more than 100 bird-lovers to various watchtowers.
Ornithologists were waiting for birdwatchers in 13 towers all around Estonia to take notes and keep species lists. All bird species that were recorded either visually or audibly from 5 AM till 1 PM were taken into account. The largest number – 90 – was recorded in Kabli watchtower in Pärnumaa County, followed by Aardla polder watchtower in Tartumaa County (84 spp.) and Haeska watchtower in Läänemaa County (82 spp.). All together 157 bird species were recorded. The most exciting find was assuredly Whiskered Tern (2 spec) from Aardla polder. White-winged Terns were spotted in four locations – Aardla, Haeska, Jõesuu and Räpina polder. This event was to commemorate the 90th anniversary of activity by the Estonian Ornithological Society – the largest local bird protection organisation.
Bird of the Year is Barn Swallow – Estonia’s national bird
Estonian Ornithological Society has chosen the bird of the year 17 times already, this year the title was awarded to Barn Swallow – our national bird. The reason for this choice is connected with the ongoing decrease in this species’ abundance during the last decade. One reason for this decline can be attributed to deep changes in European agriculture and development of rural areas, which has deprived tens of thousands of Barn Swallows of suitable breeding sites. As animal husbandry has moved into new enclosed barns, the overall abundance of flies as the main food of this bird species has also been dramatically reduced.
Barn Swallow as a long-distance migrant is also influenced by migrating conditions and those in its wintering sites. In Africa the birds must traverse the constantly widening Sahara desert twice in a year, cope with unpredictable weather conditions and find wintering locations, which provide enough food to survive through the winter period.
Migration route of Barn Swallow
In the year of the Barn Swallow the life conditions and ecological role of this species are widely introduced to the public, as well as different ways in which each and every person can assist the successful breeding of the bird in Estonia. Also there are plans to gather, with the assistance of bird-lovers, more accurate information about the life of this bird in Estonia.
Barn Swallow has been one of the most beloved bird species among our country people. To help these birds barn doors were left slightly opened or glass was removed from some smaller window. The title of national bird was denoted to Barn Swallow in 1962.
Exciting birdlife can be seen continually via web cameras and this year you can watch the nesting pairs of Lesser Spotted Eagles called Tuuli and Remo and Black Storks called Tiina and Tiit. Don´t forget to follow the Brown Bear camera!
Lesser Spotted Eagle web camera.Click here...
Black Stork web camera. Click here...
Brown Bear web camera. Click here...
Migration routes of Black Storks, Lesser Spotted Eagles and Osprey / Spring 2011
For more information: Eagle Club website
IN FOCUS! Estonia in Autumn 2011
There are still places available for the Estonia in Autumn tour:
Sat17Sep – Sat24Sep 2011
Price: 1150 Euro pp
An 8-day holiday focusing on the spectacular bird migration in Western Estonia.
Highlights: Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, tens of thousands of Eurasian 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.
Programme and birdlist can be viewed by clicking here...
HOW TO BOOK...
Photo: Ivar Ojaste
Read articles about Promotional tour Autumn 2010:
Weedon´s World / Bird Watching magazine (UK). Click here...
Cranespotting / Bird Watching magazine (UK). Click here...
Wild zoeken in Estland. De dans can de kraanvogels / Grasduinen (Holland). Click here...
Estland – Eldorado för naturturisten / Finlands Natur (Finland). Click here...
"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 completed 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 / Autumn FAM trip 2010, Grasduinen Magazine /
Estonia in Autumn Tour report...
Read client comments here...
Elks in mating season
Photo: Valeri Štšerbatõh
Request the Estonia in Autumn tour packages also from Naturetrek and Travelling Naturalist.
NEW! Bargain Birwatching tours
Our bargain bird watching tours suit keen birders who want an active, fast-paced birding holiday with a dedicated focus on searching for birds rather than on looking at the area’s other wildlife and cultural highlights or on enjoying excellent food.
What we can offer?
- An expert English-speaking local ornithologist leader
- Outstanding value for money
- Dawn-to-dusk birding with limited time for rest, relaxation and outside interests
- Enviable bird lists!
- Focused searches for endemic species, while also looking for non-endemics
Thu01Sep – Sun04Sep 2011
Thu22Sep – Sun25Sep 2011
Price: 395 € per person
Programme can be viewed by clicking here...
HOW TO BOOK...
Tour calendar 2012
For seeing a selection of Birdwatching & other Wildlife holidays available for the year 2012 click here...
Interest in ENT birding tours is increasing all the time. More and more of our trips are filled by European tour operators and, with pleasure, we are continuing to offer specially organized trips for private groups and individual travellers as well. We also offer individual bookings on our fully-inclusive holidays.
Photo: Tiit Leito
Estonia is a land of great natural beauty. With its Siberian-like forests, Scandinavian peat-bogs, watermeadows full of geese and waders, and a fascinating coastline, together with a low human population, empty roads and excellent infrastructure, Estonia has rapidly become a favourite wildlife destination in Europe. Estonia is a wonderful place to see wildlife at any time of year with fantastic birdwatching including Steller’s Eiders, Ural Owl, Pygmy Owl, Great Snipe, Nutcracker, Citrine Wagtail, Lesser Spotted Eagle, 8 species of Woodpeckers, sea ducks, Hazel Grouse and massive numbers of birds on migration. Butterflies, dragonflies and flowers are equally exciting and the country is renowned for its large number of mammals – over 150 Wolves, 500-600 Brown Bears and almost 20 000 Beavers plus Flying Squirrels and an incredible 700-800 Lynx, one of the strongest populations in Europe!
Photo: Harri Vähk
Photo: Valeri Štšerbatõh
Plan your dates and book your dream holiday as soon as possible! Ask for our special price when your Group size is more than 10 people. There is a 40% discount for group leaders. We would be happy to give you more information or offer an extra tour whenever you find a suitable time.
One Week in Estonian Wildlife...
Estonia in Early Spring report...
British Birdfair 2011
The 2011 Birdfair will take place at Egleton Nature Reserve, Rutland on Friday 19th – Sunday 21st August. This is the fourth time Estonian Nature Tours (ENT) has participated in the bird tourism fair as an exhibitor. ENT has new trips to see birds & mammals in Autumn as well as Brown Bear tracking and watching, a Butterfly and Dragonfly tour and a Flying Squirrel trip. Plus a totally new opportunity – visit Estonia together with Russia.
Photo: Rainar Kurbel
Tarvo Valker, a member of council of the Estonian Ornithological Society, will make a presentation called „Nature protection highlights of Estonia“ on the Saturday in Lecture Marquee 2 / 1.30-1.50pm. A small country with quite a few naturalists has much to share with the rest of Europe. It is successful in protecting wildlife and carrying out valuable mammal and bird studies, as well as raising public awareness. The presentation is illustrated with many pictures showing highlights of all their work.
Estonian Nature Tours will kindly donate to the 2011 Birdfair Auction a fantastic 6-day fully-inclusive holiday in search of owls, woodpeckers and other wintering and spring-time specialities, Estonia in Early Spring. British Birdwatching Fair is supporting BirdLife International’s Flyways Programme on 2011-2013. All funds raised from the Auction go directly to the Birdfair project.
Visit us at Marquee 5 Stand 32!
COMING SOON! Through Estonia to Russia
Estonian Nature Tours visited Russia in the middle of June to find new destinations for birdwatching tourism. We are delighted to present a totally new opportunity for the year 2012 at the British Birdfair.
Photo: Tuuli Mann
Read more and see photos...
Why Estonian Nature Tours?
Estonian Nature Tours has been a pioneer in developing nature and bird tourism all over Estonia. We have long term experience in organising botanical and bird watching tours and the feedback from our clients has always been good to excellent. Every year we develope one or two new tour packages.
ENT supports the yearly Young Conservationist Award and Flying Squirrel through independent NGO Estonian Fund for Nature, also Sõrve Bird Station and bird conservation charities through Birdlife International via British Birdfair.
Our results and media about us...
ENT and sustainable tourism
ESTONIA - the heart of European wildlife
In NGO Läänemaa Tourism order, a brochure named ESTONIA - the heart of European Wildlife has been completed. For the first time the value of Estonian wildlife is made clear to people outside the country. This is a commercial brochure, and the intriguing title is fully justified by the contents. Read more...
Click here to see the brochure...
MATSALU TICKET is a new environmentally friendly brand
MATSALU TICKET – A Day Trip in Matsalu National Park – is a unique environmentally friendly opportunity to experience the beauty of Matsalu nature with professional guiding, exploring, observing and feeling as being part of one of the most beautiful and best preserved Estonian ecosystems.
Boat-trip in Matsalu reed-bed
Photo: Victor Guzun
MATSALU TICKET teaches about wildlife and coordinates visits to the national park helping to avoid excess disturbance of both animal and plant species, as well as the local population. Bus tours and canoe trips are lead by local Estonian and English speaking guides.
MATSALU TICKET is benefiting several companies including about 20 different service suppliers – tour guides, transportation companies, boatmen, tourist farms, caterers, museums, nature centres, and many local craftsmen.
Lunch at local farm
Photo: Kristi Kevvai
Read about Promotional tour...
ENT represented Estonia at a conference in Zambia.
The executive manager of Estonian Nature Tours presented a report about Estonia and thecompany’s contribution to the development of Estonia’s sustainable tourism in the 5th IIPT African Conference: Meeting the Challanges of Climate Change to Tourism in Africa and the Developing World. The international conference was taking place from May 15 to 20 in Lusaka - the capital of Zambia. The main organizer of the conference was IIPT (International Institute for Peace through Tourism) in cooperation with UNWTO (United Nation’s World Tourism Organization.