Welcome to the ENT "Spring 2012" Newsletter. It is distributed to our professional co-operation partners, bird societies and magazines and also individual clients all over the world. The newsletter will be published four times per year. Its contents will include bird news in Estonia and also substantial events or products in sustainable and birdwatching tourism developed by Estonian Nature Tours.

For the latest news, amazing photos and best travel offers:


The Estonian Nature Tours team would like to thank all of our followers and we look forward to spending more time with you in the future!

Stop thinking about it – come to ESTONIA!
Bird News.
Wildlife Photography tour to Estonia.
Mammals in Estonia.
Butterflies & Dragonflies.
What is special in Estonia? Webshop.
ENT & Sustainable Tourism.

Travel & more
Nature videos
Birdwatching in Estonia

Stop thinking about it – come to ESTONIA!

For birdwatchers who can make a quick decision and are keen to see something specific such as Steller´s Eider, Hazel Grouse, Ural Owl or Three-toed Woodpecker, we now have on offer 3-day bargain tours. Invite a friend, or even a few, contact us, book a suitable period, and start packing! For a group size of 2-6 people, price includes local transportation, guide, two dinners and two nights in hotel/guesthouse with private facilities and breakfasts.
Some highlights seen on previous 3-day tour: Steller`s Eider, White-tailed Eagle, Pygmy Owl, Hawk Owl, Nutcracker, Black and White-backed Woodpecker, Black Grouse and Parrot Crossbill.


From 395 € pp. The offer is valid until mid-April.

For futher information (price and itinerary) please contact us: e-mail: info@naturetours.ee / tel +372 5349 6695.


White-backed Woodpecker
Photo: Sven Zacek

Bird News

Bird Spring

Spring has arrived in Estonia. Although our fields are still covered with a thick layer of snow, this does not stop the arrival of the first spring migrants – Skylarks, Lapwings and Starlings. In a few weeks, fields in West-Estonia will be covered with thousands of Bewick’s and Whooper Swans, White-fronted and Bean Geese, feeding up for the long journey to the arctic tundra.
Many of our forest birds are now active. On sunny mornings woodpeckers defend their territories, producing often stunning views of White-backed or Three-toed Woodpeckers. Recent sighting suggest that woodpeckers are doing well after last winter. Bogs are now resounding with lekking Black Grouse.


Black Grouse
Photo: Arne Ader


An early Spring trip to Estonia is a good chance to experience spectacular bird migration, observe forest bird specialities together with some very special wintering birds that are still present. In recent counts at least 200 Steller`s Eiders are in a tight flock at their main wintering area and several Hawk Owls have been found wintering at various sites round the country.

First migrants have started from Africa

Our tagged birds have started their spring migration earlier than in previous years. Raivo, the Black Stork we have been following since 2006, set off three days after Pirsu, but he does have the advantage of starting from half the distance from his homeland. Pirsu is flying eastwards towards the Nile River and then will probably turn north. Most likely he will make some longer stopovers during his migration. We are receiving data very well from Luule (the hybrid spotted eagle), but local bird conservationists decided not to show the exact location of Luule up to her departure. We also felt this was best, as Luule was the only confirmed spotted eagle wintering in Sicily this winter, usually there are 2-3 of them (information of Giovanni La Grua). Click here and see a Migration Map...

Bird of the year 2012 is Plover

Plovers were chosen by Estonian Ornithological Society to be the birds of the year 2012. There are two of them breeding in Estonia - Ringed Plover and Little Ringed Plover. They are very similar in plumage, but with a different way of life. Read more...


Little Ringed Plover / Wikipedia


New Species 2011

Last year scientists discovered all together 39 so far undetected species, new to Estonia’s flora and fauna. The total number of bird species reached 382 due to 2 new accidental visitors: Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) and Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis). Read more...

The Big Thing of Estonia 2011 is Nature Webcam

One of Estonia’s leading newspapers „Eesti Päevaleht“ spent two and a half months hunting for the Most Quintessential Things in Estonia in 2011. They were searching for the most authentic emblems of Estonia, things that were distinctive or which make Estonia different, or which people would particularly associate with this country and its people. They were keen that the usual things such as the traditional song festivals were not included, nor oil-shale, russofobia or sauerkraut. The Big Thing of Estonia 2011 was Nature Webcam which collected 19, 136 votes out of total of 85,000, an incredible 40.8% of the vote!

Nature webcams are installed and owned by the non-profit website Looduskalender (Nature calendar). At the moment there are 5 cameras up and going: Winter Eagle Cam, Wild Boar Cam, Bird Feeder Cam, 5th Season Cam and Käsmu Cam. There are also seasonal Eagle-cams and Black Stork cams respectively at different Eagles’ and Black Stork nests, a Seal-cam and new ones are added every year.

Share the information also with your friends!

Click here to see cameras...

European Mink is critically endangered

On November 10th, 2011 The IUCN Red List Working Group publicized the latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. According to this evaluation European Mink was moved to the ‘critically endangered’ category, which means that the species is considered to be in extremely high risk of extinction. In Estonia remarkable results have been achieved in conservation work for European Mink. As much as half of the global artificial population of European Mink is kept in Tallinn Zoo and one of the most successful special protection activities is repopulation of the species to the Hiiumaa Island. Read more...


European Mink
Photo: Jonathan Hall


Wildlife Photography tour to Estonia

A new and exciting trip for 2012!

Tour leaders: Neil Aldridge and Remo Savisaar.

Highlights of the trip include the chance to photograph some of Europe's iconic wildlife that is now either rare or extinct elsewhere in the continent. Mammals that we will be aiming to photograph include bears and beavers, with the added hope of finding other forest-dwelling species like wild boar, elk and raccoon dog.
Estonia has an impressive bird list of well over 300 species and we will be hoping to find and photograph forest species like woodpeckers, raptors like osprey, marsh harrier and white-tailed eagle, as well as coastal waders and seabirds. May is also a good time for seeing waterbird migration from the coastal sites we will be visiting.


           Photos: Remo Savisaar


Neil Aldridge Gallery...
Remo Savisaar Gallery...


Mammals in Estonia

Why not discover Estonia this year?

We offer just to six people the chance to discover one of Europe´s wildest countries in the company of best specialist guides. If you are keen to see many specific mammals during a week such as Raccoon Dog, Elk, Brown Bear and Flying Squirrel, contact us and book a suitable period! Invite a friend, or even a few, and ask a special price.
You have a slim chance of seeing one of the more elusive residents such as Wolf and Lynx! Even if you don´t see these animals, you will have plenty of fun deciphering the many mammal tracks we find along the way!

Sat12May – Sat19May
Sat19May – Sat26May
Sat26May – Sat02Jun

For futher information (price and itinerary) please contact us: e-mail: info@naturetours.ee / tel +372 5349 6695.

Sheduled day trips 2012...

Client comments...


Two Brown Bears seen on a May tour, 2011
Photo: Uku Paal


Estonian forests are renowned in Europe for their healthy populations of mammals with around 150 Wolves, 500-600 Brown Bears, 12 000 Elks and almost 20 000 Beavers and an incredible 700-800 Lynx – tremendous number for such a small country. In all, sixty-four species of mammals have been recorded in Estonia including several European rarities, the most endangered examples being the European Mink, several species of dormouse and the Flying Squirrel. In addition to the native residents three species have been introduced from outside the country: the Raccoon Dog, the American Mink and the Muskrat.

NB! In spite of the impressive number of mammals in Estonia, it is not always easy to see them. Abundance of forest habitats to aid concealment, nocturnal or crepuscular behaviour, and a natural wariness instilled through centuries of hunting, combine to make many of our mammal inhabitants shy and elusive but with patience, and the skills of a naturalist guide, a visitor can be rewarded by memorable encounters with some of Europe´s rarest creatures.


Butterflies & Dragonflies

In August 2011, representatives from Butterfly Conservation and the British Dragonfly Society visited Estonia. They had a fantastic time seeing lots of exciting species and as a result, last Autumn, we developed our new offering „Butterfly Holiday in Estonia“. Interest in this new trip has been high and two trips are fully booked already.  We have therefore decided to provide an additional Butterfly Holiday on 11-18th July 2012. This period is the flight time for the most eye-catching butterfly of Europe – Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), but also for Purple and Lesser Purple Emperors (Apatura iris and A. ilia), Chestnut Heath (Coenonympha glycerion), Scarce Fritillary (Euphydryas maturna) and Northern Wall Brown (Lasiommata petropolitana) amongst many others.

For futher information (price and itinerary) please contact us: e-mail: info@naturetours.ee / tel +372 5349 6695.

Read more about promotional tour...


Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)
Photo: Peeter Vissak
Siberian Winter Damsel (Sympecma paedisca)
Photo: Peeter Vissak


We have also started work on an itinerary for a „Dragonfly and Birdwatching Holiday“ which we hope will be equally successful. This will run in late July or early August with an exciting list of possible dragonflies such as Ruby Whiteface (Leucorrhinia rubicunda), Siberian Winter Damselfly (Sympecma paedisca), Yellow-winged Darter (Sympetrum flaveolum) as well as some great birding with the start of migration already underway. Follow our updates on Facebook, Twitter or Blog.


What is special in Estonia? Webshop

Why should nature enthusiasts from around the world visit Estonia?

Do we have something that others do not?

A new edition of the marketing literature "Estonia – the Heart of European Wildlife" is now available on ENT Webshop!

We have a wonderful photo-gallery of Estonian nature.
Share the gallery also with your friends.
Click here to see it...


Copyright: Tuuli Mann

Click here if you can not see the text of the ad...



ENT & Sustainable Tourism

The suggestions and experiences of Estonian Nature Tours are important!

IIPT used the occasion of World Travel Market to announce the publication of “Meeting the Challenges of Climate Change to Tourism.” The book is being published by IIPT together with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Livingstone International University of Tourism Excellence and Business Management (LIUTEBM).

The book is based on the presentations made at the 5th IIPT African Conference in Lusaka, Zambia this past May plus articles from other selected contributors. Industry officials, experts, practitioners and academics have come together to share their knowledge, experience, research and methods of best practice to address and adapt to effects of climate change.

The book consists of 42 articles organized into 7 chapters including Global Perspectives; National and Regional Perspectives; Success Stories regarding Destinations, Tour Operators and Accommodations; Creating Awareness; and Supportive Academic Research. Chapter 8 includes three Declarations on Climate Change including the Lusaka Declaration that resulted from the conference.

We are proud that our opinions have been included in this prestigious book and also as part of the final Lusaka declaration.

To read our own article entitled „Sustainable Tourism Development and Marketing by Estonian Nature Tours“, click here....




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