- Fly from London to Tallin and drive to Haapsalu; en route we should see the first common cranes of the week. If there is time, we will visit a bird tower before checking into our hotel.
- Accommodation: Haapsalu, 3-nights on full board basis.
- Today we drive north-east along the coast, about 30 kilometres, to visit the Põõsaspea watchpoint – a small, north-pointing spit perfectly situated on a migration funnel, where masses of waterbirds arrive from both the Gulf of Bothnia and the Bay of Finland – making it one of the best spots to watch return arctic waterbird migration.
- We visit another tower hide, near Tahu, today. The hide overlooks a large lake favoured by migrant Bewick’s and whooper swans. After lunch back at the hotel, we move to the northern shore of Matsalu Bay, where we visit the Haeska watchtower, well known for the phenomenal concentrations of cranes that accumulate in the area in autumn. After dinner we plan to drive out to listen for owls and mammals.
- In the morning we revisit Matsalu Bay, one of Europe’s great wetlands, the most famous bird area in Estonia and a most important breeding and stopover site for shorebirds. Here we are greeted by the sight of masses of Bewick’s and whooper swans, barnacle, bean, and white-fronted geese, and huge flocks of ducks and waders. In the afternoon we take the ferry to Muhu Island before continuing onto Saaremaa Island where we will spend two days.
- Stretching into the Baltic, Saaremaa Island’s west coast is ideally placed to attract hordes of west- and south-bound migrants. On our second morning here, we concentrate on the Sorve peninsula and Saare spit, where we should see large numbers of land birds as well as geese and common cranes. A walk through the lovely, and very different Loode oak wood, with its wide range of wildlife possibilities, will round off the day.
- Accommodation: Saaremaa Island, 2-nights on full board basis.
- Today we pay one last visit to Sõrve Peninsula. After lunch on Muhu Island we head back to the mainland and the Pärnu area with a final stop at Nedrema wood-pasture.
- Accommodation: Pärnu, 2-nights on full board basis.
- After an early start to discover forest species at Soometsa, we will head to the famous Kabli bird station near the Latvian border. After lunch at Häädameeste, on the coast, we will visit a tower hide from where a wide selection of migrant species can be seen.
Day 8 Return to Tallinn, fly back to the UK
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- All meals
- Guided activities
- UK leader subject to minimum numbers (otherwise will be accompanied by local guide)
On this tour we stay in good quality hotels with all rooms en suite.
All main meals are included.
Our tour is timed to coincide with migration season. Estonia’s geographical position makes it the natural flyway between breeding and overwintering areas for millions of Arctic water birds. Numbers are incredible with over 50 million birds estimated to pass the Estonian coast annually and our itinerary may vary to ensure we go where the birds are to be found.
- Common crane
- Tufted duck
- Whooper swan
Our tour takes us through changing scenery from coastal bays and wetlands, to oak woodland, the Soometsa forest and the vast Tuhu Bog.
Walking is easy on this tour, being mostly short walks on level ground.
Price includes return scheduled flights London – Tallin – London.
Ground transportation is by minibus, with driver.