Birding Haapsalu

BIRDING HAAPSALU

Birding tours in Estonia

Dates: Fri 24th Feb-Mon 27th Feb 2023
Cost: 720 euros pp. plus flights
Group size: 4-7 persons
Included in the cost: accommodation, all meals, ground transport, bird guiding.

This tour is specifically designed as a short break to see the wintering flocks of Steller’s Eiders that congregate off the Estonian island of Saaremaa. Numbers vary each winter but generally you can expect a minimum of 250 birds and as many as 500 birds.

Of course, during the winter months the diversity of species will be low but the quality of species is excellent. We should see a good selection of other seaduck, White-tailed Eagles and a good chance of Eurasian Pygmy Owl. We also spend a full birding day on the mainland in Soomaa NP where we will search for Capercaillie and Hazel Grouse as well as woodpeckers and with a bit of luck, the hugely impressive Ural Owl!

OUTLINE ITINERARY

Day 1 – Arrival to Tallinn, afternoon birding en route to Saaremaa island
Day 2 – Full birding day on Saaremaa island, drive to mainland in the evening
Day 3 – Full birding day in Soomaa National Park
Day 4 – Departure

Dates: Wed 29th Mar – Mon 3rd Apr
Cost: 1090 euros pp. plus flights
Group size: 4-7 persons

OUTLINE ITINERARY

This is one of the most popular tours amongst UK birders allowing to combine seeing wintering Steller’s Eiders plus breeding Woodpeckers, Owls and Grouse in just one short holiday! Best timing for this tour is from mid March until second week of April.

After arriving to Tallinn airport we will be heading to Northwest Estonia to look for the Ural and Eurasian Pygmy Owls in the forests around Leidissoo Nature Reserve.

Birding on Saaremaa island will allow us to see one of the most wanted seaduck in the Europe – Steller´s Eider. In the early spring birds often flock in the harbours there they are sometimes just 50-100 meters from us. Other seaducks here include thousands of Long-tailed Ducks, good numbers of Velvet Scoters and Scaup.

Our last part of the trip takes us to the western taiga forests in the Soomaa National Park. It´s a Woodpecker heaven. Often we manage to see 7 species of Woodpeckers on this tour, including Three-toed, Grey-headed, White-backed and Black. Soomaa is also known hotspot for the Capercaillies while it´s smaller cousin – elusive Hazel Grouse are breeding also here.

Berside birds, early spring trip is often also good for mammals. Moose are seen in most trips while Lynx activity is also at it´s peak and with very good luck we might see one while birding in the forests!

Day 1 – arrival to Tallinn, evening birding in the Leidissoo forests
Day 2 – birding in Marimetsa Nature Reserve and Matsalu National Park, drive to Saaremaa island in the late afternoon
Day 3 – full birding day on Saaremaa island – Steller´s Eiders plus other seaducks
Day 4 – drive to the mainland, birding in the woodlands near Pärnu
Day 5 – full birding day in Soomaa National Park
Day 6 – departure

Dates: Sat 29th Apr – Fri 5th May 2022
Group size: 4-7 persons
Price: 1150 euros plus flights.

This tour is the perfect choice if you want to witness great visible migration in combination with seeing some of your target forest birds! After the arrival to Tallinn we will head to Hiiumaa island to witness some of the Europe´s best spring migration! Our mornings will be filled with stunning seawatching with tens of thousands of Common Scoters and Long-tailed Ducks passsing the point mixed with many less numerous seaducks, divers and grebes. With good luck we might even encounter last flocks of the Steller´s Eiders or an annual vagrant – Yellow-billed Diver! During the day we will check wonderful meadows which hold good numbers of passing migrants, such as Red-backed Shrikes, Whinchats and Wrynecks.

After two evening and morning birding sessions at Hiiumaa island we will be heading to the mainland to look for the breeding Grouse, Woodpeckers and Owls to have a taste of the Estonian woodland birds.

OUTLINE ITINERARY

Day 1 – arrvial, evening birding at Hiiumaa island
Day 2 – Hiiumaa island
Day 3 – Hiiumaa island and Haapsalu
Day 4 – Leidisoo forests and Marimetsa bog
Day 5 – Matsalu National Park, drive to Southeast Estonia
Day 6 – full birding day in the forests in Tartu region, visit to the Great Snipe lek
Day 7 – departure

Dates: Fri 23rd Sept- Wed 28th Sept
Group size: 4-6 people.
Price: 990 euros pp. plus flights.
Included in the cost: accommodation, all meals, ground transport and guiding

This tour gives you the chance to witness the spectacular bird migration taking place in autumn in West-Estonia. We take you to some of the best places in Europe for seaduck and passerine migration. During the peak days up to half a million Chaffinches, tens of thousands of Siskins or continuous chains of Long-tailed Ducks pass through the observation points in West-Estonia.

On this tour we will use two accommodations – 2 nights at the small Kihnu island and 3 nights at the Matsalu National Park. We will visit different migration bottlenecks each morning. This allows us to enjoy the migration of seaduck, raptors as well as tiny passerines. We will also have very good chance to find some forest specialities, such as Pygmy and Ural Owl, Hazel Hen, White-backed, Black and Grey-headed Woodpecker and Nutcracker. Our evenings will be spent witnessing the amazing roosting flights of the thousands of Common Cranes. The same areas are also perfect for encountering the impressive Moose. There is always a good chance of seeing tracks and signs of Estonia’s more elusive top predators such as Lynx, Bear and Wolf, or if you are extremely lucky, actually see them!

OUTLINE ITINERARY

Day 1 – Arrival to Tallinn, drive to Kihnu island
Day 2 – Full day birding at Kihnu island, passerine and raptor migration
Day 3 – morning at Kihnu island, drive to Matsalu NP. Crane roost in the evening.
Day 4 – birding at Matsalu NP
Day 5 – Cape Põõsaspea and Leidissoo forests
Day 6 – early morning birding, departure to Tallinn

Spring Migration. Photo: Tarvo Valker
Spring Migration. Photo: Tarvo Valker
Autumn birding. Photo: Tarvo Valker
Autumn birding. Photo: Tarvo Valker
Ural Owl. Photo: Tarvo Valker
Ural Owl. Photo: Tarvo Valker
Stellerseider break. Photo: Tarvo Valker
Stellerseider break. Photo: Tarvo Valker

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    Birdwatching and mammal watching tours in Estonia
    Birding and mammal watching trips led by professional guides. We help to make your visit to Estonia unforgettable.
    Contact us

    birdinghaapsalu@gmail.com
    +372 53 932 684

    Booking terms

    Payment.
    Last date for the full payment of the tour is 10 weeks before the tour starts.

    Cancellations by you
    If you cancel your booking either through failure to pay the balance due or for any other reason, we may charge a cancellation fee calculated as follows:
    – 75 days before departure 50% of the holiday cost
    – 50 days before departure 75% of the holiday cost
    – 50 days or less before departure (or failure to join the holiday) 100% of holiday cost.

    Cancellation by us.

    If we cancel, we shall refund whatever money you have paid to us, in full. Our cancellations will be not less than 8 weeks before the tour starts.