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easy birding of the Baltic spring

A week on the Baltic, during the peak of the north-bound bird migration.

This holiday is timed to catch the best of the north-bound bird migration, through one of the busiest flyways in Europe. Thousands of geese, cranes, sea ducks, waders and passerines head north and east along the Estonian coastline, stopping to feed in the sheltered bays and coastal forests. The summer visitors will be arriving to breed in Estonia’s forests and marshes. Birds like Thrush Nightingale, Citrine Wagtail, Common Rosefinch and Icterine Warblers should all be arriving and setting up territories.

As well as the returning and north-bound migrants, we will also be looking for some of the resident bird species of the extensive forests and wetlands of Estonia. All nine species of northern Europe’s woodpeckers will be drumming and calling; quietly driving the forest tracks may bring us encounters with Capercaillie and Hazel Grouse; Whitetailed Eagles hunt along the coastal wetlands; and we will listen out for calling owls in the evenings.

We will visit a Black Grouse lek, and (conditions permitting) spend an evening at the display grounds of Great Snipe, where we will try to catch a glimpse of their bizarre courtship dance at dusk.

We will also be paying attention to the mammals of Estonia: Elk feed on the meadows of Matsalu National Park, where European Beavers are common amongst the wooded waterways, while Grey Seal and Baltic Ringed Seals haul out at favoured spots around Hiiumaa island. Our holiday ends with a guided tour of the attractive medieval city of Tallinn, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Please note that holidays change, although sometimes only slightly, from year to year and previous trip reports may not reflect the planned itinerary, or other holiday details, for the current trip. Please ask us if you would like to know of any significant differences.

bugling Cranes in dry grassland, Estonia
Hawfinch sitting on a branch, Estonia
White Stork walking through short grassland, Estonia