Estonian Birds and Mammals – Smart Guided Tour - 8 Days

Estonia has about 10 000 elks, 800  bears, 200 wolves, 500 lynxes, a great number of roe deer, foxes, raccoon dogs. It is also one of the last countries in Europe where it possible to see Siberian flying squirrels. Besides being the best place in Northern Europe for spotting different mammals, Estonia is also the best country in the region for bird-watching. This smart-guided tour will lead you to Alutaguse NP where you’ll get close-up views from a Brown Bear hide;  to world famous Matsalu NP on the western coast and taiga forests area Lahemaa NP. The best times for mammal and bird watching in Estonia are in Spring – May-June – and in Autumn – middle of September-October.

Overview

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Our self-guided tour (SGT), using a smart device, is designed for active, adventurous people who appreciate independence and flexibility. SGTs offer the opportunity to visit the same nature areas as on our guided trips. With SGT, you will be your own guide and you can decide where and how much time to spend enjoying nature. With SGT, you don’t have to do the research for the best birding areas in Estonia – you can choose from our described destinations and plan your own itinerary. All locations are carefully chosen and are visited annually by our guides to ensure you will have updated information.

At the beginning of May- Brown Bears are waking up and looking for food; migrating birds are coming from the south; Raccoon Dog, Red Fox, Roe Deer; Elks and Beavers are quite easy to see. Hazel Grouse and Capercaillies on the forest roads and Black Grouse lek.  Ural, Pygmy, Tengmalm’s Owls and White-backed, Three-Three-toed, Grey-headed and Black Woodpeckers are still active.

End of May-first part of June: mating time for Brown Bears; Elk cows with calves in the meadows; Raccoon Dog, Red Fox, Roe Deer; late arrivals – Common Rosefinch, Blyth´s reed Warbler, Greenish Warbler, Orioles. Flora: early orchids: Lady´s Slipper, Military Orchid.

Middle of September: migrating Cranes, Brown Bears foraging hungrily before winter hibernation; Raccoon Dog, Red Fox, Roe Deer; Elk rut time is on; migration of waders and passerines; activity starts for woodpeckers, owls and grouses. Weather is mostly quite warm.

End of September – mid-October: Brown Bears gorging themselves in preparation for hibernation; woodpeckers, owls and grouses are active; massive arctic bird migration. Nice time for autumn colors.

Example tour for the beginning of May

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Day 1 :
Arrival (Tallinn)

Arrival to Tallinn, drive to Haapsalu.

Breakfast
Hotel in Haapsalu
Day 2 :
Black Grouse Lek, Cape Põõsaspea

Start the morning with Black Grouse lek, while also hoping to spot elk and other mammals on the way to lekking area. Later, heading to Nõva forests, drive slowly through a good area for spotting Capercaillies. And check out Dirhami, the best bird migration peninsula in Northern Europe.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel in Haapsalu
Day 3 :
Leidissoo forests, Silma nature reserve, Slavonian Grebe

Silma reserve is a huge area of coastal meadows, lagoons and reed beds with lots of ducks, some Slavonian (Horned) and Red-necked Grebes, goose, cranes, Penduline and Bearded Tits. Head out early towards Silma nature reserve. Keep your eyes open for mammals: roe deer, fox, raccoon dog, hare, elks and, if you’re lucky, golden jackal. In Leidisoo, the forests are good habitat for owls and woodpeckers.

Breakfast
Hotel in Haapsalu
Day 4 :
Matsalu NP, Cranes, Elks, river boat tour and Beavers (only in Spring)

Whole day in Matsalu NP. The park has several towers which give you a great view over the flooded meadows, as well as to the coastal meadows. The habitats here are good for birds – ducks, waders. Also for elks: in springtime, young calves can be seen among the cows. In autumn during the rut time, bulls are running around the meadow hoping to get the cows’ attention.

An evening boat tour on the river takes you to the beavers’ world. Reed beds are good habitat for bats – you’ll see them hunting in the sunset’s glow.

Breakfast
Hotel in Haapsalu
Day 5 :
Brown Bears in Alutaguse

Drive to N-E of Estonia to Alutaguse area with its huge bogs and forests. It is also a core area of brown bears in Estonia. The night will be spent in the brown bear hide. There’s also active bird life around the hide, as well as mammals: raccoon dogs, foxes, brown bears are quite easy to see; sometimes wild boars are visible.

Breakfast
Bear Hide
Day 6 :
Lahemaa NP,

Come out from the brown bear hide in the morning, make a little circle on the surrounding forest roads to look for Capercaillies and other wildlife.

Day in Lahemaa NP, with its wealth of peninsulas and beaches – stony, sandy, reed beds, open sea; both old-growth and young forests are great habitats for birds and mammals. Walk around in one of Lahemaa´s several trails or drive along a small forest road.

Hotel in Lahemaa national park

Price includes:

  • bird guide services for 4 days,
  • 3 nights in local hotels and guesthouses ( twin room with toilet and shower),
  • local transport,
  • Breakfast, lunch, and picnic and dinner during the trip.
  • ferry tickets to Saaremaa.

Tour Map

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Estonian Birds and Mammals – Smart Guided Tour
Price From
850 Per Person
850 Per Person in double room with a group of 2 people
990 Per Person in single room with a group of 2 people
Number of Travelers Price Per Person
1-1 Adult €1,330
2-2 Adults €850
3-3 Adults €700
4+ Adults €630
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Person in double room with a group of 2 people
850 Per Person in double room with a group of 2 people
Person in single room with a group of 2 people
990 Per Person in single room with a group of 2 people
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Trip Facts

  • February-November
  • 4-14 persons
  • Easy walk
  • *Steller’s Eiders, Long-tailed Ducks, Velvet Scoters, Common Scoters

    *White-backed, Three-toed, Grey-headed, Three-toed, Middle-spotted, and Black Woodpeckers

    *Ural, Pygmy, Tengmalm’s Owls and Northern Hawk Owl

    *Capercaillie, Hazel Grouse and lekking Black Grouse

    *White-tailed Eagles, Rough.legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier

    *Waxwing, Parrot-and Common Crossbill, Snowbunting, Twite, Common and Arctic Redpoll