Looking for Lynx and Flying Squirrel in Early Spring – Scheduled Tour - 6 Days

Early spring is the time when there are still patches of snow under the forest and on small dirt roads. Migrating birds are returning and the sun is moving higher and higher every day. Spring is not only in the air but also in the hearts of many birds and mammals. For example, it’s the mating season for the main target of this tour – the Eurasian Lynx. From the end of March until early April is the period when there are really good chances to spot one, as they are more active and come to open areas much more often than during other times of the year. During different periods, Estonia has been the country with the highest population density and the local individuals are one of the largest in the world. Its’ main prey – Roe Deer, is doing better year after and so is the local lynx population. Right now, an estimate of about 500 Eurasian Lynx inhabit the forests of Estonia and one of the best areas to spot them is Lahemaa National Park in the northeastern part of the country. Lahemaa was also the first national park grounded in the whole former Soviet Union and is still the lasrgest NP in Estonia.

Overview

About a dozen trail cameras give us information about their movements and other technological solutions, such as thermal cameras and LED-lamps help to locate them during dark times. Thus, 4-5 evenings looking for the lynx give us a very high probability of seeing one. It must be noted that looking for Lynx means quite a lot of driving around in the dark.

The other target of this tour is even more secretive than the Lynx and can be found only in one part of the country. Namely, we’ll be looking for the Siberian Flying Squirrel, who nowadays can be found only in the northeastern region of Alutaguse. The small nocturnal mammal rests in tree cavities during the day, but usually, after the sun has set, the elusive squirrel leaves the cavity to look for food. The difficult part is locating the squirrel. For that, we are working together with a local specialist, who has studied these mammals for over 30 years. Although this tour concentrates more on these 2 mammal species, we will most likely also meet other mammals sharing the same habitats, such as Elk, Roe Deer, Snow Hare, Pine Marten, and Raccoon Dogs, just to name the main ones. Many Brown Bears have also woken up from winter hibernation and the bare forests can give them more easily away than during other times of the year. Daytime will be used for looking at bird specialties, such as the forest grouse and woodpeckers. Evening excursions will allow us also to spot several species of owls, such as the Ural Owl and Pygmy Owl.

Itinerary

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Day 1 :
Arrival (Tallinn) and Lahemaa NP – first evening/night tour

The group will be picked up from Tallinn Airport and driven to Lahemaa NP, where we will stay for the rest of the tour. During the first evening, we will meet the other local guide, who will give a more precise overview of the local Lynx situation, their behavior, and how we will start looking for them. Ofcourse, we won’t waste any time on the first evening and start looking for our main target already on the first late evening and night. Night in Lahemaa NP

Dinner
Day 2 :
Looking for the lynx in the forests and meadows of Lahemaa NP

Similarly to the first day, we will concentrate mainly on looking for Lynx. The best time for it is early morning before dawn, late evenings, and night time. Daytime will be used for recovery and on day tours to get the blood going and experience the beauty of Estonian spring.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 :
Alutaguse forests and Siberian Flying Squirrel

After an early excursion in Lahemaa, we will head out to the wildest area of Estonia – Alutaguse. The region is known for its vast forests and peat bogs. Today’s main target, the Siberian Flying Squirrel, feels at home in the western taiga forests, where Norweigan Spruce trees alternate with Common Aspen. In Alutaguse we will meet with a local Flying Squirrel specialist, who has dealt with the secretive species for over 30 years. During the day we will learn about the local nature and especially about the Flying Squirrel and its behavior, habits, and conservation efforts. In the evening, we take places next to one of its “home trees” and wait for the animal to come out. We will return to Lahemaa in the late evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 -5 :
Lahemaa NP and back on the search for Lynx

Day 4-5. Lahemaa NP.

In the last 2 days, we will concentrate again on finding Lynx in the forests and meadows of Lahemaa NP. During the days, we will take walks to the forest and coast. From birds, we’ll look for woodpeckers, such as the Three-toed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, and White-backed Woodpecker. Depending on the success of our search for the lynx, we can also visit a Black Grouse lekking site. Other forest grouse, such as Hazel Grouse and Western Capercaillie can be spotted on the roads while looking for the lynx. As we use the thermal camera to look for the lynx during the dark time, we will most likely also meet owls, such as the Ural Owl and Pygmy Owl. Coastal waters may produce views of Whooper and Bewick Swans, Velvet Scoters, Smew, and White-tailed Eagles.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 :
Departure

Today we can have the last lookout for whatever is still missing from our wishlist and then return to Tallinn

Breakfast

Price includes:

  • Nature guide services for 6 days
  • 5 nights in local hotels and guesthouses (twin rooms with toilet and shower)
  • Flying squirrel tour with a local specialist
  • 4 evenings with a lynx tracking specialist
  • Local transport
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day (one meal per day is served as a picnic package)

Price excludes

  • Flights
  • Beverages during the meals
What is the best time to arrive in Estonia/When will the tour start on the first day?

You can arrive in Tallinn in the afternoon or even in the evening. The most active periods of this tour are evening and night hours. As Lahemaa NP is only 1h 15min away from Tallinn, we can start late.

If I'll arrive a day earlier, will I be picked up from the hotel?

Yes. If you arrive earlier, we can pick you up from your accommodation before the start of the tour.

When should I be at the Tallinn Airport before the departure of my flight?

Tallinn International Airport is a small and convenient airport, so you’ll have enough time at the airport if you arrive 90 minutes before the departure of your flight.

Tour Map

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Looking for Lynx and Flying Squirrel in Early Spring – Scheduled Tour
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1,650 Per Person
1,650 Per Person in double room
1,570 Per Person in single room
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1,650 Per Person in double room
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Trip Facts

  • March-April
  • 4-6 persons
  • Easy walking
  • *Siberian Flying Squirrel
    *Eurasian Lynx
    *Elk
    *Roe Deer
    *Raccoon Dogs
    *Snow Hare