Hawk Owls are uncommon winter visitors in Estonia.  This diurnal Owl is often seen on our February-early March Steller´s Eider tours.  March, 2020. Photo by Tarvo Valker. 

Please see below our full package wildlife tours in 2022. Feel free to contact for futher information and bookings.  TOP moments in late winter/early spring tours in 2020 (note that this all happened before the lockdown in late March):
1. Eurasian Lynx - 3 sightings on 2 different tours, including one just at 60 meters.
2. Hawk Owl - prolonged views of the single bird perched just 25 meters from the group.
3. Tengmalm´s Owl - outstanding views on our last birding trip before lockdown. We found 6 more occupied breeding sites shortly after the tour. Sadly no birders to show them. 
4. Steller´s Eiders - brilliant views on every single Steller´s Eider tour. Birds usually less than 100 meters from the shore. Another brilliant season!
5.  Hazel Hen - good views of this rather shy grouse on most of our tour. On one occasion we watched the male on the forest track for 10 minutes while on a second tour perched individual was feeding on the silver birch just above us. 

NEW! ONLY available in WINTER 2021/2022.  Hawk Owl+Steller´s Eiders - 3 nights/ 4 days long-weekend birding break.
Dates: available throughout January-February 2022
Leader: Tarvo Valker
Cost:  3-4 persons (640 euros pp.), 5-6 persons (590 euros pp.). Included in the cost: accommodation, all meals, ground transport and services of leader.  Private trip cost - ask for the price: birdinghaapsalu@gmail.com
Booking:  birdinghaapsalu@gmail.com 

This autumn there has been many Hawk Owl sightings with first birds turning up already in early October. By early November at least a dozen different individuals has been found in Estonia. Usually majority of the birds will arrive here from mid-November till late December. Therefore at least 4-5 times as many will expected throughout the entire season. This allows us to offer unique short birding break option - Hawk Owl twitch with wintering Steller´s Eiders. During 4 days long birding holiday other expected highlights are thousands of Long-tailed Ducks, White-tailed Eagle, Rough-legged Buzzard, White-backed Woodpecker, Hazel Hen, Ural and Pygmy Owl, Waxwing and Nutcracker. 
We offer this trip for small groups or private guests only in January and February 2022. If you have any futher questions, don´t hesitate to contact Tarvo via e-mail: birdinghaapsalu@gmail.com 

STELLER`S EIDER WINTER BREAK - in collaboration with Wise Birding Holidays.
24-27 Feb 2022
Leader: Tarvo Valker
Cost:  625 pounds+ flights. Included in the cost: accommodation, all meals, ground transport and services of leader
Booking: chris@wisebirding.co.uk 

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 300 birds and as many as 1,000 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 night on the mainland near Soomaa NP where we will search for Capercaillie and Hazel Grouse as well as woodpeckers and with luck, the hugely impressive Ural Owl!

Day 1- arrival to Tallinn, afternoon birding en route to Saaremaa island
Day 2 – Birding at Saaremaa island
Day 3- Birding at Soomaa NP
Day 4 - departure

Steller´s Eiders at Saaremaa island. Photo taken by tour leader Tarvo Valker  during the same tour in 2019. 

Hazel Hen near Haapsalu. Photo taken by tour leader Tarvo Valker during the same tour in 2019. 

Spotted Nutcracker near Haapsalu. Photo taken by tour leader Tarvo Valker during the same tour in 2019.


Dates: 5 - 9 May 2022  (4 nights)
Leader: Tarvo Valker
Group size: 3-6 persons
Price:  820 euros plus flights.
Booking: birdinghaapsalu@gmail.com

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.

Day 1 – arrvial, evening birding at Hiiumaa island
Day 2 – Hiiumaa island
Day 3 – Hiiumaa island and Haapsalu
Day 4 – Leidisoo forests and Matsalu National Park
Day 5 - departure
Ural Owl at Leidissoo NR.  Photo taken by tour leader Tarvo Valker  during the same tour in May 2019.

Dates: 26 Sept-1 Oct  2022 (5 nights)
Group size: 4-6 people.
Price: 1050 Euros + flights. Included in the cost: accommodation, all meals, ground transport and guiding
Booking: birdinghaapsalu@gmail.com

Expected highlights: thousands of Long-tailed Ducks, hundreds of Velvet Scoters, Grey-headed, White-backed, Black and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Hazel Hen, Black Grouse, Ural Owl, Pygmy Owl, Hen Harrier, thousands of Common Cranes, tens of thousands of migrating passerines, Nutcracker. 

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! 

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

Migrating Goldcrests on our tour in September 2021. Photo by Tarvo Valker
Eurasian Pygmy Owl. Photo taken in the garden of our guesthouse on our autumn tour in 2021. Photo by Tarvo Valker

Cranes feeding at Matsalu National Park. Photo taken during the autumn tour in 2021. Photo by Tarvo Valker.