Welcome to the Estonian Nature Tours summer/autumn 2010 Newsletter. It is distributed to our professional co-operation partners, bird societies and magazines and also individual clients all over the world. The newsletter concentrates on marketing of new products in sustainable and birdwatching tourism developed by Estonian Nature Tours.

Who is ENT?
Bird news.
Tour calendar 2011.
Special offer -20%! Explore Estonia in Autumn.
BBC Wildlife and mammalwatching.com visited Estonia
Birdfair 2010.
ENT on Twitter and Facebook!
ENT & Sustainable Tourism.

Travel & more
Nature videos
Birdwatcing in estonia

Who is ENT?

Estonian Nature Tours (ENT) is a ground tour organiser specialized in Birdwatching and Botanical Tours. Our individual and specialised approach to tourism was developed over a number of years of organising local travel services in Matsalu National Park, before broadening our operations in the spring of 2003 to include visits to a wide variety of nature reserves throughout Estonia. Our mission is to introduce the natural heritage preserved by moderate human activity, to encourage ecological thinking and awareness of nature and to improve local tourist services. Also, ENT has been a pioneer in developing nature and bird tourism all over Estonia. In the autumn of 2007, we introduced our new offering, “Estonia in Early Spring”, which has proved very popular among our clients. In spring 2008, our oldest tour, „Estonia in Spring“, was accredited with the brand EHE (Quality System Pure and Interesting Estonia). ENT supports the yearly Young Conservationist Award through independent NGO Estonian Fund for Nature and also Sõrve Bird Station.

Bird news

Bird Spring 2010

A very cold winter, lots of snow and a slow Spring influenced birdlife in Estonia significantly this year. A worrying percentage of the Ural and Tengmalm`s Owl population was lost but life was a little easier for Pygmy Owls because they hunt small birds.

Pygmy Owl
Photo: Valeri Stserbatõh

As the thick snow melted there were the biggist floods in Estonia for the last 30 years. This created huge wetlands that are good stop-over sites for migratory wildfowl. Thousands of Greater White-fronted Geese and Bean Geese, also hundreds of ducks and waders are presented in polders and Emajõgi River Meadows in South-Estonia and coastal areas in West-Estonia. This year has been very good for seeing Great Snipe. Because of the big floods the birds are lekking just 50-100 meters from the road. Other highlights have included regular sightings of Corncrakes, Black Grouse, Lesser Spotted Eagle, White-backed Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Citrine Wagtail, Penduline Tit, Savi`s Warbler and Barred Warbler.

Great Snipe
Photo: Arne Ader

Rare birds

Spring has been interesting also for our twitchers. The first exotic species for the country was found on 14th May, when birders spotted Estonia’s third Little Egret. A day later – this was followed by three new species! A Booted Eagle was found and photographed while at the same time, at Hiiumaa Island, a Southern Grey Shrike was observed. Then, on the same day, we got news from the Hungarian Saker Falcon Life-project. One bird, marked with a transmitter, flew into Estonia – the first of this species ever recorded in Estonia. The fourth and most interesting rare bird was Sociable Plover, observed on 20th June. This is one of the most endangered wader species with population estimates of only 3, 500 – 11, 000 individuals in the world. With these birds - 379 different bird species have now been observed in Estonia.

Read also Latest bird news and visit Estbirding (Club of Estonian Twitchers) website.

Tour calendar 2011

For ENT, this season has been busy and successful. During our Early Spring tours we had brilliant views of Steller`s Eiders some real "highlight Woodpeckers", like Grey-headed, White-backed and Black Woodpecker. Eight-day birding tours in late May and early June ended mostly with 170-180 bird species, sometimes even more. During rainy days in May there was a good passage of Broad-billed Sandpipers seen at their stop-over sites here with excellent counts of almost 50 individuals being seen. Although it was harder to find some forest birds (for example Woodpeckers, Hazel Hen), we saw many late arrivals such as Scarlet Rosefinch, Barred, Greenish and Icterine Warblers. This year, in South-Estonia we also had tens of White-winged Terns and a few Marsh Sandpipers adding extra value to the Citrine Wagtail and Great Snipe watching.

Photo: Ingmar Muusikus
Penduline Tit
Photo: Sven Zacek

We have had more requests than ever before from individual travellers and have the expertise to discuss their requirements and arrange suitable accommodation, local guide(s) and a rental car for a Tailor-made itinerary. Most popular have been our Beaver Safari and the Brown Bear Watching. Make your travel plans and see our selection of Birdwatching and other Wildlife tours available for 2011 – just click Tour calendar...

Click here and read Tour reports and Client comments...

Special offer -20%! Explore Estonia in Autumn

„We couldn´t have had a better guide for birds than Ivar. He is clear, very professional, wonderfully enthusiastic, and has v.good English. Haeska was perfect. So was the surprise coffee stop... We saw lots of cranes, geese etc. afterwards, but perhaps not as many as Ivar would have liked, even though we were all happy. So he suggested that we go out again the next morning. We did, and there were 5000 + cranes and endless geese... It was one of the very best things any of us had ever seen. Fantastic!“ L.M. / October 2002, UK /

Have you ever been to Estonia? Have you ever seen a sight like this? This year we can offer individual bookings on fully-inclusive holidays in search of Common Cranes and other spectacular bird migration in Western Estonia:

Sat18Sep – Sat25Sep 2010 Special price 920 Euro BOOK HERE
Wed29Sep – Sun03Oct 2010 Special price 500 Euro BOOK HERE

For further information on any of these trips and others we have on offer, plus booking details and terms and conditions please visit www.naturetours.ee and choose Tour calendar from the left menu. Or you can phone or e-mail us for detailed itineraries: tel +372 5349 6695 / e-mail: info@naturetours.ee .

Estonia, one of the primary stop-over sites for this species, offers you an opportunity to see tens of thousands of Cranes gathering before sunset near shallow bays to spend the night there. In late September the number of Common Cranes in Western Estonia is around 35,000, with 10,000-15,000 birds visible from one single point.

Common Cranes
Photo: Arne Ader

In late September and early October the wildfowl migration is in full swing also. Flocks of thousands of Long-tailed Ducks, Divers, Geese as well as Common and Velvet Scoters travel through this region escaping the Arctic winter. We also hope for good views of the white-headed, continental race of Long-tailed Tit, Willow Tit, Crested Tit, Nuthatch and other woodland passerines in Kabli Bird Station. Overnight Ural, Tengmalms, Pygmy and Short-Eared Owls are often trapped as well.

Helgoland trap at Kabli Bird Station
Photo: Albert Ruhi

Tengmalm´s Owl
Photo: Albert Ruhi

Click here and see video...

BBC Wildlife and mammalwatching.com visited Estonia

Estonian Nature Tours (ENT) invited the BBC Wildlife magazine to our 8-day Mammal Watching Promotional tour in Estonia on May 2010. The tour was an ENT & EU-financed round trip for journalists interested in the fields of mammals, bird watching and other wildlife, also for sales agents interested in future co-operation with us. It was a very enjoyable and successful trip. We had a great time deciphering footprints and having fantastic views of a range of European mammals such as Racoon Dog, Red Fox, Wild Boar, European Beaver, Arctic Hare and Striped Field Mouse We got fabulous views of Brown Bear from a baited hide and with the help of local researches we were very excited to watch a Flying Squirrel emerge from its hole at dusk and glide away over our heads!
As well as mammals we found fantastic birds like Capercaillie, Black Grouse and Hazel Hen, White-backed and Grey-headed Woodpecker, Great Snipe and Citrine Wagtail. Benjamin Hoare´s article about this amaising week will be published in BBC Wildlife magazine September issue.

Photo: Valeri Stserbatõh

Flying Squirrel
Photo: Rainar Kurbel

European Beaver
Photo: Sven Zacek

In May 2010 Jonathan Hall, www.mammalwatching.com , was thinking about trying to see a Eurasian Flying Squirrel and not having much luck getting information on where to look in Finland. And then Estonian Promotional tour report arrived. It was a sign for Jon. A few days later he had arranged a long weekend to look for the Squirrel and also European Mink. „Estonia has the potential to become one of the best, if not the best destinations in Europe to see large mammals,“ he said after the trip.

Click here and read Tour reports...

Birdfair 2010

The 2010 Birdfair will take place in Rutland on 20, 21 & 22 August. This is the third time Estonian Nature Tours has participated in the bird tourism fair as an exhibitor. Estonia is a wonderful country with huge birdlist, friendly people and wonderful local food and the first place in the world where you can search the Flying Squirrel together with local researcher! Estonian Nature tours has a fantastic 8-day Mammal Watching holiday amongst unique untouched nature with vast floodplains and primeval forests for looking incredible mammals as Flying Squirrel, Raccoon Dog, European Beaver, Brown Bear, Wild Boar and Elk, also many fresh tracks of elusive residents as Lynx and Wolf along the way every day... Great new additions are also short-break tours in autumn for Common Cranes and Elks and in winter for Steller´s Eiders.
Tarvo Valker, the chairman of the Bird Club of Lääne County, will make a presentation called "Mammals – a pride of Estonian Nature“ on Sunday Lecture Marquee 1 / 9.30-9.50am. This talk will give an overview of all the incredible mammals that are living in this country - Lynx, Wolves, Brown Bears, Beavers as well as the flying squirrel - the pride of Estonian forests.

Visit us at Marquee 5 Stand 32!

Birdfair 2009
Photo: Tarvo Valker

ENT on Twitter and Facebook!

Join the ENT group on Twitter and Facebook to see the best travel offers and discuss the wonderful wildlife in Estonia!

ENT and sustainable tourism

FAM trips to West-Estonia

Läänemaa Tourism Association is co-operating with the Estonian Nature Tours and organizing four-day Promotional tour West-Estonia in Summer on July 26-29 2010. The tour is an LEADER EU-financed West-Estonia round trip for journalists interested in the fields of botanising and other wildlife. The main aim of the tour is to introduce to the world, with the help of motivated journalists, our wonderful network of unspoilt wetland habitats and highlight the botanising and birding opportunities our unique countryside has to offer, but also to promote the rich history of this area and the principles of sustainable tourism.

The number of places are limeted. Please phone or e-mail us for detailed itineraries... tel +372 5349 6695 / e-mail: info@naturetours.ee.

European Ecotourism Conference (EETC), Pärnu, Estonia, September 26-30, 2010

Join TIES and Estonian Ecotourism Association this September at the EETC 2010, being hosted in Pärnu, Estonia, and you will have the unique opportunity to meet ecotourism leaders from across Estonia and Europe. Pre- and Post-conference tours include: Bird Watching in West-Estonia, Kayaking in the Bay of Tallinn and Elk Watching and Wolf tracking. To learn more about the conference program and to register, go to the EETC 2010 webpage.Don’t forget to join the EETC group on Facebook and LinkedIn to participate in on-going discussions about ecotourism in Europe!



For friendly, experts advice, excellent customer care and 'accommodation only' call +372 477 8214,
+372 5349 6695 or contact us online.

Tel. +372 477 8214, +372 5349 6695
E-mail: info@naturetours.ee

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