Natural Leaders in Western Palearctic

Steller's Eiders, Owls, Woodpeckers & Grouses

Estonia offers a really interesting end of Winter, early Spring spectacular with about 2000 Steller´s Eiders wintering at the West Estonian coastal waters. During early Spring they come closer to shore and it is easier to watch them.

At the same time woodpeckers, owls and grouses are getting active. Capercaillie, Black Grouse and Hazel Hen are lekking. Owls start to hoot to declare their territories. Woodpeckers are drumming. The best time to witness this great early Spring activity of birdlife is at the end of March and first part of April.

Beside observation of Steller´s Eiders and a list of other seaduck including Long-tailed Ducks we will look for Seals as well, usually we find Ringed and Grey Seals.

The woods will be loud of drumming, so it will be easy to find White-backed, Three-toed, Grey-headed and Black Woodpeckers.

Regarding Owls we will have a very good chance to find Ural, Pygmy and Tengmalm’s Owls

Early Spring offers a very good chance to see a few of the members of healthy populations of Beavers, Brown Bears, Raccoon Dogs, Otters, Wolves, Lynxes or Elks. 


Fact File

  • Long Weekend tour with short distances
  • Short early Spring tour in Estonia
  • start and finish in Tallin


  • Steller’s Eiders and lots of other seaducks
  • White-backed, Three-toed, Grey-headed and Black Woodpeckers
  • Ural, Pygmy and Tengmalm’s Owls
  • Capercaillie, Hazel Grouse and lekking Black Grouse
  • White-tailed Eagles
  • several Mammal species have strong populations


local hotels and guesthouses with en-suite rooms, on site birding

Departure Dates

generally March, early April

15-18th of March 2018 and 29th of March–1st of April 2018


Ask for the actual price. Our price includes:

  • all travel as noted in the itinerary;
  • all accommodation based on shared rooms (most rooms are twin bedded), at most locations there are single rooms as well for extra charge (Please ask for a single room at the time of booking!);
  • 3 meals per day, generally breakfast at the accommodation, packed lunch, dinner (consists of at least two courses);
  • services of the leader(s);
  • trip materials.

Not included:

  • flights to and from Budapest;
  • optional programmes to places of interest and entrance fees involved;
  • airport and other departure taxes, tips;
  • food beyond generally 3 meals/day mentioned in the itineraries;
  • excess baggage charges;
  • telephone calls;
  • alcoholic beverages;
  • compulsory personal insurance.

If you have questions about the inclusion of any cost item, please contact us.

Activity level

  • Generally easy to moderate walks

Optional programmes


Day 1: Arrival to Tallinn

Arrival to Tallinn, drive to Saaremaa. Overnight in Saaremaa

Day 2: Steller’s Eiders in Saaremaa

Steller’s Eider and other waterfowl – Undva promontory and Uudepanga bay. Driving around Saaremaa island NW coast and it’s best bird watching spots gives you opportunity to spot besides Steller’s Eiders thousands of Long-tailed Ducks, other overwintering waterfowls and some White-tailed Eagles. In the evening drive back to Estonia’s mainland. Overnight in mainland NW of Estonia.

Day 3: Owls and woodpeckers day

Today we will concentrate on finding Woodpeckers and Owls in NW- Estonia. In the morning visit Leidissoo woods for different species of woodpeckers and forest birds. Here we can spot Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker,.

We will also look for Nutcracker, Great Grey Shrike, Parrot Crossbill, Crested Tit. We also have a good chance to spot some mammals, for example Elk. During the day we visit Põõsaspea peninsula which is one of the best spots in Estonia to observe arctic waterfowl migration.

In addition we can spot here Snow Bunting, Waxwing, Common Redpoll and Twite. In the evening we take a trip into nearby forests to check out some Ural, Pygmy and Tengmalm’s Owls habitats. Night in NW-Estonia

Day 4: Western Capercaillies and Black Grouse

On NW Estonia meadows that are close to huge bog areas you can observe Black Grouse leks. On early spring mornings you can even see tens of male Black Grouses lekking. On the way to lekking areas we look for Capercaillies on forest roads.

Drive back and departure from Tallinn.