Mammals of Autumn, 8 days

Summer has come to an end and the migration of birds is becoming stronger by day. Days are still relatively long, but colder nights and the changes in nature’s colour palette are clear signs that autumn has arrived. This tour takes us in the forested areas of Alutaguse, Lahemaa National Park and Kõrvemaa Nature Reserve, where we’ll be looking for some of Europe’s rarest and most secretive mammals. Our main target species will be the Siberian Flying Squirrel, Eurasian Lynx, Brown Bear, Grey Wolf, Elk, Raccoon Dog, and Red Squirrel.  For the Siberian Flying Squirrel, we’ll head out to Alutaguse, which is the only remaining area in Estonia, where the little mammal is still living. We’ll meet a local expert, who has been researching these wonderful creatures for several decades. During the day, we’ll get acquainted with the mammal’s behavior and preferred habitat and return to their daytime resting places for the evening, hoping to one of the individuals around sunset. For the Eurasian Lynx, we will go to Lahemaa NP, where we’ll track his daily routes through camera traps and local knowledge. It must be noted, that looking for lynx means also quite a lot of driving during the dark hours. September is probably the best time to listen to Grey Wolves howl and that will also be one of our objectives during a windless evening. Brown Bears and Raccoon Dogs are actively looking for food before the arrival of winter. From the Brown Bear watching hide in Alutaguse, we’ll have really good chances to spot them. As we are active during the early hours and late hours on most of the days, we’ll also have good chances of spotting other Estonian mammals, such as Elk, Red Fox, Roe Deer, Red Squirrel and definitely a wide variety of different birds – Ural and Pygmy Owl, woodpeckers, and wild grouse. Please note that there might be some changes in the program, according to weather conditions and the location of animals. All the possible changes will be made to maximise the chances of spotting the given target species. 

 

Target species: Siberian Flying Squirrel, Eurasian Lynx, Brown Bear, Grey Wolf 

Other highlights: Elk, Red Fox, Roe Deer, Raccoon Dog, Red Squirrel

Birds: Ural and Pygmy Owl, Three-toed and White-backed Woodpecker, Black and Hazel Grouse, Western Capercaillie

 

 

 

Book a tour with us: info@natourest.ee or by phone: +372 5622 5943

 

 

Day 1 Arrival. Drive to Alutaguse

No time will be wasted on th first day and we’ll start our tour in Alutaguse, where we’ll meet a local expert, who has been researching the Siberian Flying Squirrels for decades. First, we will learn about their habitat and behavior, and then hope to spot one around the sunset hours. Night in Rakvere

Day 2 Alutaguse and Brown Bear watching hide

We’ll stay in the area of Alutaguse as it has always been the main stronghold for the Brown Bear population. While about a hundred years ago, there were maybe around 20 individuals roaming around the inaccessible forests and bogs of Alutaguse, nowadays the Estonian population is about 750-800 bears and about half of the population is believed to inhabit the northeastern part of the country. In the afternoon we’ll look for tracks of activity and later enter the Brown Bear watching hides, where we’ll also stay overnight. The hides are equipped with bunk beds, sleeping bags, pillows and speakers, which transmit live nature sounds caught by a high-end microphone installed next to the hide. Night in the Brown Bear hide

Day 3 Lahemaa NP

After leaving the Brown Bear hide, we’ll drive through the forests of Alutaguse with the hopes of spotting Elk, Western Capercaillie, Hazel and Black Grouse. We’ll rest for most of the day and in the evening, if it is windless, we’ll drive to Kõrvemaa, where there’s an active wolf pack, whom we hope to hear by howling. Listening to the whole pack howl during a quiet an autumn night is definetely an experience you’ll never forget. If this evening it is not windless, we’ll do it on another day. Night in Lahemaa NP

Day 4-7 Lahemaa NP

The next days we will concentrate solely on spotting lynx. This will mean that we’ll be resting during the day and actively looking for the lynx during the dark hours. Depending on the tiresome level of the participants, we can make short birdwatching tours during the morning hours or day, but we’d have to stay alert and mobile incase we receive fresh information about the movement of lynx in the area. Night in Lahemaa NP

Day 8 Departure

Book a tour with us: info@natourest.ee or by phone: +372 5622 5943

Dates

Beginning of September

Price: 

Price includes:

  • Nature guide services for 8 days
  • 7 nights in local hotels and guesthouses (twin rooms with toilet and shower)
  • Night in the Brown Bear hide
  • 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)

Book a tour with us: info@natourest.ee or by phone: +372 5622 5943

 

 

 

EU Leader Virumaa Koostöökogu (VIKO) supported Natourest Inc for buying nature observation optics and trail cameras.