Magical Bird Migration Tour in Lithuania
This 8-days Birding Lithuania Migration Tour will blow your mind, nature at its best, as you will witness the annual autumnal bird migration in its full glory. The East Baltic Flyway is among the most important passerine bird migration routes in the world. Each autumn millions of birds from the Europe smallest Goldcrest to gracious Crane-fly over the Baltic coastline from their breeding grounds in the Arctic and West Siberia to wintering places in Southern Europe or even further south in Africa.
Lithuania is southernmost Baltic Country here the bottleneck of this flyway is formed at Klaipėda where birding Lithuania focuses millions of passerine birds will split into two main routes. 70% will go by the Curonian Spit over the dunes, and 30 % will choose the longer way along the East coast of Curonian shoreline, getting themselves to the second in the world bird ringing station at Cape Vente.
That is why our Tour will begin at Ventė Cape – a location where you will evidence largest Heligoland bird trap in the world. The ringing station was established back in the 1930s and witnesses up to 100,000,000 songbirds’ fly-over the peninsula, daily, during the best days of migration.
On the other shore of the Lagoon – Curonian Spit National Park is our next destination. This landmark of sandy dunes, separating the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea, is the main migratory birds’ choice (70% of all migratory passerines and raptors), with almost 2 million birds crossing when weather conditions are most suitable.
Next point of interest is another spectacular birding place – an area possessing the largest fall gatherings of Common Cranes spending the evening in the bog in central of Lithuania and comes complete with Red Deer rut calls representing nature heritage of the region. On the way to our next accommodation, we will check the fishponds for waterfowl and grebes.
Next two nights in the heart of the Biržai forest and visit to its surrounding countryside will allow you to feel Lithuanian wilderness and full of stars skies. The forest is one of the best places in Lithuania for owls, woodpeckers and if you are lucky you might see not only the tracks but also the Wolves and Lynx crossing the road.
Birding Lithuania Migration Tour highlights include:
- We will look for some of the most exciting species in ridiculous numbers and also is the best time of the year to find Siberian vagrants. So it’s not a regular birdwatching trip, it is more like a scientific expedition from the coast to the Boreal forests in the east. We will show you the magic of Nature called Migration.
- We will start with the main topic of the tour – Migration. Ventė Cape and Curonian Spit are the most exciting areas for migration, and birds are flying in massive flocks, not only small passerines but also birds of prey over the sandy Pine forest, waders, auks and waterfowl over the sea-shore and Cranes and Geese over the mainland pushed by coming winter from North-East.
- If the weather allows we listen for Ural Owl, Tawny and even the cute Pygmy Owl. It is a great place to look for some of the rarest European Woodpecker species, and here we can find in one place all 7 species found in Lithuania. And this is just not all that Biržai forest could offer.
- Autumn is not only exciting because of the birds, but it’s also a Red Deer rut time. And this means we will have a chance to listen and enjoy this mystical ritual and meet some of the contenders if winds will be friendly. Also is one of the most beautiful seasons, with all the different colours and weather can be extremely beautiful and dramatic. So be ready for everything.
- If the wind direction is the right one we will see also the ringing process and you can even release the little bird from your hand. You will see one of the oldest ringing station and the biggest Heligoland trap. History and Nature Heritage will also include during our ground transfers as we will move slowly to the East crossing three of the Lithuanian regions – Lithuania Minor, Žemaitija and Aukštaitija and will also visit their regional and national parks.
If you want to learn and experience some photography to make your trip even more special, have a look at the Eagle Photography Tour, Lithuania
Alternative Tour Name : The Magic of Migration Tour
Arrive to Ventė Cape! A historical place, just few kilometers from our accommodation for next few days, we will visit the ringing station with its biggest in the world Heligoland bird trap and XIX century build light house on the scenic cape at Curonian lagoon and a glimpse of our next destination over the lagoon the Curonian spit dunes are visible across the lagoon. Welcome dinner at Minges recreation with our host Monika Dobrovolskytė.
All-day at Nemunas delta, starting with early breakfast before departure. Short transfer to the observation tour overviews the Kniaupo bay and Minija river floodplain. Massive passerine migration over the area expected, and we continue along the route with short stops at best spots for migratory birds. Lunch break and facilities at Rusnė Villa (or other option agreed in advanced). Raptor, Cranes and Geese overhead until early afternoon. Evening walk at Aukštumala recreation trail and our guides stories about the moor and wildlife, history and chance of seeing our first European Elk. Dinner at accommodation usually.
Nemunas delta – Curonian Lagoon Coast- Curonian Spit
Early breakfast before departure. A walk along the main street of Lithuanian "Venice" - Minija river. If weather allows we might include a boat transfer to Nida, main area for the day ahead. If not, we drive towards Klaipėda port to take the ferry across the harbour. On the way historical fishermen village of Kintai and Dreverna, observations along the route and short stop for Lunch there and Observation tower 15 meter above the lagoon. Across the water Juodkrantė settlement and Dead dunes visible. Transfer to the accommodation and an evening birdwatching at the area on the Baltic sea and/or ancient forest. Dinner at the local restaurant, fish or local cuisine. Free time and rest.
All-day birding at Curonian Spit
Starting with pre-breakfast birding on the top of the Parnidis dune and overlook to Russian federation border, Elk and milions of small and bigger birds flying over head. If we are lucky with weather a breath taking sunrise over the Curonian Lagoon and last view of Ventė cape with the lighthouse and bird traps. Breakfast at Nida or Juodkrantė. Sea watching and Raptor migration before and after lunch. Dead dunes reserve recreation path board walk and chances for Honey and Rough-legged Buzzards, Pallid, Marsh and Hen Harriers, Red-footed, Hobby and Peregrine Falcons. We will visit the Juodkrantė Sound Trap, Ringing station in case they got something rare. And second morning we can go on a morning big mammal spotting before sunrise if the group is not too tired. Also a visit to the Cormorants and Grey Herron colony and best spot for raptor migration for those of you that haven't visit Batumi Raptor Count, it will be a training camp. Lunch and migration watching on the sandy beaches of the Baltic sea in 3 different spots for best results and variety. Dinner at the new location and rest after long day of breathtaking Autumn migration.
Kurtuvėnai Regional Park before/after breakfast, birding and lunch at Tyruliai Bog, transfer to Biržai Forest.
Morning birding at the local fish farm before breakfast, or ask for take away. As we have a lot to see and visit. Transfer to Tyruliai Bog for amazing birding and scanning the surrounding fields for massive Common crane gatherings, raptor migration after lunch. If we get information that the European Bisons are easy to get we might tick them in for the wildlife checklist. And arrival at our final accommodation for our best species to be seen that night or next day, we will plan this with the group on the way and depends really on the weather, it might be the best of sacrifice few hours after dinner and get Ural, Tawny and Pygmy Owl instead of sleeping 2 hours more.
Biržai Regional Park and Biržai forest from early morning till evening with a lunch break and WC.
If weather is suitable we should be in the forest before breakfast, if no we just visit the Biržai castle and watching for aquatic species. After breakfast we will spend most of the day in search for woodpeckers, owls, hazel grouse and at least wolf and lynx footprints, as seeing them in day time is something I can't even dream of. We will have a picnic lunch in the forest if good weather, or come back to the hotel to get a breath and warm food and beverages. Afternoon is good time to check the fields for rarities as Dotterels and Black Grouse that can be found if we are lucky enough, but again don't get too excited, it is still big rarity. Before getting dark is the best time to find Eurasian Pygmy Owl and hunting Ural Owls, for those species we need calm and clear weather, so we need to be very careful and quite. Late transfer to the hotel before departure next morning and grand dinner to celebrate another great day of birding and finish the tour.
Transfer to Vilnius Airport or accommodation early in the morning and last chance to see the European Bisons if we have no early flights. If weather and time schedule allows birding along the route.
Note: Guide is keeping the right to change the route according to weather condition and bird activity and migration time for optimal success.
Wildlife species expected to see:
Black-throated and Red-throated Divers, Whooper and Bewick’s Swans, Greater White-fronted, Tundra and Taiga Bean, Brent, Graylag and Barnacle Geese, Greater Scaup, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Razorbill, Common Guillemot, Smew, Hazel Grouse, White-tailed Eagle, Hen and Pallid Harrier, Merlin, Rough-legged and Honey Buzzards, Peregrine, Red-footed, Hobby Falcons, Common Cranes, Golden Plovers, Bar-tailed Godwit, Caspian Gull, Little Gull, Arctic Tern, Pygmy and Ural Owl, White-backed, Lesser and Middle Spotted, Grey-headed and Black Woodpeckers, Great Grey Shrike, Nutcracker. Eurasian Elk, Wild Boar and Roe Deers in the Curonian Spit is always a bonus. Biržai forest is one of the best Lynx and Wolves areas, and even I can’t promise to see them we will find their tracks in the mud and sand.
What is included?
- All accommodation or lodgings based on double occupancy
- Single occupancy available for an additional charge/cost
- Professional multi-lingual guides and support staff
- Local transfers and all ground transport throughout the tour
- All meals
- Snacks throughout the tour
- Water throughout the tour
- All activities as specified within the tour itinerary
- Personalised checklists by eBird
- All Applicable Taxes
What is not included?
- All international or domestic airfares
- Visa Fees (if applicable)
- Travel & medical insurance (incl. personal equipment and repatriation)
- Airport departure taxes
- Items of personal nature (incl. binoculars and telescopes)
- If providing binoculars and telescopes for the participants an extra fee will be added prior to the tour.
- Excess baggage charges
- Laundry & telephone Charges
- Optional tour extensions where applicable
- Tips & gratuities
- Any other drinks not mentioned above, e.g - Alcoholic beverages or bottled drinks
- Entrance fees to all National Parks, Nature Reserves and/or use of Hides where applicable
- Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”
Private Eco lodges during all your stay, no other guests or stuff will disturb you, we use rental van for all the group, or separate cars on additional fee depending on the vehicle type and needed number.
Mostly ground with minibus 8+1, but we plan at least one of the days a boat trip.
6-7 optimal, as we can then use 8+1 Van for all the group.
Sure if requested prior the trip, we can pick you and drop you off at one of the 3 main airports in the country Vilnius (330km), Kaunas (230km) or Palanga (75km)
We are very flexible and as the delta is very dynamic, we might change the itinerary depending on dramatic weather change or bird movement to improve your experience and for all our safety, we will agree about that every time if need to change the route or schedule.
Sure, on extra fee you can have single room. Also we can add extra bed if needed, but we need to know in prior to the start of the tour.
All meals included, also we are very flexible if you have special needs according to your food diet.
September till end of October is the best time with pick of Autumn migration of main target species and you have the chance to experience the magic of red deer rut and stunning passerines and Raptors migration.
Yes, and No, our tours are very calm and we can visit most of the birding hotspot by the minibus, only if all the group requests we can make short hikes, if everyone is happy with that.
If we know in prior to the tour, we can arrange everything, so everyone can feel comfortable and can reach all our target places and see all the birds and mammals we spot during the tour.
Not strict, but if there are children in the group it has to be a responsible parenting and agreement from rest of the group prior to the tour.
We will have WiFi in the minibus all the time and in the Lodge, but as it is border area you have to put your network selection to manual mode, because it’s very expensive to use Russian internet connection.
We will join many local communities organised workshops and degustation’s and will hire local boat owner for our boat trip, also food is home cooked by local ladies, basically all we offer in the itinerary is local friendly organized.
Yes, you can book extra days prior to the start, if you let us know during tour booking, we will be happy to help.
We are small company and we taking care of your safety, but travel insurance is responsibility for every guest prior to leaving your home country, so make sure you have all needed insurances sort out prior you start traveling for your own safety and enjoyable stay with us.
Are you interested in birds, nature history and heritage? If answer is yes, you are looking at the right place. Don’t forget to put your smile on your face and enjoy the small miracles of the nature.
Yes, but only if children are at least getting in to birding and come with at least one of the parents.
Cancellation You can cancel within 24 hours of booking or up to 30 days before the tour start date to get a full refund. Weather We make every effort to continue, as scheduled with our tours. But sometimes, weather conditions create an unsafe scenario, as a result, a change or cancellation may be the result. Should this happen, we will provide full refund. Tour confirmation Our guides will contact our guests via email 2-3 days prior to the start of your trip. This is the perfect opportunity to let the guide know of any questions or concerns you may have.
If it’s not against our booking policy above, we are happy to refund you at all cost you paid already, or if we all agree we postpone the trip for later dates.
If you have travel insurance you will be easy sorted, if we are still alive and the reason of closing down is not possible to avoid we will make our best to refund you.
Sunscreen, glasses, hat, swimming suite, bottle of water, rain waterproof jacket and a full change of clothes, binoculars, spotting scope and/or camera gear, eBird device and profile so I can easily share our checklists.
Only if you have any really special requirements, but we make sure you get all was included in the price prior the tour. If you need extra snacks or soft drinks during the day just let us know before breakfast. Alcohol is not tolerated during the day, and if you are younger than 21 years by law.
Sure, if you let us know during booking procedure.
Even smallest countryside shops are now accepting credit cards, but it’s always good idea to use ATM on the airport for worst case scenario, so you will have plan B.
Alcedo Wildlife Tours is small company specialist in the area (Lithuania), supporting and cooperating with local community, taking care about the birds (not only in winter) and have best and most up to date information of what and where we can find, especially the most interesting bird species. We are using eco-friendly vehicles and lodges. Friendly and experienced guides, in love with their jobs, are waiting for you. Also local food and accommodation suppliers is our main partners. You will leave us with plans to return, we promise you. Welcome to Nemunas Delta, your Lithuanian Wilderness experts are waiting for you...