Birdwatching Tour Belarus


Birdwatching tour

The price of every tour covers:

— an English-speaking guide who will be with you from your arrival to your departure;

— local guides and topic experts;

— pre-agreed programme suited to your wishes;

— accommodation (in double rooms, or single – for additional fee);

— travel in-country

— reserve entry fees;

— help with visa arrangements.

 

The price does not cover meals. Meals — approximately 10 EURO per day per person.

DAY 1.

Flight to Minsk.

From Minsk we drive directly to Turau, probably the most significant birdwatching site in Belarus.  The famous Turau meadows and vicinity is currently one of the most important stop-over site for Ruff, and a stronghold for breeding Black-Tailed Godwit.  The unique mosaic of numerous oxbows, channels and flooded meadows of Prypiat river at Turau provides crucial support to numerous breeding and migrant waders.

Evening walk into the Pripyat river floodplain. Species we hope to see: Black Tern, White-Winged Tern, Whiskered Tern, Terek Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, Black-Tailed Godwit.

Overnight in Turau.

DAY 2.

Morning excursion. We will take a walk to enjoy magnificent flood-plain meadow in Turau and surroundings. The chorus of waders is stunning here due to probably highest European breeding densities of Northern Lapwing and Redshank. Less numerous but notable species include Marsh Sandpiper and Terek Sandpiper. All other waterbirds thrive here, too, with five species of tern to be seen: Black, White-winged, Whiskered, Common and Little. One of the most adorable birds of the trip will be the rare Azure Tit, considered by many to be a jewel in the crown of Belarusian birding. Belarus is the only European country where we have a chance to see this gorgeous bird in its breeding habitat, among the riparian willow forests of the Prypiat.

In the evening, we will have a walk into the marshes to see how Great Snipe leap in display at their lek and to hear their curious ‘symphony of icicles’ song.

Overnight in Turau.

DAY 3.

In the morning we take a trip to Pripiatsky National Park, where we visit unique floodplain oak stands. Greater Spotted and Lesser Spotted Eagles, Common Crane and Black Stork can be found soaring above the primeval woodlands of oak, alder and birch.   Thrush Nightingale, Bluethroat and Scarlet Rosefinch, haunt this enchanting place. Red-backed Shrike, River Warbler, Scarlet Rosefinch, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Tern, White-winged Tern, Black Tern, Black Woodpecker, Syrian Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Wryneck, Barred Warbler, Collared Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Corn Crake, Great Bittern, White-tailed Eagle.

Highlights of the day will include: Greater Spotted Eagle, Azure Tit, Terek Sandpiper, Snipe, Collared Flycatcher, Hazel Grouse, River Warbler, Scarled Rosefinch, Barred Warbler.

Overnight in Turau.

DAY 4.

After breakfast we depart from Turau and travel for a short visit to Bielaje fishfarm. Species we hope to see: Smew, Bittern, Ferruginous duck, White-tailed eagle, Bluethroat, Terek Sandpiper, Bearded Reedling.

The next place we are going to visit is an extensive forest area of Vyhanaščanski Reserve. An impressive intermix of Black Alder trees and open patches of marshes and meadows create favorable conditions for hygrophilous voles including Water Vole. The breeding pairs of Great Grey Owl can be found in the forest. A good chance to observe them catching large voles and to admire the magnificence of this gracious and confident bird. Three-toed Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Black Grouse, Hazel Grouse, Curlew, Great Snipe, Lesser-spotted Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Short-toed Eagle.

Our third and final destination for the day is the Sporaŭski Reserve. Bluethroats and Savi’s Warblers are singing on the banks of the Yaselda River. A boardwalk across the marshes will grant us with an exquisite perspective to watch the elegant Citrine Wagtail, nesting here. Neighboring fishponds hold Whiskered, Black and Whitewinged Black Terns, and Caspian and Little Gulls. We will also expect Corn, Little and Spotted Crakes arriving and being in full voice. Absolutely essential role of Sporaŭski is to be a decisive citadel of Aquatic Warbler, while Belarus safeguards ca.50% of its world population. One more peculiarity of Sporaŭski to delight with would be a concerto starting with Europe’s rarest songbird and growing to the sound of booming Bittern and displaying Common Snipe. Scarlet Rosefinch, River Warbler, Barred Warbler, Short-eared Owl, Little Bittern, Bearded Tit, Curlew, Reed Warbler.

Overnight accommodation in Berioza.

DAY 5.

Morning excursion in Sporaŭski Reserve.

Breakfast. Transfer to Bielaviežškaja Pušča.

Our tour concludes with a visit to the World Heritage Site of Bielaviežškaja Pušča. Belarusian part of ancient forest is much bigger and wilder than the famous Bialowieza Forest in Poland. These enchanting woodlands hide  hard-to-find Great Grey and Pygmy Owls, and give home for breeding of Collared and Red Breasted Flycatcher and all ten European Woodpeckers (including Wryneck, Whitebacked and Threetoed). However, the most glorious inhabitant of this forest is a grand mammal: the awesome European Bison.

Overnight accommodation in Bielaviežškaja Pušča.

 

DAY 6.

In the morning we continue with the visit into the oldgrowth Bielaviežškaja Pušča and surroundings. After the morning stroll through the primeval forest we will visit unique Dzikaje mire, which is a breeding site for the Aquatic Warbler and Greater Spotted Eagle. Out of more than 20 breeding sites of the Greater Spotted Eagle in Belarus, Dzikaje and Bielaviežškaja Pušča are the only territory where the species has the tendency to increase, a good indicator that rewildening processes take place. Other species we hope to see include Hazel Grouse, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Savi’s Warbler, Montagu’s Harrier, White-tailed Eagle, Great Bittern, Bluethroat, Scarlet Rosefinch.

On the way to Minsk we stop for a visit to Sieliec fishfarm, an extensive fishfarm holding the title of an Important Bird Area (IBA). This is a place to observe waterbirds including Species we hope to see: Black Tern, Red-Necked Grebe, Bittern, Savi`s Warbler as well as White-Tailed Eagle,

Overnight in Minsk.

DAY 7.

Transfer to the airport. Flight back.

 

*****

 

Number of birds to see: 130-180 species

The price of every tour covers:

— an English-speaking guide who will be with you from your arrival to your departure;

— local guides and topic experts;

— pre-agreed programme suited to your wishes;

— accommodation (in double rooms, or single – for additional fee);

— travel in-country (car and boat);

— reserve entry fees;

— help with visa arrangements.

 

The price does not cover:

Flight cost

Food