Category Archives: Photography

Some mornings are prettier than others. I woke up 5 am. The sky was clear, blackbird was singing and I decided to take a short bird watching trip (it’s a little part of our West Estonia birdwatching tour). The weather was very-very windy near the coast, but we still saw more than 35 species. Cranes, swans, lapwings, geese, cormorants were the most popular. #springmigration Be careful, enjoy the nature! Have a great day 🙂

#visitestonialater

Spring is on but the virus has done it’s job, so i think #visitestonialater is proper way to describe the situation. Europe is more or less closed, just last few days some emergency routes are open. It’s huge impact to the toursim sector. It’s clear that for nature toursim the spring season is officially off but i have pretty strong gut feeling that it will have huge impact to autumn season as well. But looking to the future, I think more people start to appriciate closer destinations and more sophisticated way of spending their holidays. So i do see that Estonia has here a nische to fill. I also hope that those guys who just few weeks ago thought that climate change is somewhere other side of the globe, approximately as fas as is the Wuhan province in China, now think a moment before posting a next comment to support…

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req squirrel

To see red squrreils in Estonia is easy and they are frequently seen animals at every type of wildlife watching or birding day tour but still they need some patience, good light and luck to get a decent image. During the low season I invest lot of time into environmental and nature education and one output is to teach children photograph nature. So squrrels are first subjects to try out after theoretical lessons and i think it’s lot of fun as they are sort of human friendly, some areas almost semi-tamed. Its fun to have that first connection and interaction with wildlife and kids are more motivated to go further with their wildlife interest. Beside that they get some tips and tricks about wildlife photography, animal behaviour and physiology and concious wildlife watching. If you wish to find your contact with the nature find a suitable daytrip HERE. All trips…

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Spring bird migration in Estonia

Spring bird migration in Estonia is about to start. I went for a short tour this Sunday to find some skylarks lapwings or cranes but it was raining and snowing heavily most of the day and had no luck to see any of them. Still i got decent 34 species within some hours including snow bunting, huge flocks of redpolls, bullfinches, very nice observation of sparrow hawk, white-tailed eagle, dipper and after sunset got one balck woodpecker as well. Got a reply from pygmy-owl from 2 spots but did not saw them. In central Estonia, Tartu, Pärnu area and west Estonia larks, lapswings and cranes are present, first small flocks of geese are flying over as well. Last week we had also rare natural phemomena called snow 🙂 here. Of course I was travelling and almost missed it but at least had few hours of snowy landscape Today the snow…

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Well, still no snow.. Atleast we have some sunny days! Some days ago I went for a little hike.. and I found something.. Here is an old gamekeeper’s log house. It’s 6km from small borough and not everyone knows where it actually is. Gamekeeper is like a main forester in certain area. Have you heard that in the last century we had gamekeepers all over Estonia? Actually, the first signs of gamekeepers are from 13th century, when landlords had their own forests.  In the 19th century the forest management was more popular than before, so the gamekeepers became more important. They had their own log houses in the forests and they knew exactly, what was going on, how many different animals are there or who’s walking there.  Estonian history is various and interesting. Would you like to know more? Our Lahemaa National Park tour is for people, who wish to…

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Have you heard about least weasel (ld. Mustela nivalis)? Least weasel is the smallest predator in Estonia and also in the world. Average body length in males is 130 to 260 mm (just to make you a little comparison –  brown bear footprint is 130-250+mm).  I have seen weasels only 2 times. These photos are made some years ago, it was a total surprise to see weasel running in the gravel road. I jumped out from my car and the weasel disappeared. About thirty seconds later the weasel came back with lunch in the mouth. Least weasel has brown back, tail and limbs; their chest is white. But in the winter they are all covered with white fur to hide from predators, so it’s not easy to notice them.  Usually they eat different rodents, but they are also able to catch frogs, fish and small birds and it’s not a…

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lynx estonia

So I made myself a Christmas present and updated my trail cameras to 4G ones to get finally live information about observations. It took some time and finally last Sunday being semi-illish I managed to set them up at two spots in the forest. The first spot has been success for elks already for couple of years. So on Sunday there were lot of fresh moose footprints and droppings, so it was just matter of some climbing and testing. But the first visitor for that camera was lynx. Although I spend bit more time in the forest than avarage hobby photographer, I have not had any luck so far to get even miserable photo. I have had couple of lynx observations every year, but those have been short and unexpected. So it’s my lucky day then, even i didn’t press the shutter button i’m still happy to see that image.…

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So it’s time to introduce to you one of our most common mammal – the European roe deer (or also known as the western roe deer or just roe). In Estonia there are more than 100 000 roe deers, so it’s pretty much, isn’t it?  Usually they are seen in the fields, so drivers must be very careful. Some of them are more curious than others.   It’s quite easy to see them in Estonia, but… even if we have one of the best spots, we can’t guarantee you anything. It all depends on the weather and on the predators.  Roebuck is a male roe deer and in the late winter to autumn they have antlers. In July, roe deers have mating season. Roe bucks are fighting and kicking with the antlers because of female roes.  Would you like to see Estonian mammals? We have wildlife watching tour, let’s go!

winter in estonia

This winter in Estonia has started slowly. I really hoped that Christmas would have been white, but no. On the 27th finally there was some snow outside of Tallinn. But it was a very thin cover. On the 28th Lahemaa National Park looked much better and there was even few degrees below zero. Viru bog looked awe and fresh snow and unfrozen bog pools are nice combo. Then had my usual stop at Nõmmeveski and around Palmse… On the way back to Tallinn went to check the Jägala waterfall but its clearly too early for the ice formations there. Today we are back to 7C and rain & wind. Same forecast for tomorrow. I ususally go for the last sunset of the year, if the conditions will be the same… hmm… I might skip that this year… and I wish there will be proper winter in Estonia at least for…

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bear watching hide estonia

Okay, so I have lately got some questions about bear watching and how it works. So it’s about 1h 45min drive from Tallinn and you have to be there by 4 or 5 pm depending of the season. I suggest to start at noon, have a lunch in Rakvere and also shop there for dinner. you have to take dinner with you and it’s going to be sandwiches or bakery or salat or some other stuff you like, but it’s quick to eat and unwrapping does not make much noise. So after parking the car there is a 15 min walk to the hide through the forest. We settle in and satrt waiting. Usually it takes few hours to wait before they come but you know, it’s nature, so sometimes they arrive 30 min after entering the hide sometimes in the middle of the night and sometimes they don’t show…

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