Lithuania, situated in northeast Europe, is a compact low-lying country with extensive forests, lakes, fishponds and a relatively short coastline adjoining the Baltic Sea. Our main interest is the Baltic Sea and Kurshiu Lagoon with their varied birdlife of wildfowl and large concentrations of Common Cranes. The migration along the coast is impressive, with flocks of geese, swans, ducks, and passerines. In addition to this, we have a chance of locating some of Europe’s rarer woodpeckers and other forest birds.
Day 1: Arriving at Vilnius airport, meeting with a guide/group leader (professional ornithologist). Transfer to Curonian Spit (app.350 km). On the way stop at the Raseiniai fishponds. At this time of the year, numerous flocks of birds stop here for a short rest.
Arrival to the Curonian Spit. A short acquaintance with this unique narrow finger of land dominated by high sand dunes dotted with pines. Dinner and overnight at the largest village of the Curonian spit – Nida resort.
Day 2: Impressive birding of sea species from the tops of Nida dunes.
At the second part of the day trip to another village of the Curonian Spit – Juodkrante. Excursion to the local Ornithological Center and observing their huge mist nets.
Returning to Nida hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Transfer by boat from Nida to Ventės ragas. Visiting the local ornithological center. Observing birds’ migration at the Curonian bay along Ventės ragas.
Drive to fields of Svencele and Dreverna, where passerines and gooses stay overnight. Return to Vente. Dinner and overnight at the local hotel.
Day 4: Birdwatching at one of the best places in the Baltic region – Ventės ragas. During the successful day of migration, there is availability to see hundreds of thousands of different birds. Occasionally in the morning, there is a possibility to see or to hear up to 80 different species of birds.
Later on lunch at the local restaurant and a trip to Kintai fishponds for searching of… After this drive towards western Lithuania and Nemuno Delta Regional Park.
Day 5: Transfer to the capital of Lithuania – Vilnius. En route stops at Kadagiai and Arlavishkes valleys, located along Kaunas lagoon. Birdwatching.
In the second part of the day driving to the place of Novaraistis, famous for it an incredible number (~ 3000) of Grus Grus, which are coming here for an overnight. You will see and hear it from the birdwatching tower.
Arrival to Vilnius for an overnight.
Day 6: This morning we travel to the fishpond complex around Baltoji Voke. Reedbeds, farmland, and forest surround the ponds, attracting a wide range of birds. We should find White-tailed Eagles hunting migrant ducks and Western Marsh Harriers quartering the reeds. A specialty of the ponds is flocks of Great Egrets along with migrant Great Black-backed, Yellow-legged, and Common Gulls. In the afternoon we visit Shiauliai for European Golden Plovers. As dusk approaches at Sulinaki Bog, we can observe our first flocks of Common Cranes coming to roost. Two-nights in Siauliai.
Day 7: Shiauliai is situated in the center of extensive marshes where White-fronted, Bean and Greylag Geese occur on migration. Black Grouse occur in the same area whilst Common Kingfishers use the channels. Forest birds are both varied and interesting with Great, Middle-spotted and White-backed Woodpeckers and Marsh, Willow and Crested Tits. Rarer birds include Black, Grey-headed, Three-toed and Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers. With luck, we may find Hazel Grouse and Eurasian Nutcracker.
Day 8: Visit Sulinkiai Bog to check for migrants. After breakfast, we head towards western Lithuania and Nemuno Delta Regional Park. On the way, we stop at Zemaitija to look for waterfowl, Common and Rough-legged Buzzards and parties of corvids including Common Ravens. Transfer to Ventes Ragas for a four-night stay.
Days 9: We have three full days exploring the delightful Lithuanian birding areas of Vente, headland around Ventes Ragas and, importantly, the Curonian Spit. The latter area is a narrow finger of land dominated by high sand dunes dotted with pines. The water inland is brackish, whilst the Baltic Sea borders the northern side. In the lagoon and offshore we should locate Red-necked and Black-necked Grebes, Whooper and Bewick’s Swans, a range of ducks comprising Garganey, Northern Pintail, Greater Scaup, Common Goldeneye, Smew, Red-breasted Merganser and Goosander, The sea may have to return Black-throated Diver, Velvet, and Common Scoters. Around the lagoons, areas of mud attract waders including Little Ringed, Ringed and Grey Plovers, Little Stint, Ruff, Eurasian Woodcock, Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green and Wood Sandpipers. The headland and spit attract migrant raptors with regular sightings of Hen and Montagu’s Harriers, Osprey and Peregrine Falcon. Ventas Ragas is arguably the best area for migrants in bushes, trees, and scrub. Of note are huge flocks of Woodpigeons, often in thousands. Our main interest lies in the migrant passerines. Common and visible species include Woodlark, Black and Common Redstarts, Fieldfare, Redwing, Sedge, Great Reed and Eurasian Reed Warblers, Coal Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Eurasian Nutcracker, Hooded Crow, Northern Shrike, Eurasian Siskin, Common Redpoll, Common Crossbill, Eurasian Bullfinch, Hawfinch, and Yellowhammer.
Day 10: Travel back through the hinterland of Lithuania following the Nemunas river system. On our way back to Vilnius, a return visit is planned to fishponds at Islauzas and Baltoji Voke. Arriving back to Vilnius where the tour concludes. Departure from Vilnius.
Destination Management Company JeruLita operates individual private tours as well as small and medium size groups in cooperation with our partners. We will be glad to accommodate you in a private tour or will direct you to travel expert in your country who will register you to the groups we operate.