Lithuania is a low-lying country with ample forests, lakes, fishponds and a short coastline adjoining the Baltic Sea. So naturally, it’s the site of some awe-inspiring bird-watching opportunities. On this tour, our main interest is the Baltic Sea and Kurshiu Lagoon with their varied birdlife. The migrations along the coast are impressive, with flocks of geese, swans, ducks, and passerines. We also have an excellent chance to check out Europe’s rarer woodpeckers and forest birds.
Arriving at Vilnius airport, meeting with your guide, a professional ornithologist. Transfer to Curonian Spit (approx. 350 km). On the way, we’ll stop at the Raseiniai fishponds. Numerous flocks of birds stop here for a short rest at this time of year.
Arrival to the Curonian Spit. We’ll have a brief chance to explore this unique narrow finger of land, its high sand dunes and pine forests. Then, Dinner and overnight at the largest village of the Curonian spit – Nida resort.
In the morning, we’ll check out impressive seabirds from the tops of Nida dunes.
In the afternoon, we’ll drive out to another village of the Curonian Spit – Juodkrante. Excursion to the local Ornithological Center and observing their huge mist nets.
Finally, we return to Nida hotel for dinner and overnight.
Transfer by boat from Nida to Ventės Ragas. Visit the local ornithological center, and observe the birds’ migration at the Curonian bay along Ventės ragas.
We’ll drive to the fields of Svencele and Dreverna, where passerines and geese stay overnight. Afterwards, we’ll return to Vente for dinner and overnight at the local hotel.
Bird-watching at one of the best places in the Baltic region – Ventės Ragas. If we’re lucky, we’ll see 100,000s of different birds on their migratory paths. In the morning, you may even spot or hear up to 80 different species of birds.
We’ll lunch at a local restaurant and next, take a trip to Kintai fishponds. Finally, we’ll drive towards western Lithuania and Nemuno Delta Regional Park.
Transfer to the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius. En route stops at Kadagiai and Arlavishkes Valleys, located along Kaunas lagoon. Bird-watching.
In the second part of the day, we’ll drive to the swamps at Novaraistis State Ornithological Conservation Area, famous for it an incredible number (around 3000) of Grus Grus, which rest here overnight. You’ll be able to see and hear it from the bird-watching tower.
Arrival to Vilnius for an overnight.
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 Siauliai for the 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.
Siauliai is situated in the center of extensive marshes, where White-fronted, Bean and Greylag Geese stop 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.
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.
We have a full day 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, dotted with high sand dunes and tall 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.
Travel back through the hinterland of Lithuania, via the Nemunas river system. On our way back to Vilnius, we’ll revisit the fishponds at Islauzas and Baltoji Voke. Finally, we arrive back to Vilnius where the tour concludes.
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.