Birding tours Belarus

Europe/Birding tour in Belarus

Birding in the Ultimate East of Europe

Sporovo Reserve, Pripiatsky NP, Belowezhkaya Pusha NP, 8 days

Our Belarus birding tour offers a unique variety of birds and mammals including several key species very rarely seen in other parts of Europe. We explore huge boreal woodlands, untamed rivers, marshes and bogs and experience rural life in the countryside long forgotten in other parts of Europe. Our birding tour visits three key places in the west and south of the country.

Sporovo Reserve protects an important part of the world’s Aquatic Warbler population as well as Citrine Wagtail, Bluethroat, Corncrake, Montagu’s Harrier. The nearby Telehany forest has several pairs of Great Grey Owl, plus Capercaillie, Hazel Grouse, White-backed and Black Woodpecker.

Pripiatsky National Park is a paradise for sought-after birds. Azure Tit breeds in riparian willow forests. Turov meadow has lekking Great Snipes, breeding Marsh and Terek Sandpipers, thousands of colourful Ruffs and dozens of Spotted Redshank on migration, Spotted Crake and all three marsh terns. Old woodlands are home to Greater Spotted and Short-toed Eagle, Black Stork, White-backed, Grey-headed, Black and Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Collared and Red-breasted Flycatcher, River Warbler, Thrush Nightingale, Hawfinch, Elk and Eurasian Beaver. In addition nearby Beloe Fishponds are the southernmost breeding place of Smew.

Belowezhkaya Pusha National Park adjoining its smaller counterpart in Poland is home to European Bison and a good mixture of raptors, owls and woodpeckers.

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In this short video Dominic Couzens talks about his impressions in Belarus, filmed during our birding tour in 2013.

Facts

Highlights

Hotels

3 nights in Turov at Pripiatsky NP
2 nights in Kameniuki at Belowezhkaya Pusha NP
2 nights in Beloazersk at Sporovo Reserve

Departure Dates

Sunday 6 – Sunday 13 May 2018

Price

from 1,775 EUR + 220 EUR (single room supplement)
Ask for the actual price

Optional extensions

Extra days in the north of Belarus.

Itinerary

1-3

After landing at Minsk airport we travel to the famous Pripiatsky National Park. We stay 3 nights in a comfortable hotel in Turov just across the floodplain of River Pripiat. The river floods each spring creating a maze of wet meadows, marshes and ponds home to many special birds. Terek and Marsh Sandpiper breed on Turov meadow, but thousands of colourful Ruffs often steal the show fighting and lekking to impose the females. Spotted Redshanks in their beautiful breeding plumage are also here and marsh terns are a common sight. One evening we visit a nearby lek of Great Snipe and enjoy these funny birds along with Spotted Crake and Corncrake. A truly eastern species, Azure Tit is breeding in the riparian willow forests of the river. Greater Spotted Eagle has a strong population in the park and we usually see them soaring above the forest. Thrush Nightingale, Collared Flycatcher and Hawfinch are fairly common and in May Barred, Icterine and River Warbler, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike, Common Rosefinch and Golden Oriole can be found in the woodlands. The old oak, beech and coniferous forests harbour White-backed, Black, Middle Spotted and Grey-headed Woodpecker, while Syrian Woodpecker inhabits the town of Turov. Beloe Fishponds are the southernmost breeding site of Smew. Garganey, White-tailed Eagle and Bluethroat are common here and orchards hold Wryneck.

4-5

We leave Turov to reach our next base, Kameniuki on the edge of Belowezhskaya Pusha National Park in the afternoon. The ancient woodlands hold Great Grey and Pygmy Owl, White-backed, Black and Grey-headed Woodpecker, Goshawk, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Honey Buzzard, Crested Tit, Common Crossbill, Pied and Collared Flycatcher. The park is a reliable place for European Bison and we often see these mighty mammals grazing on meadows inside the forest. Red Deer and Wild Boar are also abundant.The old oak, beech and coniferous forests harbour White-backed, Black, Middle Spotted and Grey-headed Woodpecker, while Syrian Woodpecker inhabits the town of Turov. Beloe Fishponds are the southernmost breeding site of Smew. Garganey, White-tailed Eagle and Bluethroat are common here and orchards hold Wryneck.

6-7

In the morning we leave Kameniuki and travel south-east to Beloazersk, our place of stay for 2 nights. Here we visit Sporovo Reserve in search of Citrine Wagtail, Savi’s Warbler and Bluethroat. Nearby Ledets Fishponds are a great place for migrating waterbirds including Garganey and marsh terns. A few White-tailed Eagles usually hunt above the ponds and Penduline Tit breeds along the dyke. Elk and Eurasian Beaver inhabit the woods adjacent to the ponds, but they are not easy to see during the day. Late afternoon we go back to the reserve to admire the characteristic display flight of Aquatic Warbler, which has an important population here. One afternoon we head for nearby Telehany Forest, home to Great Grey Owl and Hazel Grouse.

8

We drive back to Minsk airport for the flight back home.

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