Characteristic for bird watching above the Polar Circle is not that you will be awakened by a rising sun - during the northern summer the sun is always in the sky - but by the scream of seagulls above the blue waters and the twitter of forest birds. A perfect time to discover our special and rare birds and to observe them. By the variety of different landscapes on the Kola Peninsula, we recognize four different zones: the northern tundra (plateau with little vegetation), the central tundra (mountainous with no vegetation), the taiga (forests interspersed with wetlands) and the northern and southern coastal area. That's why we have three different bird watching tours.
This tour describes the second variant; Mid-Kola. Typically, the diversity of birds, raptors, freshwater wading birds and forest birds. This bird watching tour takes place in Monche Tundra - unique for the gyrfalcon - and Lovozero Tundra with its wide variety of tundra birds. During the trip you can expect to meet birds from the Accipitridae, Alaudidae, Anatidae, Bombycillidae, Charadriidae, Emberizidae, Falconidae, Fringillidae, Gaviidae, Motacillidae, Muscicapidae, Phasianidae, Scolopacidae, Stercorariidae, Strigidae, Strigidae, Strigidae and Sylviidae family.
Day 1: Arrival at Murmansk airport. Meeting by a taxi or a mini bus and drive to Monchegorsk (140km, a 2 hours drive). Monchegorsk is situated in the middle of the Kola Peninsula surrounded by Monche- and Khibiny Tundra. It is built on several islands of the Imandra lake. On the lake-shores you can spot several kinds of water birds. In the forest park close to the hotel you can spot the many different birds like Syberian Jays, several kinds of Finches and Tits). Overnight in a hotel in the centre of Monchegorsk city.
Day 2: After breakfast the guide will pick you up at 09:00 at the hotel. By 4x4 army bus we drive as far we can to Seid Ozero (Saint Lake) where we will make a tent camp. Rest of the day possibility to hike to the timberline of the Tundra or watching birdlife close to the lake and forests. Lunch during day and in evening dinner. Bird species include ptarmigan, heath-cock, capercailie, Siberian jay and many others. (BLD).
Day 3: Finding the Gyrfalcon.Breakfast in tent camp. Hike to the Lemgorr valley were we will climb to the second highest peak of Monche Tundra. In the stony valley we will watch the gyrfalcon (and its nest on the other side of the narrow valley). We can have a look into the nest. Lunch on our way and dinner in the tent camp. (BLD).
Day 4: After breakfast, breaking up the camp and drive to the centre of Kola Peninsula: village Oktyabrsky. Lunch in a guesthouse. The rest of the day you can spot the rich amount of birds living in the dense timber forests. There is a hiking path to a swamp where you can spot several kind of bird from the Scolopacidae family like Woodcocks, Ruffs, Jack Snipes, etc.. In the evening sauna and dinner. Overnight in a Guest House. Dinner in the Guest house. (125km) (BLD)
Day 5: After breakfast we drive by 4x4 truck through dense forests along the huge Umbrozero lake to Lovozerksy Tundra, where we start to hike to the timber line where we will make a tents camp. On our way we cross open swamp areas where we can watch birds from the Scolopacidae family in the forests birds from the Fringillidae family like, Pine Grosbeak, Red Poll, Red Crossbill etc.. Lunch on our way and dinner and overnight in Tent camp. (50km). (BLD)
Day 6: Breakfast. Day hiking tour on the open tundra where is almost no vegetation anymore. Here we can watch birds from the Emberizidae family like Lapland Longspur and from the Charadriidae family like Dotterel. Also possibility to meet the Snowy Owl and Long-tailed Skua. Lunch during day and dinner at camp. (BLD).
Day 7: After breakfast. Hike back to the truck and drive out of the Tundra area. Lunch on our way. At the guesthouse we have a sauna, dinner and a little rest. In the evening drive back to Monchegorsk by truck and by minibus to Murmansk airport for catching the night flight. (BLD).
Day 8: Departure from Murmansk.
Remark: In case of an earlier flight we will add one night more in a hotel in Murmansk.
|Level:||The birding tour contains hikes in mountain and stony areas.|
|Group size:||from 3 until 10 persons|
|Duration:||8 days - 6 nights|
|Dates:||From end of May until end of September. Other weeks on request.|
|Price:||From EUR 899,-- per person, depending on group size.|
(=145 km one-way)
|Documents:||Passport must be valid at least 6 months after date of return. A Russian visa is required for tourists from most countries. See your country’s Russian consulate or embassy for details. We handle the tourist invitation.|
|Insurance:||The participant must possess medical insurance that at very least covers the European part of the Russian Federation.|
This Bird watching behind the Polar Circle can be extended with the following optionals: