Up to 3 days
This Birding Tours venture beckons the adventurer birder to the Russian Far East. We will visit the oblasts (provinces) of Ussuriland and Amur in the southeast tip of the largest country on earth, amazing Russia! During this journey we will travel through varied habitats, from vast mixed taiga forests dotted with fresh-water lakes and agricultural lands to mighty Amazon-like rivers and a diverse coastline.
The trip starts in the beautiful city of Vladivostok, from where we board our vessel for a two-day pelagic cruise in the Peter the Great Gulf, combined with making some very interesting stops on a few islands in the Gulf. The several large seabird colonies there are spectacular and a true birders’ delight. Amongst others, we hope to come across large amounts of Spectacled Guillemot, Rhinoceros Auklet, Black-tailed- and Slaty-backed Gulls, Temminck’s- and Pelagic Cormorant. Rarer sightings might include Marbled and Ancient Murrelet, Common Guillemot, Harlequin Ducks, Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel and Streaked Shearwater.
We then leave the coast and aim for the higher grounds of the famous Siberian Taiga forests where the transition zones with marshes and extensive agricultural lands are very interesting and are the breeding zones of Pied Harriers, Brown Shrikes, Oriental Storks and Amur Falcons. In the forests many jewels are hidden and Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Japanese Grosbeak, Elegant Bunting and Siberian Rubythroat are amongst their greatest treasures. Exploring the Bikin River, sometimes favorably called the Russian Amazon, will reveal Scaly-sided Mergansers, Mandarin- and Falcated Ducks, and possibly Long-billed Plover and Blakiston´s Fish Owl. Amongst these gorgeous birds, the true star is for sure the untouched riverine landscape!
Further north we will explore more forests and a large fascinating lake with breeding Steller´s Eagles. These amazing eagles will be the main highlight, along with Black-billed Capercaille. Other birds might include Siberian Thrush, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Rufous-tailed Robin, Siberian Rubythroat, Red-flanked Bluetail, Arctic Warbler, Two-barred Greenish Warbler and Black-faced Bunting! Here we shall put some extra effort into finding the gorgeous Tristram´s Bunting that is now in full breeding plumage. Another highlight is the rare and secretive Siberian Grouse that has a reputation for being very approachable when found…
We are sure that clients will love our new venture into the east of Russia and are happy to add an absolute stunner of a trip to our tour list! This region of Russia has been a dream of Machiel’s to explore for many years and he is happy to give many more people the chance to follow their dreams with him!
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