Migrating birds of Volga delta
The Volga delta is the largest in Europe and it occupies a triangle of 100 (length) x 200 (wide) km. A lot of different landscapes can be found along the way from Astrakhan through the delta to the Caspian Sea. Extensive pastures are crisscrossed by broad waterways and fast running streams, which turn into well developed floodplain forests with huge amounts of willows, poplars and alders. Typical birds of the area are: Great Black-headed Gull, White-tailed Eagle, Caspian Tern, Dalmatian Pelican, Penduline Tit, Night Heron and Cetti's Warbler.
On the west of the delta, immense steppes & lakes area spreads for 50 x 80 km, beautiful salted and brackish lakes are neighboring sand-loess hills. Here, the elegant Demoiselle Crane and Black-winged Pratincole are common breeding birds. The lakes are partly bordered by reed-fields and forests. Here, one can see colonies of breeding Red-footed Falcons. This area is excellent in early spring as many waders can be seen.
To the west and the east of the delta there are extensive Kalmyk and Kazakh steppes. These are the territories of Steppe Eagle, Calandra Lark and Saiga antelope.
We have set travel dates so as to coincide with the last part of the spring and fall migrations when most of the breeding birds of the area have returned or are returning. In spring, the abundance of singing local birds and late spring migrants is guaranteed.
The tour leaders are Russian professional ornithologists speaking English. We also invite local guides with extensive knowledge of the particular areas we visit.
Trip report 2017 (in German)
Photogallery of tour:
Arrival in Moscow, transfer to a hotel, accommodation. Dinner on your own in the city.
Breakfast in a hotel.
Walking excursion “Birds of Central Russia” in Losyny ostrov national park.
Transfer to the airport, flight to Astrakhan.
Arrival in Astrakhan. Transfer to a hotel. Dinner and lunch on your own.
Breakafast in a hotel.
Bus excursion to the lakes through the sandy desert and then transfer to the guest house of Astrakhansky State Nature Reserve in the delta.
Accommodation in the guesthouse, dinner.
Lection about the reserve.
Evening walking excursion “Nature night sounds".
|4, 5, 6 days
Boat excursions to the different parts of the delta.
Morning walking excursion, breakfast and bus transfer to the steppe part of the delta. Accommodation in the guest house, dinner.
Bus and walking excursions in the Kalmikian steppes and steppe & lakes area on the west form Astrakhan.
Breakfast, walking excursion, transfer to Elista, departure to Moscow.
Transfers from/to airport, accommodations (based on DBL rooms), meals according to the program, transportation and excursions according to the program, english-speaking guide or interpreter, invitation to Russia and border zone permition.
Plane tickets Moscow – Astrakhan; Elista – Moscow, personal expenses, additional excursions, alcoholic spirits, additional program and accommodation in Moscow if needed, medical insurance.