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Southern Gotland

Southern Gotland

Explore the adorable landscape of southern Gotland, the very rich birdlife and the guillemots at the beautiful bird cliffs at Stora Karlsö.
This five days tour gives you the best of Gotlands nature and birdlife in the transition between spring and summer.

Day 1 – Arrival to Gotland

In Visby You will meet our guide for the duration of the tour and transfer the short distance to the ”Visby Vandrarhem”, hostel, very close to the Visby’s medieval city wall. This will be our base for the first night of the tour whilst we explore the surrounding countryside. Our central location will also allow you to explore Visby itself and roam the narrow streets and picturesque squares of this attractive medieval town, as well as sampling one or two of the local restaurants!

Day 2 – Bird lake Paviken

Collared flycatcher.

Collared flycatcher.

After breakfast we make an early transfer from Visby start to give us plenty of time to explore Lake Paviken, Gotland’s most interesting wetland/lake. Here we will be looking out for Eurasian Bittern, Little Gull, Garganey, Common Crane, and the mighty White-tailed Eagle. If fortunate, we may even spot the greatest and smallest of the woodpeckers as both Black and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers can be found in the adjacent woodlands. The surroundings meadows, woods and marshes also hold an interesting variety of flowers. We will have our lunch at Västergarn, a peaceful small harbour near a wetland where Pied Avocet and Little Tern are frequently seen. In the afternoon there will be time to relax for a while or explore the local surroundings before dinner. At around 2100 hours we will round the day off with an evening birding excursion around lake Paviken to an interesting variety of warblers as Great Reed, River and Grasshopper warblers, Eurasian Bittern and Spotted Crake. As the light finally starts to fade we hope to be treated to the rasping ‘crex crex’ call of the Corncrake.
We stay at a small lovely rural hotel in the village of Västergarn close to a medieval church.

Day 3 – Sudret and Hoburgen

Hoburgen, Sundre. Photo: Jim Sundberg.

Hoburgen, Sundre. Photo: Jim Sundberg.

Early breakfast and transfer to the very southern point of Gotland, Hoburgen. For our third day on Gotland we focus our attention to the southern portion of the island, in particular the Sundre Bird Observatory and ringing station. Here we can learn about the observatory’s work and watch the ringers in action. Its southerly location means the area is a magnet for migrating birds and so we will also spend plenty of time wandering the surrounding fields, woods and hedgerows in search of a variety of chats, warblers and finches and other birds tracking their way north. In the middle of the day, Muskmyr is a good spot to observe hunting raptors. Both species of eagles should be present. Montague´s and Marsh Harriers usually show up. Most years Red-footed Falcons, together with the usually present Hobbies, are searching for dragonflies over the reed beds.
Following lunch at the bird observation tower in Stockviken, and before heading back to Västergarn, we will visit the museum of the world renowned bird artist Lars Jonsson and the beautiful gardens surrounding it.
Dinner and overnight at Västergarn.

Day 4 – Stora Karlsö

Birdcliffs at Stora Karlsö.

Birdcliffs at Stora Karlsö.

Following breakfast we make a 10 minute minibus transfer to Klintehamn where we board a ferry at around 0930 hours. Our destination this morning is the island Stora Karlso, a second satellite island approximately 30 minutes away by ferry. This is the world’s second oldest protected natural area; only Yellowstone National Park is older! Stora Karlso is first and foremost known for its abundant bird life, in particular the colonies of Common Guillemots (around 10,000 pairs), Black Guillemots, Razorbills (around 8,500 pairs) and a colony of Lesser Black-Backed Gull (ssp fuscus). The island is also home to an interesting variety of landbirds, including Barred Warbler, Common Rosefinch, Red-backed Shrike, Red-breasted and Collared Flycatchers, Greenish Warbler, Thrush Nightingale, some years also Golden Oriole. The major part of Stora Karlso is a flat limestone plateau, intensively grazed by numerous sheep. The short cropped tuft they create is rich in plantlife, including lots of orchids. Lunch today will be taken in the local restaurant overlooking the sea. Stora Karlso is a car-free island so we will spend today exploring on foot in the company of one of the island’s local guides.
Guillemot (Uria aalge). Photo: Aron Hejdström.

Guillemot (Uria aalge). Photo: Aron Hejdström.

Free walking around the island during the afternoon and dinner in the local restaurant. Overnight in the old lighthouse at a high flat plateau close to the bird cliffs.

Day 5 – Stora Karlsö/Visby

Early start with birding at the northern cliffs of Stora Karlsö. Main targets this morning are Red Breasted Flycatcher, Greenish and Barred Warblers. Breakfast in the restaurant and then ferry transfer to Klintehamn at 10:20. Minibus transfer to Visby. This half day you are free to explore the medieval town of Visby at leisure.

Guillemot with chick. Photo: Aron Hejdström.

Guillemot with chick. Photo: Aron Hejdström.

There is plenty to enjoy from interesting museums to just wandering the picturesque streets and squares admiring the architecture. Do not miss, however, the Visby Botanical Garden which will be in full bloom at the time of year. NB – For those of the group who would rather join an escorted walk today, your guide will offer a nature/culture walk starting directly from the hotel. This will include the Visby Botanical Garden, the beautiful Visby seaside promenade and Visbys closest nature reserve, Galgberget.

Included:

• Four nights accommodation, (two nights with shared facilities).
• All meals except dinner first day and lunch last day.
• 24-hour trip to bird cliffs at Stora Karlsö.
• Experienced guide throughout the tour.
• All transports including ferry to Stora Karlsö.
• Not included: drinks to the meals.

Book here!

Date 2015: June 4 – June 8.
Price: SEK 7900 p/p. Min 6 och max 12 per group.

Book here!