Easter Egg and Bird Out

Egg Watching

We were in Tartu, Estonia for easter to see family and, as I’m not estonian but australian, it’s always interesting observing different traditions.

In estonia, the main one for easter this year was the egg painting and exchanging tradition.

Real chicken or duck eggs are either hand painted, with whatever colours are on hand… or the old fashioned way- laying onion skin (brown preferably) around the egg… perhaps with some grains, such as rice, in the mix.

painting easter eggs photo by sue wellington

This is then wrapped up with newspaper or any old paper. Tied with string, then hard boiled.

I must say I was rather sceptical about the results, but this simple procedure produces really beautiful warm sienna, in a multitude of amorphous and unexpected patterns and shapes.

One egg ended up with a heart shape amazingly.

painting easter eggs 2 photo by sue wellington

Once they’re done you either eat them yourself or exchange them with visitors. And people of all ages do it too.

Bird watching

The next day, Easter Sunday, we decided to go bird watching in the afternoon.

tartu country estonia photo by sue wellington
Landscape from the bird watching tower.

Ten minutes out of Tartu by car, there is a new bird watching tower and lots of man made fishing ponds to attract water birds. So we were hopeful of seeing a few birds.
Because Tartu’s so small, (100,000 people) there’s not much pollution and the immediate countryside surroundings are pretty pristine.

two whooper swans estonia

Our trip happened to coincide with the national bird counting day.

There were a few cars in the carpark when we arrived at the Ilmatsalu/Karevere bird watching trail, but not that many. Maybe 10 cars.

Though they mainly seemed to be there for the fishing along the river.

tartu town hall photo by sue wellington-web
Tartu Town Hall

Hiie was desperate to see swans, as usual, and amazingly, when we got out of the car… a breeding pair started walking on the pond ice over to us. She was ecstatic.

We ended up seeing a few flocks of different birds walking along the trail, (probably mallard ducks) but none of us had binoculars... so who really knows what they were.

Not very good bird watchers.

But Mari made some great sandwiches and tea. So we had a chilled out easter Sunday, along a classic estonian stream, in a classic estonian landscape… munching on our salami/cheese sandwiches.

sunrise estonia from the bus photo by sue wellington-web
Sunrise over the landscape, Estonia. Taken from the bus to Tallinn.



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