Paul Stanbury works as operations manager for the UK’s leading wildlife holiday company, Naturetrek. His interest in wildlife and travel developed at any early age, and he has been fortunate to travel to all seven continents.
Just because the nights have drawn in and the first snows of winter have fallen, it doesn’t mean you need to hang up your binoculars and go into hibernation yourself. There are lots of exciting animals and birds to enjoy in Europe and beyond during the winter months; indeed many are at their most active and confiding, setting aside their usual fear of humans at a time of year when food is scarce.
Elk and owls can be regularly seen in Sweden, and both wolves and Eurasian lynx venture out of Poland’s primeval forests between January and March. Huge concentrations of wintering herring in the fjords of north Norway and Iceland attract pods of orca and humpback whales, while further afield the snowy wilderness of Hokkaido in Japan attracts flocks of powerful Steller’s sea eagles and resonates to the trumpeting calls of displaying red-crowned cranes.