Millions of birds and hundreds of species

Bird watchers in Estonia have counted 194 bird species within a 24-hour period, and that result was second to Spain in the 2007 European bird-watching rally. At the majestic height of the migration in mid-May, millions of birds  fill the sky. The shallow coastal waters of western Estonia with its numerous small islands, coves and coastal pastureland are a true paradise for water birds.

Western Estonia and Matsalu National Park are a bird-watcher’s paradise

The most important stop for the migratory birds is Matsalu National Park in western Estonia, where numerous waterfowls  have stop for feeding

  • hundreds of thousands of geese, black geese in the genus Branta and  birds in the order Charadriformes;
  • millions of long-tailed ducks (Clangula hyemalis), scoters (Melanitta), goldeneyes (Bucephala clangula), diving ducks in the Aythya genus, and dabbling ducks (Anas).

Even greater species diversity is on display in the Nõva area, at Cape Põõsaspea , where the migratory route passes through a ” bottleneck”. Good bird-watching spots also are located at the tip of Sõrve peninsula on the island of Saaremaa .

Bird-watching inland and in northern Estonia 

Bird watchers can also find great places for observing birds in other parts of the country. During migration water birds can be encountered on inland meadows and polders near Lake Peipus and Lake Võrtsjärv. The end of September is an especially exciting period, when large flocks of cranes fly through Estonia. You can’t miss their calls in western Estonia and Lahemaa National Park.

Listen to the sounds of the migratory birds: