Silma Nature Reserve (6643 ha) is located in West Estonia. The reserve was founded in 1998 in order to protect the relict lakes, reed beds and coastal meadows as well as the birds stopping or nesting here. In 2011, the Silma Nature Reserve was entered into the Ramsar List of Wetlands of the International Importance.
The shallow-watered creeks and extensive reed beds are good stop-over and breeding sites for numerous species of birds. The nature reserve together with Haapsalu Bay is one of the Special Protection Areas of international importance. In this, 225 species of birds, including 119 species of nesting birds area, have been observed. About 40,000 water birds stop here at the same time during the spring migration and up to 100,000 birds during the autumn migration. The spring migration period lasts from early March to late May; the peak of the autumn migration period is in October. The most numerous species of migratory birds who stop over here are the Eurasian wigeon, coot, barnacle goose, tufted duck, commcommon pochard, tundra swan, mute swan,
gadwall, Northern pintail, mallard, goldeneye, crane, greylag goose and bean goose. The white-tailed eagles are inseparable companions of this region. The birds in reed beds are mostly hidden from sight and can onlybe heard. The great reed warbler, sedge warbler and reed warbler have varied songs, the lanceolated warbler chirps evenly, while the creaking sound belongs to water rail. The Great Bittern who prefers larger reed beds, sounds loud and hollow, like blowing into a bottle. At times, a bearded tit can be seen on its whirring flight over the reed bed or a Western marsh harrier gliding silently, hunting for prey. Flocks of barn swallows and starlings stay overnight here in
autumn, while plenty of Eurasian hobbies, catching dragonflies, can be seen in spring.
The bird-watching towers and nature trails are managed by State Forest Management Centre. Below you will find their information about the location and access to the towers. For best bird-watching experience, we recommend to visit Kirimäe observation tower, Saare observation tower and Tahu study trail.
We organize guided day trips in Silma Nature Reserve. If you are interested about guided birdwatching or hiking, please write (silmalk(at)silmalk.ee or call (+372 56678621) us.