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From the main visitor centre for Matsalu Bay, there’s a bit of a walk to Penijoie tower which overlooks a vast reedbed. We actually saw rather little here on our visit.

Perhaps the most famous birding site in Estonia, largely on account of the huge numbers of waterbirds that use this site on passage. Literally thousands of swans, geese and ducks can be seen in the spring, with Long-tailed Ducks and Barnacle Geese the most numerous. However, although the area is well-provided with observation towers, the birds are often seen rather distantly except at a couple of spots. Other highlights of a springtime visit will include White-tailed Eagles, Cranes and Caspian Terns. There are usually at least a few sightings each year of both Lesser White-front and Red-breasted Goose.

All the sites in this section are treated, in detail and with precise maps and directions, in my book ‘Finding Birds in Estonia’

If you have any information which you feel would help to update the book, please email me at and I’ll add your observations to these pages

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Matsalu Bay

The view from the tower at Haeska on the north side of the bay. This tower offers the greatest range of species

Puise is the peninsula at the north-west end of the bay - a great spot for geese, ducks and migrants

The view from the tower at Keemu on the south side of the bay

En route to Keemu you pass this heronry by a small pond at Matsalu

A few miles away is this really impressive, ex-military, tower at Kloostri

The hide at Rannajoie gives views over wet meadows that are said to support Great Snipe and are also good for raptors such as harriers

Park and walk to the tower from here - it’s hidden amongst those trees.

The tower gives you the chance to scan over meadows for eagles and cranes.