Twice a year, Saaremaa is the place for the migrant birds to stop during their long journey. Every spring and autumn a bird life in its full diversity can be seen on the coast and at sea. During the nesting period, the shallow-watered bays of the western and southern coasts are the richest in birds. Special watch towers have been built near Kuressaare and all over Saaremaa to watch the nesting birds.
On the western coast of Saaremaa is located Vilsandi National Park, the oldest nature protection area in the Baltic. This area was taken under protection for the purpose of protecting birds. Sõrve peninsula is another place where birds like to have a rest during their journey. Sõrve peninsula is the only place in Estonia where regular migration observations take place. During autumn about 1.5 million migrating birds are counted here.
To watch the overwintering water-birds, the coasts of the north-western Saaremaa and the Sõrve peninsula are best. The Steller’s eider is just one of the rarities to watch in winter.