Haapsalu offers brilliant birdwatching opportunities any time of the year. We offer you a seasonal overview of general birding options in order to help you plan your visit.

Spring
Spring is certainly the highlight season for birding. The days may still be a bit frosty while singing Skylarks, trumpeting Whooper and Bewick`s Swans already announce the end of the winter. Shortly different migrants start to arrive and soon the skies are filled with birds.
Early spring from mid-March to mid-April is the best time for finding resident forest specialities (Ural and Pygmy Owl, White-backed and Grey-headed Woodpecker, Hazel Hen etc) as they are most vocal during this period.
If you would like to get the longest trip list, plan your visit for the second or third week of May.

Summer
As the spring proceeds to summer you can concentrate on finding the breeding birds. They are still rather vocal and most of the species can be found with a small effort.
The late summer offers amazing visible migration of arctic waders and seaducks. One of the most spectacular moments of mid-summer is to watch the long chains of Common Scouters rushing towards South over the sea.
In August you can encounter irruptions of Red-footed Falcons, Spotted Nutcrackers or Crossbills.

Autumn
As days get colder and shorter, birds start to migrate back south, passing Haapsalu on their way. Haapsalu area is especially well known as a roosting site for Common Cranes. In September evenings up to 25 000 Common Cranes gather to roost around Haapsalu and Matsalu bay. Besides Common Cranes you can witness the best passerine and seaduck migration in Europe. Daily counts with 51 000 Coal Tits, 135 Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers are just a few examples to mention.

The peak period for autumn migration is the last week of September and first week of October. Besides birds, September and October are also the best time to find Elks.

Winter
Short winter days can be used for finding the resident birds or some stunning winter visitors. Haapsalu area is known to be a good Hawk Owl area - wintering individuals are found almost every winter. If you are lucky you could also encounter Arctic Redpolls or Steller`s Eiders. Both of those species are reported annually in Haapsalu area.
To make the most out of your trip it is advised to visit the area from late January until end of February as the days are already a bit longer by then.