Birdwatch Tower in Orjaku
Location: N58° 47` 41.1", E22° 46` 23.2"
Orjaku birdwatching tower is one of the biggest on Estonia. It was built in 2000 in Orjaku village, Hiiumaa. In spring and autumn you can observe thousands of migratory birds, who stop there to have a rest at the Käina bay. From the top of the tower you can enjoy the view to the Käina bay and Orjaku harbour. The Käina bay is located between two islands: Hiiumaa and Kassari. Actually, it has already become an overgrown coastal lake, which is connected to the sea by 3 canals. The bay is only 0.5 m deep. There are 23 low islets in the bay which are surrounded by reed. The bay is a nesting area for almost 100 species of birds,. The most numerous species are cormorants and mute swans. Sea eagle also nests there. In the migration period over 190 different species of birds can be counted. For example, in autumn more than 15,000 birds stop there to have a rest.
The bay is an important spawning area for different fish species. Roach, perch, ide and whitefish go there to spawn. The bay is shallow, but rich in mud. The mud started to emerge there more than 2,000 years ago. The analyses have shown that this mud has therapeutic features. It was first used for cure more than 100 years ago in local Selja hospital. Nowadays, the curative mud is used in rehabilitation centres and natural cosmetics, produced in Hiiumaa. The resources of mud in the bay reach to one million tons.
From the birdwatching tower it is possible to walk along the two-kilometre-long nature trail which runs mainly on the shore of the bay and see a mud bridge. The mud bridge is a place where people go by boat to excavate mud. The trail actually consists of 2 tracks: Orjaku trail (2 km) and Roostiku circle (0.7 km). There is a boardwalk and 2 observation platforms at the Roostiku circle. The path takes visitors through the reed bed to Silmakare islet. The trail is marked with arrows and information boards, so there is no need to be afraid of getting lost. Besides, there is water all around and everyone will finally reach the seaside.
The coastal scenery is under the Nature Reserve protection and is kept in order by the sheep herded near the trails.