Vainio Bird Reserve is 3.5 hectares on the coast of Muhu, Estonia's third largest island.
Muhu Island is located in the Baltic Sea. It is also known as Muhumaa (in Estonian) and Mohn (German).
The reserve is mostly grassland with high biodiversity. Estonia used to be home to approximately a third of the world’s calcareous alvar grasslands, which are extremely species-rich. However, there are only 8000 hectares left, down from 43000 hectares in the 1930s.
Twenty-three different type of rare wild orchids grow in the island’s meadows.
Muhu and the Saare County are very popular with birdwatchers as migrating birds stop at Muhu every spring and autumn before they fly further to their summer and winter habitats.
There are a huge amount of bird species that live in or pass through the area - well over a hundred. Over three hundred species exist in Estonia.
Species include Ural owls, white tailed eagles, peregrines and goshawks.
We have only recently acquired the reserve. We will be visiting the reserve later in 2019 and will take more photographs.