Sutlepa Sea

Three centuries ago Noarootsi was an island that was separated from the mainland by a narrow sea strait. In the deepest part of the completely overgrown bay is a small lake – the Sutlepa Sea. During the Great Northern War (1715) Russia’s ruler Peter the first could still go through the narrow straits with a boat to Haapsalu.

Like other Noarootsi lakes, Sutlepa Sea is a result of land rising. These bodies of water are called coastal lagoons or relict lakes.

Its depth is only half a meter. Shores of the lake are surrounded by dense reeds, which capture a growing share of the lake. Overgrowing is so noticeable that the changes in the human eye can be seen already in couple of decades.

The most common fish species here is carp, which is highly tolerant to oxygen deprivation caused by winter ice. Sutlepa Sea is very rich in fish.

During the spring migration thousands of water and coastal birds stop here, for example golden eyes, mute swans, tufted ducks and pochards, coots and many others. In April and May hundreds of little gulls and black terns can be seen flying above the lake. In spring, bird enthusiasts can observe many rarities at sea Sutlepa, such as little crake, whiskered and white-winged tern and white-eye pochard. In reeds you can see three types of grebes of whom the most common is great crested grebe. Sutlepa Sea is also one of the best nesting places in Estonia for a grey goose.

There are two observation towers for bird watchers, which are located at the beginning of the hiking trail.