9. toukokuuta 2014

Back to Estonia 8.5-9.5.2014

Me, my uncle Jan and our friend Timo arrived to Estonia yesterday evening. Long drive to eastern part of the country with some nice birds. We had dinner somewhere there and Timo noticed Red-breasted Flycatcher calling quite near! Also Black Woodpecker in same place giving some good views. Along our drive we had about 5000 Geese all over the eastern area. When we finally arrived to our hostel we had only 3 hours time to sleep before we went to check if we could hear some Owls.

Estonian landscape trough car window. 

Today we woke up after those three hours and we were full of energy of course. No Owls today but we had superb concert of Nightingales, Cuckoos, Thrushes and had some good views of female Western Capercaillie. In that light i had no change to had proper photos of the Capercaillie, but here is one shot.

Female Western Capercaillie.

So, after forest we continued to the shore of Vasknarva, which is one of the most closest places of Russia in Estonia. Only narrow rived separates these two countries there.
Lots of birds in the area including some goodies like Black-tailed Godwit, Black Terns, Great Bittern and about 2500 Geese (most Greater White-fronted Geese).

Black-tailed Godwit.

Black Tern with snack.

Opposite shore belongs to Russia and i was standing in Estonia.

Beautiful landscape of Vasknarva.

We spend about three hours in Vasknarva before rain came and we had to move. We had short coffee break and then we drove around the county checking some raptor watch places.
Finally we arrived to Laagna which is very nice open place with huge potential to see some rare birds of prey. Timo did huge work earlier to scan all the places in the area and trying to find "perfect" place for the raptors.
First part of the watch was two hours and we counted one Black Kite, one Peregrine Falcon, three Montagus Harriers, 12 Sparrow Hawks, six Marsh Harriers, four Common Buzzards, one Lesser Spotted Eagle, fifteen Common Swifts, flock of six Turtle Doves and about 5000 migrating geese.
After lunch we continued the watch and we had one Black Kite, one Rough-legged Buzzard, five Sparrow Hawks, one Kestrel, few Buzzards and one Marsh Harrier.
In the area there was flock of 12 Hawfinches which is nice number. Black kite is normally quite rare in Estonia so two birds in one afternoon is very nice number! Today was also Whinchat day. Around the area there was clearly new comers and males tried to conquer their territories.

The raptor view. 

Earlier today we got message that Alpine Accentor was re found from Suursadam, Hiiusmaa (W-Estonia).
It was first seen at 20th of April so after long time the bird was there again.
I am still waiting my first Alpine Accentor so we decided to leave and move closer before twitch the bird tomorrow.

I was driving and suddenly the road was closed and there was some signs to take detour. So we had to take longer route to Haapsalu which was our destination.
After 20 minutes driving the detour Timo and Jände started to talk about some strange raptor flying above the field near by. It turned out to be Egyptian Vulture! Bird continued behind the woods and we tried to follow it without any luck.. We were sure about id of the bird so we put message in Estonians alarm system.
Tomorrow we are trying to find it again to get some pictures.
Anyway, amazing bird and only three previous records in Estonia!

During our search we saw this interesting Siberian Gull looking bird feeding on the field.

Possible Siberian Gull.

Wow, what a day. 22 hours without sleep and still two days left. Wish us luck that we can find the Vulture tomorrow and others can also see it!


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