Finally i have energy (and time) to write about our trip to Estonia.
This year Estonian Open bird race took place in 15th of August and our team MuoviLabaJengi took part of that great event. We have improved our ranking every year, so we had lots of pressure after last years second place!
Me with Petteri Mäkelä, Jarkko Santaharju and Roni Väisänen started our trip already at 13th when we took evening ferry to Tallin and after that, small drive to Western Estonia.
We spend first night at awesome little place called Rannakula, where we had very nice cottage with all amenities. Next morning at 14th we woke up quite early and after nice breakfast in Roosta puhkekula we checked some well known hot spots from Läänemaa county.
In Haversi, which is one of the best places to see shorebirds in mainland we had nice numbers of different waders. With 70 Common Ringed Plovers we had 30 Dunlins, 4 Red Knots, lone Little Ringed Plover, 3 Grey Plovers and some Sandpipers. Other nice birds for Finnish birder was flock of nine Sandwich Terns. We also visited Dirhami, Paslepa, Laukna etc, but nothing really interesting there. Although one Lesser-spotted Eagle and all those White Storks are always great!
|Lesser-spotted Eagle landing in a tree.|
|Grayling Butterfly in Haversi.|
|Dunlins and Common Ringed Plovers.|
|Flock of Lapwings.|
Second night and night before the race we spend in Tudulinna in small cottage. Before bed we had comfy Sauna and some snack. Race started at 03:00 so not so much sleep. Our first species was White Stork in car lights. Our mission was to get to the shore to have sea watch in first light and before that we had several good stops in different places. We had Quail, European Nightjar and lots of other species.
|Great picture of Nightjar.|
In first light we arrived to Saka where we had our sea watch. Place was little bit different than normal sea watch place, but it was good for us. Lots of good species there and we thought that this is going well.
After sea we checked some places near by. Suddenly i got alarm message of Ruddy Shelduck not so far away (Kalvi) and we decided to twitch this rare visitor. This was our best decision in that day.
We had no idea of the place but it was full of birds. We god five species of waders, all missing ducks, even one Goose and of course, last bird we saw, Ruddy Shelduck! About 25 species later we left and our next stop was quite close in Kalvi Möisa. We god Garden warbler, Blackcap and Greater White Throat in same bush! Then suddenly we heard Grey Wagtail calling near by! Very nice species in Estonia. Little lalter Petteri spotted hte bird with many White Wagtail. Very nice! Next stop gave us Wryneck and something else too!
From Kalvi we drove to Narva to check some pools and actually not until today become clear that it was really good place. In the race we focused on birds and there we had only Moorhen and Coot. But that same moment i took photos of some big dragonfly and today i send a photo of my friend and he tol me that this dragonfly was actually Blue Emperor! I checked my books and there was not any color in Estonia, so i called my other friend who told that there is less than 10 records in Estonia about the Emperor. How cool is that!
|One photo of the Emperor. |
After Narva, we checked always nice Vasknarva, and eneded our race in Lohusuu, near the county border. 138 in 14 hours! We were very pleased. Later all teams gathered to Remniku where we had food and nice house for all the teams, with sauna of course!
Race ending ceremony was exciting and finally we ended up to the second place, again! In this race second place is not a shame and at least i was very happy. Winner team, the Estonian Rarities committee-team got 141 species, so we had only 3 less.. So close!
So, second place and one Estonian tick for me. Can´t complain. Next year the race will be in Hiiumaa county, which is maybe the best place for bird watching in whole Estonia. I hope we have lots of teams there. Thanks to Estbirding for arranging this great event again. See you next year.
In the end i put some pictures of my re-launched hobby, Butterflies and Dragonflies. Hope you like these.
|Swallow Prominent on my hairy hand.|
|Black Arches male.|
|The Drinker moth.|
|Silver-washed Fritillary male. Quite bad shape already.|
|Vagrant Darter female.|
|Common Brimstones. |
Thanks Petteri, Roni and Jarkko for awesome company. With you guys, this event is always perfect. Shame that Teppo had to stay home, but next year then :)