Last weekend I took part to Estonian Open bird race, which is annul in different locations in Estonia.
This years race was in Lääne-Virumaa county and area was pretty unknown for us.
In our team we had My uncle Jände, Matti Rekilä, Gustaf Nordenswan and me. We arrived to Estonia at friday afternoon and after we found our hotel, we had nice dinner nearby. Also lots of race plans were made during the drive to the area and in dinner table.
Race time was 03-17 and we started our race at 03.25 Also there was a kilometer limit (150km) so that made this even harder.
First species for the day was calling Ural Owl. Great species and often pretty hard to hear in this race. Second species was White Stork, standing in its nest. We also had Pygmy Owl, some Thrushes etc during the dark-time.
|Sunrise near the Vohtu Country house. |
During the morning we had really nice time, lots of birds, some good, some from the base list. Grey Plovers, Curlew Sandpipers, Bar-tailed Godwits, Long-tailed Duck, Black and Velvet Scoters, lone Black-throated Diver, Grey Wagtails, Kingfisher, White-backed, Middle-spotted and Black Woodpeckers, Common Rosefinch etc.
|White Stork in morning light.|
|Great Egret is common bird in Estonia.|
Later afternoon is always harder, but we managed to find some nice species like Thrush Nightingale, Sanderling and Sandwich Tern.
When the clock was five in the afternoon we had 125 species on our list. Not bad I think.
In the race ending ceremonies we noticed that our 125 is nothing when comparing to the winning teams total.
Team Takaveto (Margus Ellermaa, Vesa Jouhki, Markus Lampinen, Jari Laitasalo and Jukka Salokangas) had amazing 151 species! Great job guys and congrats!
Our team was on seventh place. I was very happy how we handled the day and more important, we had great time the whole day.
Next morning we had lots of time before our ferry back to Finland, so we twitched Ruddy Shelduck from Paldiski area, near Tallinn. It was only second for me in Estonia, so good species. Other nice birds were many Lesser-spotted Eagles, Male Montagu´s Harrier and big flock of waders in Shelduck place.
|Bar-tailed Godwits and Red Knots. |
|Ruddy Shelduck! |
I must thank Matti, Gusse and Jände for amazing company and taking me with them into the race. I also thank Mariliis Paal and Uku Paal for making this great event possible every year! Since 2010 I have missed only one race and I hope many more will come in the future.