måndag 16 maj 2011

All time high for Arctic Skua at Ristna on Saturday 14th

We got up at 03:30 in the morning and had a nice breakfast. We took the car and placed ourselves at the very tip of Ristna at 04:40. None of the finnish or estonian birders were there, but soon the cars arrived and about 15-20 birders gathered. The weather conditions were quite good with winds from west, clouds and, unfortunately, drizzled most of the morning. However, we were in good spirit and the mix of species and numbers was good! Worthy of mention of today’s counting (04:30-12:30 hrs): Common Scoter (6586), Long-tailed Duck (1630), Barnacle Goose (1495), Brent Goose (783), Arctic Tern (540), Bar-tailed Godwit (268), Greater Scaup (106), Black-throated Diver (33), Red-throated Diver (157), Red-breasted Merganser (198), Arctic Skua (51!) and Little Gull (32). Today’s result of Arctic Skua is the all time high in Estonia!

After eight hours of seawatching and the only ones left at the site we closed the shop and drove to our house for a late lunch. Then we headed to Körgassaare trying to find the Red-breasted Geese, which have been present the last few days. But no geese at all were found instead fog suddenly embedded the island. No no, what the f-ck, so we drove back to the house for a well-needed power nap. About five we got up and dressed for a nice evening with finnish and estonian hardcore birders as we were invited to Estonian Birding Society annual meeting in Kalana. We enjoyed slideshows from Trinidad Tobago by Hannes and Morocco and Western Sahara by Uku. Then it was time for a nice dinner, which followed by a thrilling Bird Quiz of 30 difficult photos depicting birds that has been recorded in Estonia. We were four teams: two estonian, one finnish and the three of us the swedish one. To cut a long story short, we won together with Uku’s team, even though we didn’t agree with the identification of a couple of photos. Too many spotted eagle hybrids in Estonia;-) When it was time for a sauna roundup we decided to go back to our house, where we had a cosy hour in front of the open fire before we got to bed. Happy in mind after a day full of action!

Raul, Janne & Niklas

Estonian, finnish and swedish birders at Ristna
Barnacle Geese passing overhead at Ristna.
Beautiful Brent Geese passing the very tip of Ristna.
Slideshow at the Estonian Birding Society annual meeting in Kalana.


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