Tuesday, July 10, 2012


The first week of autumn bird migration surveys were completed today. Although it is midsummer, many species have already started their autumn migration. The main aim of the survey is to discover the migration flyways used by birds in the Gulf of Riga, in order to reduce the impact of a potential future offshore windpark. Surveying consists of both visual and radar observations done in conjunction. Kihnu Island is believed to be a good spot for passerine migration during the autumn season, but probably fairly quiet for arctic waterfowl, though this project may show otherwise. This week saw very few movements on the sea, with Common Scoter Melanitta nigra the most frequently observed species and daily counts of fewer than 100 individuals. The commonest migrant of the week was Starling Sturnus vulgaris, with a best daily count of 1,000 individuals on the 7th of July. Grey Herons were also on the move with some 40 migrating individuals counted on July 4th. As radar detects many kinds of movement, sailboats of the Muhu regatta were also detected as they headed from Pärnu to Kuivastu harbour on Muhu island. 

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