Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Cuckoos are coming

The sea and waterbird migration is pretty weak during the last days with easterly winds or just these birds are blown far off to the sea. Only juvenile Common Terns / jõgitiir Sterna hirundo and Sandwitch Terns / tutt-tiir Sterna sandvicensis have passed in last evening. The quite noisy juvenile Common terns 180 in total have flew in loose flocks and went to the sea at west side.

But the raptors and other land-birds migration is turning on gradually. Yesterday me and Andrea Meier had to visit Munalaiu harbor to receive our new laser rangefinder binocular. During the 10
11:00 ferry trip to the mainland over the Kihnu strait we saw some interesting daytime raptor movement. On male Sparrowhawk / raudkull Accipiter nisus has flew low over water into sw toward Kihnu just in the halfway from mainland to island. One female/juvenile Montagu's Harrier / soo-loorkull Circus pygargus have went off couple of km to the sea from the Lao peninsula, but then returned and flew back to the coast. 3 Common Buzzards /hiireviu Buteo buteo have used the thermals to climb in altitude, made a small circle over the straight and Manilaid island near the coast and then returned and gaining height and finally departed back northwards. One adult White-tailed Eagle / merikotkas Halliaetus akbicilla has sitting on the gravel spit in the middle of bay next to some 90 Cormornats / Kormoran Phalacrocorax carbo (usually there are resting appr 1500 individuals). Another eagle has sitting on the rock close to the Munalaid island and third on we discoverd flying in medium altitude over the wide sea area. Finally this bird has reached to the on of the islands in the Kihnu archipelago, north from the main island.

Today I have watched migration shortly since 10-11 in the most NE spit of the island. The fresh westerly wind with medium speed seems to encourage some migrants to cross the water. Most surprisingly, I have seen at least one Cuckoo (juvenile male)/ kägu Cuculus canorus have flew in following the spit. There was at least two staging birds in this area as well, those made time-to time occasional flight tests over the area and maneuvered smartly in the wind. There was one Hobby /lõopistrik Falco subbuteo flew in from NE as well and he become play fight with Hooded Crow / hallvares Corvus corone. Later the crow was chasing and guiding the falcon as well and I managed to get few frames from this action. At least one Sparrowhawk flew in during this period as well and two individuals circled in the air and has fight with each other.

The juvenile Male Cuckoo with yellow eye-ring and striped and bluish underpart 

The juvenile with brown upper part plumage

The swallows resting on the electric pole near the field station

The adult male Barn Swallow is about stopping in the air for sharp turn during the feeding

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