Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The night with the light(ing)

The new day came at the midnight with the dark blue clouds from south and has brought in warm and wet weather. Soon the thunders started to roll over the area and lightening’s illuminated sky with the violent flashes. Usually the most of the thunder clouds passing the island from western or eastern side because of the island’s local weather pattern, but this time it was came right over. Although I have expected, that lightening will hit the 100 m high tower of the ship surveillance radar or cause problems in our bird radar systems, fortunately this was not happened. A single call of the Curlew/suurkoovitaja Numenius arquata was heard just after the passing of the thunder – some waders are moving in the night.

The morning has started with fresh blow of westerly wind, which has been rising in speed constantly and blowing strong with the average speed 12,3 m/s now. From the bird’s side there some subtle changes are going on. The numbers of migratory birds is not very remarkable, but composition of the staging bird population has changed: The number of cormorants, resting in islets and rocks and making back and forth feeding flights has been reduced to the 500-800 individuals, which is much less than before. From the Terns, it seems that big proportion of the Arctic Terns/randtiir Sterna paradisae have gone, and Common Terns/jõgitiir Sterna hirundo become dominating. It seems, that big numbers of a tern families have been departed their breeding islets north form Kihnu and now first time around half of them are juveniles. Most likely the youngsters rest and enjoy the adult’s effort to feed them fat before departure. So I have counted roughly 500 terns sitting in the islets and sand banks at yesterday. From gulls, the Black-headed Gulls/naerukajakas Larus ridibundus becoming less numerous than previously and influx of the Common Gulls/kalakajakas Larus canus appeared. Margus Ellermaa have counted around 1000 of them passing the east coast watching point in the morning and spotted 2 Black Terns/mustviires Chlidonias niger heading south as well.

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