Thursday, September 6, 2012

Circus at the sea with raptors and doves

A long waited weather change - southwestern wind finally turned slightly to the northwest and this offered good chance for bigger birds to cross the sea. Hero of the day was Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus - 172 migrating individuals which is best for the season. Notable Sparrowhawk migration took place afternoon, between 14:30-16:00 when our bird team counted 67 migrating Sparrowhawks. Main peak of Sparrowhawk migration will take place late September-early October, so we hope big numbers for this species at Kihnu island.

Other migrant raptors today - Osprey Pandion haliaeetus (1), Kestrel Falco tinnunculus (2), Merlin Falco columbarius (1), Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus (1), Common Buzzard (2), Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus (1). Another Harrier has been encountered and also photographed at the afternoon. We hope to get ID soon of this bird, is it Pallid or more common Montagu`s Harrier young male. Those birds can be very tricky sometimes, even seeing them at close range.
Beside raptors, also Doves used the good migration condition - best daily count of the season for Stock Dove Columba oenas - 27 ind.
Passerine movement has been very quiet today, but today morning another migrating Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus.

Juvenile male Pallid/Montagu`s Harrier. ID welcome! /Photo I. Ilomets/

The juvenile male Sparrowhawk
The strong wind is dangerous thing ! (juvenile Common Gull)

More circus - sparrowhawk is about to land into shallow water for a refreshment in the local gravel pit. /Photo I. Ilomets/

Even more circus: Juvenile Herring Gull is defending his spot from the Hooded Crows near the pool in the gravel pit. /Photo I. Ilomets/

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