Saturday, September 22, 2012

This is going to crazy!

The south-easterly wind and beginning of the astronomical autumn have caused the songbird migration reaching the new level even in comparison with the very good yesterday’s activity. The numbers of birds participating in this mass movement has tripled just with one day!

The estimated number of migrating Chaffinches / metsvint  Fringilla colebs  for the day was just slightly under 300 thousands -  290 420 individuals! This is just slightly less, than top number for Kihnu and Pärnu county, which is 331 745 birds, counted at 23.09.1960. But even greater performer was Siskin / siisike Carduelis spinus. As many as 44 570 birds have been counted! This is the new mark for the country and exceeding by half the best numbers in Sõrve observatory! Due to fairly strong southerly wind, the south was the dominating migration direction for all landbirds instead of usual south-west.

It was also the best raptor day up to date. The Sparrowhawk /raudkull Accipiter nisus with 151 individuals has exceeded the mark from the previous day just with few birds. 23 Honey Buzzards / herialseviu Pernis apivorus was 4-5 times more than best days before!
After the dusk, some clearings between the clouds appeared and the night time migrants started to appear on the radar screen in great numbers. Now we can hear the night calls of the Song Thrushes / laulurästas Turdus philomelos pretty frequently in the sky. So this is one of the busiest times of a migration and both days and nights are filled with winged travellers. Timo has made small walk in the woodland north from our location and heard the Long-eared Owl / kõrvukräts Asio otus calling!

Timo Pettai has plotted the chart with the observed hourly  intensity for Chaffinch/metsvint (Fcoe/grey) and Siskin/siisike (Cspi/yellow). During the best hour at 9:01-10:00, nearly 100 thousand finches passed!

The Siskin - heroes of the day

Flock of Siskins fly toward our radars

The curious Goldcrest / pöialpoiss

Aerial acrobatics by the juvenile Herring (below) and Common Gulls

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