Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Nordic lights and new migrants

Yesterday evening me and Mati arrived back to the Kihnu island. Mati went out just before midnight to take photos of the landscapes in moonlight. It turned out that the night wasn`t only with the moon but also with Nothern lights, shortening his sleeping time with at least two hours :).

Today morning was only partly cloudy and strong wind also dropped down after last days bad weather - so we excpected more movement again in the morning. Unfortunately dense mist has been covering mainland, which had negative affect on bird movement. Especially raptor migration was due to this fact rather quiet.

The most numerous bird on the move was Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo with nearly 2 500 individuals. Passerines migration was due to mostly clear sky very high. Vertical radar detected some birds reaching up to 700 meters before sea crossover. Tree Pipits Anthus trivialis are still showing good movement - 616 migrating today morning. Today has been also recorded 2 migrating Red-throated Pipits Anthus cervinus and 1 Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus - first for the autumn season. Best daily count of the autumn season for Siskin Carduelis spinus - 302 ind.
As mentioned above, very few raptors crossed the southern spit today but around mid-day flock of raptors circuled around high in the sky above our base, including at least 8 Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus (only 7 counted on migration today), 2 Hobbies Falco subbuteo, 1 Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus and 3 Kestrels Falco tinnunculus. Only last two of those crossed the sea. During 4 hours stardard monitoring  in the morning also 1 Osprey Pandion haliaetus has been encountered on the migration. In the afternoon, Mati photographed another Osprey on the island marked with metalic ring. 
Other interesting bird observations today - 1 migrating Great White Egret Egretta alba, 1 quite late Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus and Cuckoo Cuculus canorus

Surprise Aurora borealis with moonlit lighthouse and bird radars
First birding in the morning

The dark juvenile Honey Buzzard
Osprey with it's Crucian carp pray in the grasp of the right leg talons. Bird itself have been ringed with metallic ring

The acrobatic male Cuckoo flying upside down. /Photo M. Ellermaa/ 

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