Monday, October 22, 2012

80 000 Geese and many raptors!

We apologize for the small break in our birding blog. We are still doing fine, but it has been very misty conditions recently with very few migrating birds. But today, everything changed....
Finally clear weather with slight northern wind which produced best daily counts of this autumn season for many migratory birds. Altogether, over 85 000 migrating birds has been counted by our team. Also species number seen today, has been as high as 87
It has been superb Geese migration day. At the peak of the migration some 17 000 Geese passed our study area within 10 minutes! Daily count of Geese/hani Anser species has been 76 000 which is new landmark for the season and one of the best Anser migration ever recorded in Estonia. In addition we counted 2, 750 Anser/Branta - määramata hani/lagle. Considering that Branta species are not numerous here we could say that today migrated at Kihnu island about 80 000 Anser species (+ probably extra thousands in the darkness). 
Slight backwind produced also nice movement of broad-winged raptors today - Common Buzzard/ hiireviu Buteo buteo 224m (best for the autumn season), White-tailed Eagle/ merikotkas Haliaeetus albicilla 7m,  And last, but not least - Golden Eagle/ kaljukotkas Aquila chrysaetos 2m - first sighting for the Kihnu island. Finally also Thrushes showed some movement - Fieldfare/ hallrästas Turdus pilaris 855m (best for the autumn season). Change of weather brought also first migrating Snow Buntings/ hangelind Plectorphenax nivalis and 1 Shore Lark/ sarviklõoke Eremophila alpestris
Other interesting birds today - 1 local Greenshank/ heletilder Tringa nebularia, 1 migrating Yellow Wagtail/ hänilane Motacilla flava (one of the latest for the country), 1 Black Redstart/ must-lepalind Phoenicurus ochruros and 3 Serins/ koldvint Serinus serinus in the field station`s garden. 

/ T.V./

Group of Waxwings (siidisabad)

Juvenile Golden Eagle - 237th bird species for the Kihnu island. Photo by Tarvo Valker. 

Today the most spectacular Goose migration took place at Kihnu island. Daily count nearly 80 000. Photo by Tarvo Valker

The snapshot from the horizontal radar database during the culmination of the geese migration between 9 -10. Majority of flocks had South-westerly flight direction. The different colours reflect various speeds of the tracks

Easterly wind has blown the water low and revealing the rocks with a green algae cover

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