Thursday, October 11, 2012


7 o`clock we open door of our field station. Calls of migrating geese everywhere. It`s getting a bit lighter after half a hour, but unfortunately fog everywhere. It is even hard to see Geese which are passing our head. But it is getting better after a hour and it is clear that despite of the hard conditions it`s going to be a nice Geese migration day!
Today we counted altogether 31 000 migrating Anser species/ määramata hani and 21 500 Anser/Branta - määramata hani/ lagle. At least 90% of those also belong to the Anser family because Barnacle Goose migration does not pass Kihnu so much. So, that means that at least 52 500 migrating Geese passed our study area today, but as I mentioned before, foggy conditions forced underestimation during first hour. Together with Geese, best migration day for Bewick`s Swan/ väikeluik Cygnus columbianus - 60m. 
Just when I was counting a flock of 2,500 Geese, Margus spottes a bird on the wire. It is a Hawk Owl/ vöötkakk Surnia ulula - firs for the Kihnu island of this uncommon winter visitor. 
Chilly weather and calm morning has forced to migrate also many other birds. Kihnu is not good place for Arctic migration, but today we managed to see some movement of Divers/ kaurid Gavia species - 290m. All of indentified ones has been Black-throated Divers/ järvekaur Gavia arctica - 180m. 
Afternoon, Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers/ väike-kirjurähn Dendrocopos minor showed best movement of the autumn season - 26 has been counted today on migration. In one point we hear a very soft tick. It is clear that it must be either White-backed Woodpecker/ valgeselg-kirjurähn Dendrocopos leucotos or Three-toed Woodpecker/ laanerähn Picoides tridactyla. Both species would be exceptional on such a small island, so we try to find the bird. Finally I manage to find a female White-backed Woodpecker settled on a rowan tree. It is already second sightning of this bird during this autumn season. For me it has been 176th species in my Kihnu year list :). 
Clear sky and calm weather enabled movement of broadwinged raptors - Common Buzzard/ hiireviu Buteo buteo -66m and Rough-legged Buzzard/ karvasjalg-viu Buteo lagopus 5m.
Among late migrants - Greenshank/ heletilder Tringa nebularia - 1m, Lapland Longspur/ keltsalind Calcarius lapponicus - 1m and Lesser Whitethroat/ Sylvia curruca - 1 ind. in the garden.
In the evening another Owl has registred. Just before midnight we caught Tengmalm`s Owl/ karvasjalg-kakk Aegolius funereus (second for the autumn season). So today has been great day of species - around our field station, altogether 91 bird species has been registred today. 


Good invasion of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers has reached to Kihnu. 

Bird of the day and another new species for the Kihnu island - Hawk Owl. Photo by Tarvo Valker

Common Buzzards are taking hight before next sea trip. Photo by Tarvo Valker

Brambling. Photo by Tarvo Valker

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