Friday, 31 May 2013

Estonia May 2013 - Day 4

Wednesday 15th May 2013

On our journey South-east we stopped at Tuhu Bog to look for raptors.

As we setup our telescopes it wasn't long before a Golden Eagle was spotted soaring on the thermals and as the bird effortlessly climbed up through the clouds, Common Cranes could be hear calling nearby. A small flock of Common Crane flew up the valley over the trees and another two dropped into the bog out of sight. The Golden Eagle returned and flew low over the woodland scrub and a Sparrowhawk also took to the skies. A Great Grey Shrike was also spotted perched on a small Silver Birch tree, but the heat haze prove troublesome with long distance views. 

After leaving Tuhu was spotted at a service centre for refreshments and found a Little-ringed Plover sitting amongst the rough surface of a nearby car park. Overhead Raven's were calling as they flew past and the smaller Jackdaw in its smart Nordic plumage was foraging in the grass areas.

After completing our 2.5 hour journey were arrived at our guesthouse Vehendi Motel.

We soon left our bags behind and drove a short distance to Valguta Polder. This is a fantastic birding spot and as we approached along the road the muddy edges around the Polder were full of geese.

In the short time we were there whilst our evening meal was cooked I spotted 25 bird species. The White-fronted, Barnacle and Tundra Bean Geese were stunning in the sunlight. The temptation was too much, so I looked at every goose searching for the hidden jem of a Red-breasted or Lesser White-fronted. Alas, there was no eureka moment, however I did find a White-fronted Goose with a black neck collar EV sitting and preening within the flock.

Scanning with the telescope there were Common Crane, Great White Egret (at least 10), Goldeneye, Pochard, Mallard, Gadwall, Shoveller, Ruff, Ringed Plover, Black Tern, Coot, Great-crested Grebe, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Grey Plover (summer plumage), Redshank, Lapwing, Little Gull, Grey Heron, Tufted Duck and Pintail.

Sadly, it was time to head back to the guesthouse and our evening meal, but as we turn into the drive down to the motel a pair of Hobby's were hunting insects.

By the end of Day 4 we had seen 141 bird species.

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