Once more a far-off dim photo – ring ouzel 29.04.2012 Tuksi.
Today was the all-time best ring ouzel day in Estonia. In the morning I found four birds in Tuksi in Läänemaa and one in Rooslepa myself. Unfortunately the birds did not allow a closer approach and as evidence I could again only get a set of dim images. During the day a report arrived that in Lätiniidi village in Saaremaa all of 15 ring ouzels had been seen at once and in the evening two more birds were found at Sõrve säär. The ring ouzel is a rare migrant here. Until 1991 observations of ring ouzels were handled by the Bird Rarities Committee (RC), all accepted observations are shown on the RC web page. More recent observations can to some extent also be seen in the e-Biodiversity data base. As far as is known, this many ring ouzels have never before been seen in Estonia in one day (a total of at least 22 individuals today), and of course 15 individuals seen at once in one place is a record too.
But the extraordinary number of ring ouzels was still overshadowed by another find today. At Sõrve säär an Isabelline shrike was found. It is an Asian species that very rarely comes to Europe. In Estonia the Isabelline shrike has been observed only once – on 15.10.2001 one individual was ringed at Kabli bird station. A photo of the bird seen at Sõrve säär is in the Estbirding gallery. I was just getting back in Tartu from the trip in West Estonia when the Isabelline shrike notice arrived via Rariliin. Since I would have arrived at Sõrve säär in the dark and the bird had not been found again in the evening (meaning that it might not be found in the morning either) and since I have to be in Tartu on Monday the long twitching trip didn’t get undertaken. But should the creature appear again on Monday then evidently it might stay at Sõrve säär even longer, and I will attempt to go twitching on Tuesday.
Instead of Sõrve säär I went to the Aardla polder in the evening; some twenty black terns were busy there. This is the 204th bird species in my 2012 year list.