Birder's diary - 11.05

Birder Margus Ots,
Translation: Liis
Evidently a blue-winged teal and northern shoveller hybrid, 11.05.2012, Käina bay (Photo: Uku Paal).
In the morning and during all day the Kõpu peninsula had thick fog that dispersed only just before sunset, and staying to birdwatch at Ristna nina came to nothing today. In the morning l slept until late, with pleasure. But at 9 o’clock everybody suddenly got in a hurry, from Käina bay came a report that at the Orjaku tower a blue-winged teal evidently was present. This North American creature has only been seen a few times in Estonia and of course we raced to twitch it. The bird was still there but hid itself in the reeds so we could not check it properly at once. But already at a first cursory glance it seemed that something was wrong. When the bird at last started to show off properly it became clear that we had to do with some kind of hybrid. At first glance the bird seemed like a blue-winged teal but the body colour and beak shape did not fit at all with that species. Meanwhile the bird was busy together with the northern shovellers and precisely the characteristics of that species seemed to be there too. So the bird was evidently a hybrid of blue-winged teal and northern shoveller and to the grief of the twitchers the species list did not get an addition.
However, I did not remain without a new species in Orjaku, in the juniper coppice near the tower a barred warbler was singing. Overall many warblers and flycatchers had landed from migration. As new arrival the garden warbler could be heard singing in some places and moreover today I saw the first red-backed shrike. My 2012 name list now has 233 bird species.




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