Birder's diary - 14.06

Birder Margus Ots,
Translation: Liis
 Today I got up already before sunrise and got a point census done. My 20-point census path runs across the Setomaa agricultural landscape and some points were chosen so that the booted warbler’s habitats (overgrowing fallow hayfields) would be nearby. In two previous years I have seen this rarity precisely in the course of point censuses and hopefully it is around somewhere now too. According to information at the Bird rarities committee this species with an eastern distribution was seen in Estonia for the first time in 1989 when a bird got caught in a net at the Vaibla bird ringing station at Võrtsjärve. From 2002 onwards the booted warbler has also been nesting every year in Setomaa in the Obinitsa - Meremäe region. Last year the species was seen in record numbers – found in 8 places over Estonia, mainly still in Setomaa.
The booted warbler has been nesting in Setomaa already for 10 years (14.06.2012 Kusnetsova)
As presumed I saw the species in several places today. The first find was surprising – the booted warbler jumped out of a rye field. Usually it inhabits shrubs in hayfields in the process of getting overgrown, not the middle of a large open field. In the second place a pair was active precisely in a hayfield getting overgrown. In addition I noted the booted warbler in two old habitats but these birds did not particularly want to show up and for validation at the Bird rarities committee the evidence was too meagre (no photos). During the next month  more birdwatchers will be in the area, evidently I myself will be going again too and these find places too can then probably be properly documented. To date the booted warbler has been observed in Estonia in five places already (verified observations): in Saaremaa at Sõrve säär, on Kihnu island, in Võrumaa at Husari and in two places in Setomaa. Since the best period for searching for this species has only just begun and several Setomaa, Tartumaa and Virumaa places still need checking, the record number of finds last year will probably be exceeded.
For me the booted warbler was a new species for the 2012 year list, altogether I have now seen 264 bird species.




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