Birder's diary - 10.07

Birder Margus Ots,
Translation: Liis
Black-tailed godwit (14.06.2012 Saatse)
July 10th
Back on the mainland I at once headed for the Audru polder. This year it has been flooded for a long time and all sorts of birds in large numbers are stopping over during migration. If there was a mighty duck soup in spring then now waders are nicely busy in the area. The eastern part of the polder is finally dry and there are not particularly many birds but in the western part groups of sandpipers could be seen on every reasonably open mud patch or water puddle. Today I noted 550 wood sandpipers (Tringa glareola), 360 lapwings   (Vanellus vanellus), 200 ruffs (Philomachus pugnax) , 90 greenshanks (Tringa nebularia), 50 black-tailed godwits (Limosa limosa) at the Audru polder, in addition other waders in smaller numbers. Obviously many birds remained unnoticed because in the high vegetation the small pipers don’t show and it is not possible to get close everywhere either. Only when a bird of prey scared up a bird flock it gave a rough idea of the real number of birds. I at first counted 14 for instance even of the snow-white  great egrets (Egretta alba) that should really be well visible but when a white-tailed eagle  (Haliaeetus albicilla) flew past 31 of them rose from the reed beds. Have the great egrets attempted to nest somewhere in the neighbourhood? Among more exciting creatures a little grebe  (Tachybaptus ruficollis) caught my eye, I have not seen this species here earlier. Audru polder is such a large area that it is possible to roam around a whole day and still not manage to count all birds. It is currently one of the best bird spots on the west coast; a visit is highly recommended.




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