Birder’s diary - 18.07

Birder Margus Ots,
Translation: Liis
Crested lark on Kihnu island 18.07.2012
A crested lark is difficult to distinguish from a common skylark, because the skylark too has a crest. On identification attention should be paid to the shape of beak and colours of the wing undersides and rear edge. (Photo: Mati Kose)
At 6.00 I shut off my alarm clock and slept on with pleasure. A moment later however a message arrived by Rariliin  (Birdline) that a crested lark (Galerida cristata) was present at the southern tip of the Kihnu island, at the lighthouse. It was a very hot rarity, seen less than 20 times in Estonia from 1991 onwards, and the last observation confirmed by the Bird rarities committee is from 2009. I rushed up immediately because from Tuksi in Läänemaa it should be possible to reach the Munalaiu harbour for the ship departing at 8:45. Luckily the crested lark was still in place at midday, although the hordes of tourists had scared it somewhat off from the original finding place. Past experience shows that a crested lark stays in place for rather long and hopefully the bird will be found in the following days too. For me the crested lark was the 265th bird species in my 2012 bird list. A long pause had already occurred, last time that I got a year point – the icterine warbler – was on June 14th in Setomaa.
In the southern part of Kihnu island a thorough bird migration monitoring project is running during two years (2012-2013) in connection with the windpower farm construction plans of Eesti Energia. More details about what is happening in Kihnu can be read in the Kihnu Bird Survey blog, in English, there is also additional information and photos of the crested lark.
For some time already laziness has been plaguing me, instead of the usual 15-hour bird trip days I would rather have 15 hours sleep a day. When at last my joints started to hurt, moving about turned cumbersome and eye view began to flicker seriously I started to suspect ticks as cause of my poor state. I rushed to the doctors and analyses did confirm the suspicion that I had caught borreliosis (Lyme disease) from the ticks. So now I swallow pills and try to get rid of the nuisance because untreated borreliosis can end up with dire consequences. If a tick bites and suspicion of borreliosis comes up a doctor should certainly be visited. I myself will turn to the Tartu spa waters for some time and because of my rather poor state won’t be itching to get out on bird trips, unless a really hot rarity turns up somewhere again.




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