Birder's diary - 26.08

Birder Margus Ots,
Translation: Liis
After the Estonian Open I haven’t managed to get out much. True, I made a couple of shorter trips to the Valguta polder and towards Kallaste, but didn’t meet anyone in particular. The lull before the storm? In the intermediate duller period I was busy with Bird rarities committee (RC) things instead. A great part of the spring-time observations are now checked, evaluations given and decisions made. Among the most interesting observations the ones below were confirmed: 
White-eyed pochard Aythya nyroca
21.05.-17.07.2012 Aardla polder, Tartumaa; pair and probably breeding (Uku Paal, Margus Ots and others) (Photo).
10th observation in Estonia and the 1st to indicate breeding. Photos in the  Estbirding gallery and also e-biodiversity database. Although in one photo (not on the web) probably also juveniles are seen besides the adults, the photo quality is not sufficient for identifying the juveniles. Actually other birds were photographed and only on the photo it was seen that 5 pochards of whom three obviously were adult pochards and 3 possibly juveniles were also in the image.
Greenland white-fronted goose Anser albifrons flavirostris
16.-17.04.2012 Österby, Läänemaa; adult. (Trinus Haitjema, Tarvo Valker, Aivar Veide) (Photo).
The first observation in Estonia of the Greenland subspecies of greater white-fronted goose.
Baffin Island Canada goose Branta hutchinsii
26.-28.03.2012 Haapsalu, Läänemaa (Aivar Veide) (Photo).
2nd Estonian observation. At the moment this Northern American species is on the E category (cage escapees) list as in Finland. But this goose might also come to Estonia naturally and the RC may look over the observed birds categories in the future.

Little bittern  Ixobrychus minutus
18.-26.05.2012 Pikla, Pärnumaa male adult (Jouko Metsälä, Margus Ots and others) (Audio record).

The little bittern was last observed in Estonia 20+ years ago and observations of this rarity understandably caused much excitement. The story of finding the bird can be read in the birder diaries of  May 19th  and May 26th.
The pelican was not particularly bold, no rings on the legs were noticed, maybe it really strayed here naturally (02.05.2012, near Karksi)

Great white pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus
01.05.-20.08.2012 Karksi, Viljandimaa 2a (Ardo Järve and others) (Photo), same individual also on 02.-07.05.2012 Leeli, Viljandimaa (Margus Ots and others) (Photo) and 10.-13.05.2012 Õisu lake, Viljandimaa (Andres Rõigas and others) (Photo).

4th observation in Estonia. Evidently the most famous 2012 bird in Estonia. The pelican is still in the Karksi village area and a record number of bird enthusiasts have been to see it. Hopefully the bird will fly back to the south as winter arrives. At the moment the latest observation date confirmed by the RC is August 20th. Should anybody meet the bird later, please be sure to report it to the RC.
The great white pelican that arrived in Karksi in early May is still in place (12.07.2012 Karksi).
Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus
04.-05.05.2012 Rootsiküla, Kihnu island, Pärnumaa; female adult (Aivo Klein and others) (Photo).
4th Estonian observation. This western and south European species has been surprisingly seldom observed in Estonia. Photo in the Estbirding gallery.
Short-toed lark Calandrella brachydactyla
17.05.2012 Rootsiküla, Kihnu island, Pärnumaa (Margus Ellermaa, Mati Kose) (Photo).
7th Estonian observation. Species with southerly distribution that might be more often met in Estonia but our birders don’t recognize the species.
Blue-tailed robin Tarsiger cyanurus
08.04.2012 Oriküla, Pärnumaa; female adult. (Karl Ander Adami) (Photo).
4th Estonian observation. Species with eastern distribution, has once even nested in Estonia – 1980 at Kiidjärve. Photo is shown in the Estbirding gallery.

European stonechat Saxicola rubicola
20.04.2012 Kabli, Pärnumaa; female adult. (Juho Könönen and others) (Photo).

10th Estonian observation. Species with southerly distribution that relatively often strays to North Europe. Photo shown in Estbirding gallery.




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