2014 migration

Season 2014
The season 2014 started on 1st of July. Here we try to cover highlights of the season in English. However this may happen too sporadically. Check the opening page for complete news, which are mainly in Estonian.

13.9.2014
After some days of fog, clear visibility returned and the northeasterly wind led to a good day at the migration front. The continuous observing between 6:30 and 20:30 resulted in over 30.000 migrating birds. Common Scoter Melanitta nigra was still well presented with 20 000 individuals (best in September), mostly adult females. Total of Common Scoters exceeded already 0,8 million in this season! Also wealthy number of 4500 dabbling ducks were recorded, mostly Wigeon Anas penelope (2700). The first wave of Cranes G. grus crossing the Gulf of Finland reached Põõsaspea in the late evening: 1800 birds in 20 flocks, the last ones reaching the mainland in quite dark and there was probably more to come in the following night. It’s also worth to be mentioned 279 Red-breasted Mergansers Mergus serrator, 13 Arctic Skuas Stercorarius parasiticus, and the season’s first Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus. The latter can be regarded as early one. Terrestrial birds are becoming active as well. We recorded 6 Ospreys Pandion haliaetus and 4 Black Woodpeckers Dryocopus maritius among others.
Cranes (G. grus): 16 adults, 4 juveniles Cranes (G. grus): 16 adults, 4 juveniles Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra) Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra)

10.9.2014

The day was quite busy in spite of quite a foggy weather. Wigeons Anas penelope showed up with season’s best, 3370 birds. Scaups Aythya marila continued with nice migration seen also in former days: 867 birds today. Geese are definitely a sign of well proceeding autumn. First Bean Geese (2) yesterday made us feel the approaching autumn and today, real autumn was here: the first flock of Brent Geese Branta bernicla was sighted. One could expect a first flock meaning 3 or 4 birds, but no, it included 130 Brent Geese. Brent Goose is a species with breeding range lying at least 3000 km away from here. It is a real Siberian breeding species (Siberia is Asian part of Russia).
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) Wigeons, Shovelers & Pintails Wigeons, Shovelers & Pintails

3.9.2014
Ten weeks of the season has passed. Discover the numbers of migrants in 5-day periods here.
The new shelter The new shelter Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)

1.9.2014 – one million reached!
Today, seasons sum of all migrants reached one million birds – two weaks earlier than in 2009. Of this, 75 % have been Common Scoters Melnaitta nigra. This landmak was much celebrated by birds themselves: Black Scoter Melanitta americana passed the cape at 15:40. Season’s sum of Teal Anas crecca reached already 20.000!
Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra) Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra) Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

25.8.2014
Today, in rainy weather 3685 Common Teals Anas crecca passed the site in 176 flocks. The biggest flock consisted of 125 Teals. This was probably all time best migratory sum for the species in Estonia. Also other dabbling ducks were on the move: Shoveler A. clypeata 490, Pintail A. acuta 420, Wigeon A. penelope 243. Rainy weather has forced waders to stop in relatively good numbers, eg. 135 Ringed Plovers Charadrius hiaticula were counted, of which 10 % were juveniles.
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula) Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)

15.8.2014
Seven weeks of the season has passed. Common Scoter Melanitta nigra has been ca 10 % more abundant than during similar period in 2009. Discover the numbers of migrants in 5-day periods here.
Flock of Velvet Scoters (Melanitta fusca) Flock of Velvet Scoters (Melanitta fusca) Great Egrets (Egretta alba) Great Egrets (Egretta alba)

5.8.2014
Five weeks of the season has passed. Discover the numbers of migrants in 5-day periods here.

Common Buzzard (B. buteo) Common Buzzard (B. buteo) Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus) Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus)

1.8.2014

Total sums of many monitored species were similar in July 2014 compared with those of 2009. This applies especially to the ducks. In 2014, the numbers of most wader species have been clearly lower than in 2009. As well as terns and gulls show 15-50 % lower numbers compared with July of 2009.

24.7.2014
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra sum was today 36,600 birds.

Over three weeks of the season has passed. Discover the numbers of migrants in 5-day periods here.

21.7.2014 – a very busy day
Common Scoters Melanitta nigra are continuing with intense migration – today’s total spinned over 75.000 individuals. Observers witnessed the peak between 20:00-22:30, when 36.700 Common Scoters passed the site. Season’s total of Common Scoters is now 300,000 individuals and much more is still expected in nearest days.

Other notable observations from the day were season’s best numbers for Velvet Scoters M. fusca (570), Bar-tailed Godwits Limosa lapponica (675) and Red-necked Grebes Podiceps grisegena (45).

18.7.2014 – the start of Common Scoters
Nice migration both in the morning and the evening and some wader activity during hot afternoon hours forced us to cover most of the daylight time by monitoring effort. Little Gulls Hydrocoleus minutus kept on coming, 280 adults were counted – the young are still few. Black-headed Gulls Larus ridibundus were on the move again, 2000 birds today.

Common Scoter Melanitta nigra with 31,700 individuals meant biggest daily sum for this species so far. Number of Dunlin Calidris alpina reached 1600 birds and season’s first Sanderlings Calidris alba passed monitoring point as well. More uncommon migrants for the day included two Garganeys Anas querquedula, two Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa and a Red-necked Pahalrope Phalaropus lobatus.

By the end of the day, season’s total of migrants reached 210,000 birds, of which 60 % have been Common Scoters.

9.7.2014 – 100.000 migrants exeeded
Season’s sum of migrating waterbirds exceeded today 100,000 individuals. As expected, most abundant migrants have been Common Scoter Melanitta nigra (51,000), Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus (32,000) and Goldeneye Bucephala clangula (5,800).

Today, first time for the season, adult Sandwich Terns Sterna sandvicensis were assisted by juvenile birds. Similarly juvenile Arctic Terns and Common Terns have been uncommon so far. Opposite to this, the share of migrating juvenile Black-headed Gull has reached about one third.

Should we stay or should we go? Should we stay or should we go?