2019 migration

2,33 Millionen Wasservögel in 4 Monaten – 17.11

Am 5. November ist die vierte standardisierte Herbstzugerfassung zu Ende gegangen, und auch an diesem letzten offiziellen Erfassungstag sind noch weiterhin Eisenten- und Samtententrupps am Kap vorbeigezogen. Insgesamt wurden in der Herbstsaison 2,33 Millionen ziehende Wasservögel erfasst. Davon allein über 0,92 Millionen Trauerenten! Dazu ca. 340 000 Eisenten, 300 000 Weißwangengänse und 120 000 Pfeifenten.

Interessant ist nun ein Vergleich der Jahre 2004, 2009, 2014 und 2019. So spiegeln die Daten etwa das Auftreten und die darauffolgende Verbreitung der Silberreiher wider: wurden 2004 noch gar keine Individuen erfasst, waren es 2009 schon 6, 2014 dann 82 und 2019 bereits 280. Steigende Anzahlen wurden zwischen 2004 und 2019 ebenfalls bei Graureihern (649 – 1404 – 2042 – 2987) und Schnatterenten (69 – 175 – 392 – 542) festgestellt. Anders sieht es dagegen bei Odinshühnchen aus: von Jahr zu Jahr wurden weniger Individuen gezählt (33 – 20 – 4 – 1). Auch Schmarotzerraubmöwen wurden in jeder Saison immer weniger erfasst (415 – 203 – 179 – 129).

Generell wird deutlich, dass diejenigen Arten welche in Põösaspea (= Spithamn) in zunehmenden Zahlen gesichtet werden, alle eine südliche Arealverbreitung aufweisen. Demgegenüber stehen die Beobachtungszahlen der Brutvögel des Nordens, der arktischen Tundra. Diese Arten wurden in wechselnden bis hin zu stetig abnehmenden Anzahlen erfasst.

Neben der Anzahl an Individuen lassen sich auch Rückschlüsse aus dem Verhältnis von Adulten zu Jungvögeln ziehen. Bei den langlebigen Wasservogelarten wird der Herbstzug typischerweise hauptsächlich von adulten Individuen geprägt. In Põõsaspea tauchen die ersten Jungvögel vieler Arten erst deutlich nach den Altvögeln, oder sogar erst nach dem Peak der Altvögel, auf.

Liegen all diese Daten vor, wie das Verhältnis von Alt- zu Jungvögeln, das Ersterfassungsdatum der Jungvögel und die Veränderungen der Anzahl, Verhältnisse und Phänologien über die Jahre, so lassen sich Aussagen über den Bruterfolg, über die Faktoren der Populationsentwicklung – über die Geschehnisse im Brutgebiet – treffen. Und das alles, ohne diese Brutgebiete aufsuchen zu müssen. Besonders bei den Vogelarten des hohen Nordens, der weiten und unzugänglichen Gebiete, lassen sich so wertvolle Erkenntnisse gewinnen.
Während die statistische Analyse der bisherigen Daten noch läuft, ist schon jetzt klar:

Die Fortsetzung der Herbsterfassung in Põõsaspea soll weitergehen. Satt bisher alle fünf Jahre möchten wir ein langfristiges, standardisiertes und alle zwei Jahre stattfindendes Erfassungsprogramm etablieren. Wir sind praxisorientierte Ornithologen und Wissenschaftler, wir teilen unsere Erkenntnisse, stellen unsere Daten allen Interessierten, anderen Wissenschaftlern und der Gesellschaft zur Verfügung.

Wir untersuchen hier Vogelarten die in Põõsaspea „nur“ vorbeikommen – die Brutgebiete und Rast- bzw. Überwinterungsgebiete liegen dabei ja anderswo. Sei es im hohen Norden der Tundra oder im Wattenmeer. Vielleicht vor Ihrer Haustür? Um an dieser gemeinsamen Sache weiterarbeiten zu können, benötigen wir aber Unterstützung und Kooperationspartner. Und finanzielle Mittel.

Wir werden gezielt Partner, Institutionen, Medien etc. ansprechen – aber wir freuen uns über jedwede Initiative und Unterstützung.
Schaut Euch unsere Daten an. Schreibt uns oder sprecht uns an.

Die Zahlen der Saison sind hier abrufbar

-A.M.

The detailed migration data available – 17.11

All the data of season 2019 has been entered into single table, flock by flock, with details on plumages, ages and passing times (with accuracy of 30 minutes). This is in form of Excel-sheet, but it is easy to convert to other files. The file size is 8 Mb. You may download the data for scientifical purposes here
Recommended citation is: Estonian Ornithological Society 2019, project „the migratory bird counts of Põõsaspea”, www.eoy.ee/poosaspea. For additional information, ask the project coordinator (Margus Ellermaa).

Finishline crossed – 6.11

The counting season is over now, 5th November was the last day with some Long-tailed Ducks and Velvet Scoters passing the spit. During the season we recorded 2,33 million migratory waterbirds, including waterfowl, gulls and waders. The top birds in the abundance ranking were Common Scoter Melanitta nigra (0,92 million), the Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis (0,34 million) , the Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis (0,3 million) and the Wigeon Anas penelope (0,12 million).

Not surprising, some birds are in decline and some are increasing. Our monitoring projects in 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019 show the appearance and increase of Great White Egret Egretta alba (season totals 0 – 6 – 82 – 280 individuals respectively). Grey Heron Ardea cinerea is among the increasing species as well (649 – 1404 – 2042 – 2987). Another positive example is Gadwall Anas strepera (69 – 175 – 392 – 542). The birds with increasing trends have in common their southerly laying range. The birds breeding mainly in northern taiga or tundra show mainly stable or declining trends. An example of disappearing bird is the Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus (33 – 20 – 4 – 1). Another species we most likely should focus on in discussions of conservation concern is the Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus (415 – 203 – 179 – 129).

Most species showed a low proportion of juveniles – a rather common picture for non-passerine birds in any season. However, Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis clearly had good breeding success last summer. Another species with okeish proportion of juveniles was the Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata.

You can check the monthly totals species by species in this file here. Furthermore, in this file you can compare the totals of all four monitoring seasons (2004, 2009, 2014, 2019).

So, our last duty in this blog is very pleasant one: to transfer the thanks to the people who helped the project by logistical help, by feeding us or by anything else helping the core team to survive: Arne Tennisberg, Hannes Margusson, Annika Forstén, Antero Lindholm, Liis Keerberg, Margus Ots, Eva-Liisa Orula, Kristjan Adojaan, Agneta Green, Esko Gustafsson, Tiiu Tali, Janne Põlluaas, Kaarel Võhandu, Jukka Salokangas, Nele Markones, Ian Mitchell, Mariliis Paal, Ene Määr, Pekka Nikander/Lintuvaruste ja Slava Rätsepp/Dirhami shop.

The team carrying out the field work included: Juho Könönen, Jon Jörpeland, Tarvo Valker, Andrea Maier, Annika Forstén, Antero Lindholm, Jukka Salokangas, Kaarel Võhandu and Aapo Salmela – you were great, thank you!

-M.E.

Mustvaerad / Common Scoters (juv) Mustvaerad / Common Scoters (juv) Laululuiged / Whooper Swans (ad+juv) Laululuiged / Whooper Swans (ad+juv)

Thanks and credits – 3.11

The end of season is close. Here we would like to thank the people helping us in the project: Arne Tennisberg, Hannes Margusson, Annika Forstén, Antero Lindholm, Liis Keerberg, Margus Ots, Eva-Liisa Orula, Kristjan Adojaan, Agneta Green, Esko Gustafsson, Tiiu Tali, Janne Põlluaas, Kaarel Võhandu, Jukka Salokangas, Aapo Salmela, Mariliis Paal, Pekka Nikander/Lintuvaruste ja Slava Rätsepp/Dirhami shop. Our biggest thanks to the visitors too – you were awesome!

-M.E.

Slava ja Dirhami pood Slava ja Dirhami pood Janne ja Kaarel Janne ja Kaarel

27.10.

Another dark and rainy day but some more activity with the wind turning to north-east during the day. 10 600 migrants: Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis 8400 and Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca 420. A Black-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla nigrigans (4th for the season) was seen amongst the 14 nominate bernicla.

-JK

Totals so far – 23.10.

Two weeks to go yet. We have counted 2,2 million waterbirds passing the spit so far. The total of Wigeon Anas penelope is already 120.000 and of Red-breasted Merganser Mergus merganser 23.000. The sum of all geese exeeds 450.000. What else we have written on our forms you can find out from the file here

22.10.

The late October migration is here: only 4000 migrants today. Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis 1761 and Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis 482…

Smew Mergus albellus (129) and Redpoll Carduelis flammea (482) had their best day so far as did the Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima with a flock of 3 birds.

-JK

Väikekosklad / Smew Väikekosklad / Smew Kunstniku nägemus merirüdidest Kunstniku nägemus merirüdidest

The same old story 19.10.

The migration continues like before: Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis 12 177 and Velvet Socter Melanitta fusca 3077 and very few birds of other project species. For change, we got some hours of sun after a cloudy and dark period. The 8th male White-winged Scoter Melanitta deglandi stejenegeri and one unidentified male deglandi/stejnegeri were found in the flocks today! How would it look like after ten years? Do we need to make a row on the protocol for fusca/deglandi/stejnegeri for distant flocks? One young Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus and the seasons first Rough-legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus made the rest of the day.

-JK

Velvet Scoters Velvet Scoters

More Long-tailed Ducks – 17.10.

It looks like the breeding success of Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis has been very good this year as they continue coming in good numbers. Although the rain, fog and bad sight today, we managed to encounter 48 000 of them and the young birds seem to be in majority! Also 1700 Velvet Scoters Melanitta fusca, 650 Goldeneyes Bucephala clangula and 4500 geese were seen. A Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima and some Snow Buntings Plectrophenax nivalis at the cape remind us about the coming winter.

-JK

Two million! – 15.10

Today we reached the landmark of 2 million migrants. Most likely the bird no 2 million was a Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis (the sum of day 26260). Since a while Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo were on wings (988). Red-breasted merganser Mergus serrator had semi-impressive number (794). The first horned larks Eremophila alpestris were seen (2).

-M.E.

Sarviklõoke / Horned Lark Sarviklõoke / Horned Lark Jukka Könönen Jukka Könönen

12.10.

Perfect weather for birdwatching at Põõsaspea: moderate wind from the West, and the birds pass by close, low and slowly. The total of the enjoyable day was just over 15 000 birds. Good but short peak of Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica with 690 birds in the morning, 1900 Wigeons Anas penelope, 10 500 Long-tailed Ducks Clangula hyemalis and 450 Brent Geese Branta bernicla including 2 of far Siberian subspecies nigrigans and 1 of hrota from the west and still over a thousand Greater Scaups Aythya marila.

-JK

Black-bellied Brent Black-bellied Brent Pale-bellied Brent Goose Pale-bellied Brent Goose

9.10.

34 000 migrants today with the same species dominating as the last days: Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis 19 000 (+ 1000 Anser/Branta), Dabbling ducks Anas 1000, Greater Scaup Aythya marila 1000 and Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis 8400. The best observation was when Margus on his way out to the cape found a Isabelline/Red-tailed Shrike Lanius isabellinus/phoenicuroides in Rooslepa fields. The bird looks mostly like an Isabelline but as it is a young bird, it’s impossible to be sure about the ID.

-JK

Season totals so far – 9.10

When did the migration of Mute Swans peaked? You can find out the totals of migratory birds from the file here

Ian & Nele Ian & Nele Olli Olli

6.10.

The migration has been pretty similar the last days and the local weather with cold air over the warmer sea makes the circumstances difficult. Most of the total number of 21 000 birds were geese: Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis 15 000 and Brent Goose B. bernicla 1000. Worth mentioning is that there were more Red-breasted Mergansers Mergus serrator (1189) than Long-tailed Ducks Clangula hyemalis (980)!

-JK

Common Guillemot, Long-tailed Ducks, Common Scoters Common Guillemot, Long-tailed Ducks, Common Scoters Rohukosklad / Red-breasted Merganser Rohukosklad / Red-breasted Merganser

2.10.

Strong wind from the West in the morning turned into the North/North-East during the day and the migration got more intense. Totally 36 000 birds were encountered: Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis 20 000, Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis 6800 and Divers 1300. Also a nice movement of gulls: Common Gull Larus canus 700, Black-headed L. ridibundus 740, Herring L. argentatus 240, Lesser Black-backed L. fuscus 11 and Caspian L. cachinnans 2. The seasons second juvenile Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus and a Shelduck Tadorna tadorna were the highlights of the day.

-JK

Pomarine Skua Pomarine Skua Common Gull Common Gull

Summary of September

September has now ended and the month has delivered several good days of migration, altough the normal southwesterly winds has not been that common this month which has made the birds go very far out or very high some days. The most numerous migrantes has been Wigeon, Common scoter and Barnacle goose. Especially the dabbling ducks showed off some really good days with best day of Wigeon (21668) and Pintail (7604) being really impressive. Most of the Brent geese were seen very far away but a very early peak of Barnacle goose has helped fill up the totals. Amongs the good number of birds passing the cape there might be one that stands out a little bit and it is of course Stejneger's scoter. Not one, not two but six individuals has so far passed the cape!

-J.J.

Viupart / Wigeon (ad female) Viupart / Wigeon (ad female) Mustlagled / Brent Goose Mustlagled / Brent Goose

30.9.

The last day of September, 7200 migrants: Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis 3100 and a thousand Divers, mainly Red-throated Gavia stellata on the top. We have had a pleasure to look at some more gulls the last week or so: at least three Caspian Gulls Larus cachinnans were seen today as well as the 2cy gull found last week. The bird looks a lot like a Slaty-backed Gull Larus schistisagus but as it would be a sensational observation and large gulls are always difficult and vary a lot, it still remains without a certain ID.

-JK

Wannabe Slaty-backed Gull Wannabe Slaty-backed Gull Wannabe Slaty-backed Gull Wannabe Slaty-backed Gull

Season totals – 28.9

Bird totals counted so far you can download here

By the way, three White-winged Scoter were seen today – it seems to be phenomenal occurrence.

Both birders and birds on strike! – 27.9

Today the migraton was modest – as if the birds were aware of United Nations Climate Summit week with the related demonstrations worldwide. The birders from six nations were on strike from 12:00 to 12:30.
Check also FridaysForFuture

-M.E.

BirdersForFuture BirdersForFuture Lindurid streikisid / Birders were on strike Lindurid streikisid / Birders were on strike

Upcoming events – 25.9.
  • 27.9 FridaysForFuture – come to the cape (preferably with a bycicle) by 12:00 and let’s take a group photo. If possible, take placards, posters etc related to climate change (we do have something).
  • 5-6.10 EuroBirdWatch – that weekend a guide answer your questions on birds and migration, tells how to identify birds etc. Be there!
21.9.

For change the wind was in the West which means the birds pass the tip slower, lower and more near than the last days. We really enjoyed watching the migration today although the numbers were lower: 5800 birds in total; Wigeon Anas penelope 1850, Pintail Anas acuta 850 and both Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus and Common Gull Larus canus around 300 birds. Higlights of the day were the first pale-bellied young Common Scoters Melanitta nigra, one Pale-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla hrota, 6 Arctic Skuas Stercorarius parasiticus and a Long-tailed Skua S. longicaudus (plus one possible further out).

-J.K.

Common Gull Common Gull Long-tailed Skua Long-tailed Skua Pale-bellied Brent Goose Pale-bellied Brent Goose Common Scoters Common Scoters

Quiet – but one bird can be enough! – 20.9

Today the migration was quiet. Some small numbers of Wigeon and for a short period there were big flocks of Red-throated Divers passing by but otherwise the migration was very calm. In spite of the migration was modest the day was great because this season’s third White-winged (Stejnegeri) Scoter was seen! Discovered flying with two Velvet scooters at some hundreds of meters from shore. What an incredible bird! One starts to wonder how many Stejneger’s there actually are in the Baltic Sea and will there be more observations of the extraordinary bird in this season?

Stejnegeri's Scoter (left) with two Velvet Scoters Stejnegeri's Scoter (left) with two Velvet Scoters

-J.J.

Barnacle Geese and more dabbling ducks – 18.9

An unexpected early start of the Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis and continuously good migration of Wigeons Anas penelope in todays tailwind kept the team busy during the first half of the day. Total number of migrants (87 000) is the highest this year including 56 000 geese (39 500 Barnacles, 12 700 unidentified, 3800 Brent Geese and the first 5 Greater White-fronted Geese Anser albifrons) and 16 000 dabbling ducks (12 800 Wigeons and 1500 Pintails). Also the number of Greater Scaup Aythya marila is the best so far: 1280. Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis had an early start as well with 355 birds which were still mainly wearing the dark summer plumage. The migration was, just like yesterday, mainly far out at the sea, farther in over land or high up. Two Pale-bellied Brent Geese Branta bernicla hrota were seen together in a flock of 150 Brent Geese.

-J.K.

Valgepõsk-lagled / Barnacle Geese Valgepõsk-lagled / Barnacle Geese Pale-bellied Brent Goose Pale-bellied Brent Goose

Best day so far – and – lots of grebes! – 17.9

We had another incredible day with major migration. Common Scoter Melanitta nigra (21.600) and dabbling ducks (23.000) still going strong. Also some big flocks of Brent Geese Branta bernicla were passing (16.350). Due to the northerly wind, unfortunately most birds went far out or high up but you can’t deny that it was a great day for seabird migration. In the afternoon good numbers of Cranes Grus grus were passing by high up (5580).

Apart from the great migration going on, a large numbers of grebes were stationary around the spit. Especially the numbers of Slavonian grebe Podiceps auritius were impressive: 88! There were floating some Red-necked Grebes P. grisegena (165) and Great Crested Grebes P. cristatus (197) as well. Among the densiest grebe congregation, a Little Grebe P. ruficollis did its best to hide from our looks. It is a rare species in that marine environment and actually this might be the first record of the species here.

-J.J., M.E.

Mustlagle / Brent Goose Mustlagle / Brent Goose Mustlagled / Brent Geese Mustlagled / Brent Geese

Dabbling ducks!! – 16.9

Today it exploded completely: we counted 65000 ducks, of which 31.800 were dabbling ducks. We are glad to announce the total of pintails Anas acuta: 7600 exx!! in 334 flocks! This is clearly all time best for Estonia. Wigeon A. penelope were counted in good numbers as well (21.700). Other dabbling ducks were not that abundant, eg. Shoveler A. clypeata 453 and Teal A. crecca 247 birds only.

Among rarer birds, the highlights of the day included a male Pallid harrier Circus macrorus, spotted by Juho. We saw a Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus as well – moving north. This individual was probably same we saw two days earlier. Among the Brent Geese (466) was a Pale-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla hrota

initials). -M.E.

Viupardid / Wigeon Viupardid / Wigeon Ujupardid / dabbling ducks Ujupardid / dabbling ducks

Headwinds 15.9.

Very strong headwind and heavy rain didn’t stop the birds today. It’s September and it’s time to go. In total 12 000 migrants: Wigeon Anas penelope 3400, Teal A. crecca 850, Pintail A. acuta 1200, Dunlin Calidris alpina 370 and Common Tern Sterna hirundo 160 to mention some of the highlights.

-J.K.

Soorüdid / Dunlins Soorüdid / Dunlins

More wind – 12.9.

The day was pretty much like yesterday with same kind of weather and migration, but only around 5000 migrants. The first juvenile Velvet Scoters Melanitta fusca and the first young Caspian gull Larus cachinnans were observed.

-J.K.

Caspian Gull / Koldjalg-hõbekajakas Caspian Gull / Koldjalg-hõbekajakas

A bit this and that – 11.9.

In spite of very strong southerly wind, the migration was okeish today, the total was 11.000 birds. Finally we saw the first Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus of the season. The biggest surprise was a Nightjar Caprimulgus europeaus with good sightings: a bird arrived from the sea around 16:00. Good numbers were recorded for Common snipe Gallinago gallinago (32) and Kestrel Falco tinnunculus (12).

-J.J., M.E.

Pallid Harrier – 8.9.

The long awaited Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus brightened up the dull day when a female came migrating in from Osmussaare. The species has become a regular breeding species in Finland and was now seen the first Time at Põõsaspea. The bird song at the Spithami fields is over long ago but a Corncrake Crex crex was still seen in the afternoon. The previous seasons have shown some of them to stay until October.

-J.K.

Pallid harrier Pallid harrier Corncrake Corncrake

August summary

The northerly winds in July turned in to the more normal South sector in August. As the most numerous migrants, the male Common Scoters Melanitta nigra, already passed in July and the females that are fewer came at the end of the month the total of the migrants grew from 650 000 in July up to 985 000 until the end of August. Otherwise August is a month with shorter days, often nice weather and a good variation of species as we are in between summer and autumn and many of the raptors and passerines are on the move as well. Te latest numbers can be seen in the table below but compared to 2014 we have seen for example less waders and dabbling ducks but more of divers, Grey-necked Grebes Podiceps griseigena and Goldeneys Bucephala clangula. The highlights of the month were the Estonian all time high of both Northern Showeler Anas clypeata (1159 the 20th) and Red footed falcon Falco vespertinus (42 the 29th).

I juli blåste kyliga nordvindar, men under augusti vred vinden till ner till syd. Efter att sjöorrehannarna passerat under juli var det dags för honornas tur. I slutet av augusti har nu säsongens totala antal sträckare stigit från 650 000 till 985 000. Augusti är annars en månad som kännetecknas av kortare dagar, ofta vackert väder och ett ökat antal arter då rovfåglar och tättingar nu också börjar röra på sig. De senaste totalsummorna kan ses i listan nedan och jämfört med 2014 så har det setts färre vadare och simänder, men däremot fler lommar, gråhakedoppingar och knipor. Månadens höjdpunkter var nya estländska dagsrekord på skedand och aftonfalk.

-J.K. & J.J.

Luitsud / Shovelers Luitsud / Shovelers Punajalg-pistrik / Red-footed Falcon Punajalg-pistrik / Red-footed Falcon

White-winged Scoter – 6.9.

The morning was quite with the only remarkable thing being the rising activity of Goldeneyes Bucephala clangula. The situation changed suddenly at 9 a.m. when a male White-winged Scoter Melanitta deglandi stejnegeri was found in another small flock of Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca. New species for Estonia with only around 30 records in the Western Palearctic! The bird was of the siberian subspecies that breeds from Yenisey to Mongolia and eastwards.

-J.K.

White-winged Scoter (2nd from right) with Velvet Scoters White-winged Scoter (2nd from right) with Velvet Scoters White-winged Scoter White-winged Scoter

The calm before the storm – 5.9.

As September goes on the intensity of the migration is increasing with many of the most common species having their peak at the end of the month. The local weather conditions and our expectations have been more than enough but the total number of migrants per day has still been moderate. Most of the migration consist of the above mentioned birds such as Velvet Scoters, Dabbling ducks, Red-throated Divers and Greater Scaups. Some single raptors and waders are seen every now and then and it’s the variation that keeps up the excitement with birds as Broad-billed sandpiper, Shelducks and who knows, maybe some more Red-footed Falcons still coming as well. Last week there was some hope to see more gulls when the fishing boats appeared but now the boats are fishing somewhere else and we see more and more White-tailed Eagles in stead. The eagles and two young Goshawks keep the spit quite empty of other birds.

We hope the storm soon begins!

-J.K.

White-tailed Eagle with a Black-headed Gull as prey White-tailed Eagle with a Black-headed Gull as prey Goshawk strikes! / Kanakull sööstab! Goshawk strikes! / Kanakull sööstab!

Miljoona muuttajaa ynnätty – 3.9

Miljoonan muuttajan maaginen raja rikottiin tänään – pari päivää myöhemmin kuin vuoden 2014 syyslaskennassa ja 11 päivää aikaisemmin kuin v. 2009 laskennassa. Valkoista nauhaa ei aivan ennätetty Osmussaaren salmeen virittää, mutta kuvitteellisen sellaisen läpi lensi joko mustalintu Melanitta nigra (päivän muuttosumma 5330 yksilöä), pilkkasiipi Melanitta fusca (1670) tai haapana Anas penelope (1940 – kauden paras). Kauden kokonaissummia lajeittain ja viiden päivän jaksoissa eriteltynä voitte nähdä tästä taulukosta

Pysykää kanavalla!

-M.E.

Tõmmuvaerad / Velvet Scoters Tõmmuvaerad / Velvet Scoters Tõmmuvaerad / Velvet Scoters Tõmmuvaerad / Velvet Scoters

Red-footed Falcons! – 29th August

The invasion of Red-footed Falcons Falco vespertinus has reached Põõsaspea. Today we saw 42 individuals migrating and some local birds in the villages nearby. This is a place for ducks, not raptors! Actually it is hard to imagine any other raptor that could be more abundant here than Red-footed was today. However we saw some Honey Buzzards too (count: 20 – we gonna beat Batumi ;-)

-M.E.

Herilaseviu / Honey Buzzard Herilaseviu / Honey Buzzard Punajalg-pistrik / Red-footed Falcon Punajalg-pistrik / Red-footed Falcon

Dabbling ducks and female scoters – 27th August

The start of the hunting season in the 20th August put the dabbling ducks on the move. Over 2000 dabbling ducks were seen in total and the star of the day was Shoveler Anas clypeata with a new Estonian all time best migration number with 1159 birds. The biggest flock included 96 individuals!

Over a thousand waders were encountered the 24th of August: mainly Dunlins Calidris alpina (600), Red Knots C. canutus (100) and Oystercatcher Haematophus ostralegus (430). There are increasing numbers of Northern Pintail A. acuta (955 in 24th) and Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca (711 respectively).

Female Common Scoters M. nigra started their migration for real in the 25th when 43 000 (77% females) passed Põõsaspea. On the top of scoters, the best daily sums so far were for Teal A. crecca (2700) and Northern Pintail A. acuta (1200). All ducks together made the total of the day to climb over 50 000 – after a longer period of lower migration activity. The seasons total is now over 900 000 birds. We hope soon to celebrate one million milestone!

-JK

Luitsud / Shovelers Luitsud / Shovelers Soorüdid / Dunlins Soorüdid / Dunlins

Eine halbe Millionen Trauerenten im Juli! – 4. Herbstzug-Monitoring bei Cape Põõsaspea

Seit dem 30.Juni wird an Cape Põõsaspea wieder der Herbstzug der See- und Küstenvögel erfasst. Nach 2004, 2009 und 2014 ist dies die vierte Saison mit einer standardisierten, täglichen Erfassung des Zuggeschehens.

Die Landzunge Põõsaspea ist für die Erfassung des Herbstzuges besonders geeignet. Zum einen ziehen sehr viele Vögel aus Nordosten (bspw .Weißes Meer) kommend hier an der Nordwestspitze Estlands küstennah vorbei. Der Zug konzentriert sich regelrecht zwischen der Landzunge und der nur ca. 5km nördlich liegenden Insel Osmussaari. Zum anderen erlauben es Wetter, Wind und Sichtbedinungen die oftmals tief fliegenden Vögel nicht nur zu zählen und auf Artniveau zu bestimmen, sondern in den meisten Fällen lassen sich Alter und Geschlecht der Vögel erkennen. Diese Information ist besonders wichtig um anhand des Jungvogelanteiles den Bruterfolg zu ermitteln und damit Erkenntnisse über die Situation der Brutpopulation zu gewinnen, ohne dafür die Brutgebieten dieser Populationen – die kaum zugänglichen Tundra- und Taigagebiete Westrusslands – aufzusuchen.

Bereits nach vier Wochen – am 27.7 und damit auf den Tag genau wie in der Zählsaison 2014 – waren bereits bereits über eine halbe Zugvögel auf dem Weg von den subarktischen Brutgebieten der russischen Tundra zu ihren Mauser- bzw. Überwinterungsgebieten an der Landzunge „Põõsaspea“ vorbeigezogen. Der Hauptteil davon Trauerenten. Adulte, männliche Trauerenten, um genau zu sein. Diese ziehen zum Großteil zur Mauser in die Nord- und Ostsee. Nur ein kleiner Teil mausert bereits in Russland, diese Individuen ziehen dann später, zusammen mit den Weibchen und Jungvögeln, ab Ende August an der estnischen Küste vorbei.

Am 8.8. ist die Zahl der erfassten Vögel auf 720.000 geklettert. Neben Trauerenten (80%) sind Lachmöwen ( >32.000), Schellenten (>16.000) und Kormorane (>10.000) die häufigsten Arten.

In den ersten Augustwochen ist nun weiterhin noch mit Trauerenten, Kormoranen und Möwen, aber auch mit dem verstärkten Zug von Flussseeschwalben zu rechnen, ab Ende August werden auch die Sterntaucher zahlreicher.

Die bisherigen Zahlen der Saison sind hier abrufbar

-A.M.

Andrea Andrea Tarvo Tarvo

Gradual shift towards autumn – 14th August

Autumn is lurking around the corner. In last days, more and more birds indicating real autumn have started to appear, among others: Greater Scaups Aythya marila Pintails Anas acuta, Grey Plovers Pluvialis squaterola, Red Knots Calidris canutus, Arctic Skuas Stercorarius parasiticus and Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus f. fuscus. Check the exact season totals from this table

-M.E.

Kiripugu-rüdi / Pectoral Sandpiper Kiripugu-rüdi / Pectoral Sandpiper Plüü / Grey Plover Plüü / Grey Plover

A variety of species – 10th August

We had 10 000 migrants today with a nice mixture of different species. Common Scoter was the most numerous as normally with 7000 birds. Of rarer ducks we saw a Garganey Anas querquedula in one of the Teal flocks and a group of nine young Shelduck T. tadorna. We counted 700 waders of 17 species, mostly the larger ones like Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus (133), Curlew Numenius arquata (244 – juveniles!) and Whimbrel N. phaeopus (45). It was also the best day for (Common) Terns with 800 and for raptors with 34 birds. A young Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana stayed a while in front of the observers – the species which qualifies as rarity in the spit.

-J.K.

Meriskid / Oystercatchers Meriskid / Oystercatchers Tuuletallaja / Kestrel Tuuletallaja / Kestrel

The first month done – where are we? – 8th August

Over a month of the season is behind us and total count of birds that have passed the spit is 720.000, of which 80 % have been Common Scoters Melanitta nigra. You can download the table with the season sums so far here

Now we face the period of lower migration activity and fewer birds than in July. In the first weeks of August most of the migration is Cormorants, gulls and Common Terns. The male Common Scoters are about to moult their wing feathers and the majority does it in the Baltic and North Seas while the rest (minority) do it in Russia before getting here and we are expecting to see them together with the females from the end of August and forward. The same pattern is seen with many duck species, such as Goldeneye (the sum so far: 17.000) and Red-breasted Mergansers (5.200), and there are rather few ducks capable of flight in nearest weeks.

Northerly winds dominated the first month and the number of waders observed was very low as expected to happen with tailwinds: they migrate in very high altitudes impossible to see for human. Most of the young waders are still to come and we hope to get some proper westerly winds (headwinds) to see them more. Maybe one exception is Oystercatcher: the breeding population of White Sea migrates by in August and they tend to fly in reasonable altitudes.

The growing nature interest has brought many visitors to the spit. Apart from regular visitors (Annika, Antero, Kaarel) more than 50 visits from seven different nations were made in July to see the birds and the nature here and many more have shown their interest in the nature as well.

-J.K., M.E.

Tõmmuvaerad / Velvet Scoters Tõmmuvaerad / Velvet Scoters Kormoran / Cormorant Kormoran / Cormorant

Another peak day for Scoters – 28th July

Maybe the low temperature yesterday (only 7°C) as near as at around the White Sea made the birds to leave in great numbers and we counted over 59 000 Common Scoters Melanitta nigra passing Põõsaspea, most of them during the evening. The peak was around 8 p.m. when 25 000 were encountered just in an hour. Even some 1000 gulls – Black-headed and Common Gulls – and over 700 terns were seen in the evening. Most of the Arctic Terns Sterna paradisaea seem to have left already from the Baltic Sea as they were less than five percent of the total today. Worth mentioning, there were also the third Garganey Anas querquedula and the third Kingfisher Alcedo atthis for the season. The latter was migrating south west at the sea while the earlier observations have been of birds seen at the cape the early morning hours.

-J.K.

Vardid / Scaups & Tufted Ducks Vardid / Scaups & Tufted Ducks Tutt-tiir / Sandwich Tern Tutt-tiir / Sandwich Tern

Total: half a million birds – 27.7.

After the slow migration at the beginning of the week, our team experienced very busy day on Thursday (25th July). It turned to be (first) migration peak for the male Common Scoters Melanitta nigra – 72.500 birds were counted on that day.

Today (27th), the season total exceeded half a million birds. This happened exactly on the same day as in 2014 illustrating the accuracy on the timing of the migration.

Like most of our readers could already guess, the majority of the migrants has been Common Scoters with already 400.000 individuals counted so far (80% of all the birds). Other numerous species have been Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus (count: 31 000), Goldeneye Bucephala clangula (15 200), Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo (8200) and Common Gull Larus canus (8100).

The ongoing season seems to be good for the Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus – the total is already 57 birds which is two times more compared with the July 2014. It has been also good year for the Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis – with over 900 birds counted so far being trice as many as in July 2014. Sadly we have seen 30 % less Little Terns Sterna albifrons (only 27 birds so far) compared with the 2014 and over 70% less than 10 years ago indicating potentially big decline.

-T.V.

vaerad / Scoters vaerad / Scoters Jõgitiir / Common Tern Jõgitiir / Common Tern

Season totals so far – 20.7.

You can download the table with the season sums so far here

Third Surf Scoter! – 17.7.

We recorded already the third Surf Scoter Melanitta perspicillata for the season. An adult male passed the spit at 8:57 a.m. in a flock of Common and Velvet Scoters. Click on photo-thumbnails to see the bird „better” :-)

Surf Scoter / Prillvaeras Surf Scoter / Prillvaeras Flock of Scoters with a Surf Scoter Flock of Scoters with a Surf Scoter

Fjärde höstsäsongen på Pöösaspea är i gång! – 13.7.

Målet är att räkna in de sjöfåglar mm. som kommer främst från de enorma häckningsområden i västra Sibirien, båda på tajgan och tundran och samlas i flaskhalsen mellan Pöösaspeaudden och Odensholmen på sin väg från Vita havet till övervintringsområden från Östersjön till västra Afrika. Tidigare säsonger (2004, -09 och -14) har visat att ca. två miljoner fåglar passerar udden från början av Juli till början av November.

Nästan hälften av dessa är sjöorrar Melanitta nigra och de har börjat starkt även i år med över 30 000 som mest den 11. Juli. Hanarnas topp (4% honor hittills) brukar ligga någonstans i slutet av månaden så ökade antal förväntas närmaste framtiden. Två hanar av vitnackad svärta Melanitta perspicillata har setts i flockarna. Sträcket påverkas mycket av vädret även här och det kanske därför har varit relativt lugnt på vadarfronten och med skrattmåsar men säsongen har bara börjat och förhoppningsvis kommer vi att se mer av dessa. Småskrake Mergus serrator har haft fina dagar med totalt över 3000 individer hittills och gamla knipor Bucephala clangula letar sig till lämpliga ruggningsområden. Fler och fler ungfåglar av närmare häckande arter har dykt upp. Det är också bland det viktigaste inom projektet att få en bild av häckningsframgången och vi därför bestämmer varje individ till kön och ålder så gott det går. Hemsidan kommer främst att innehålla nyheter på estländska (med vetenskapliga namn och siffror) men även en del inlägg på engelska och andra språk kommer att skrivas. Kolla genom materialet från föregående år och spara sidan bland dina favoriter för att ha koll på läget. Det är ju samma fåglar som sen ses längs Svenska Östersjökusten som först passerar här.

-J.K.

emased sõtkad / Goldeneyes emased sõtkad / Goldeneyes Räusk / Caspian Tern Räusk / Caspian Tern

Busiest day so far – 11.7.

Yesterday season total exceeded 100.000 migrants. Today was the best day of the season with already 35.000 migrants passing the spit. Unsurprisingly, the majority of them were Common Scoters Melanitta nigra with 30 650 individuals counted by the end of the day. Also season´s first Great White Egrets Egretta alba (7) and a single Temminck´s Stint Calidris temminckii were encountered today.
For most common species the season totals have been similar with 2014, with few exceptions only. The total of the season for Red-breasted Mergansers Mergus serrator (3030 ind.) is two times higher than in 2014 during the same period. On the other side, Black-headed Gulls Larus ridibundus movement has been vague with two times less birds counted compared to the 2014. The peak days for the Black-headed Gulls might take place also in mid-July – so we are still expecting some good migration for this species.

-T.V.

Väikekoovitaja / Whimbrel Väikekoovitaja / Whimbrel Väiketüll / Lesser Ringed Plover Väiketüll / Lesser Ringed Plover

Scoters on the move – 9.7.

For the beginning of season, the numbers of Common Scoter Melanitta nigra have been rather good: 14500 (7th July), 10500 (8th July) and 15800 (9th July). The proportion of females has been about 4 %. So far Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca has been scarce with less than 100 individuals a day. A Surf Scoter Melanitta perspicillata , the second for season, passed the point in the flock of 40 Scoters today at 6:54 a.m.

-M.E.

mustvaerad / Common Scoters mustvaerad / Common Scoters mustvaerad / Common Scoters mustvaerad / Common Scoters

Here we go again – 6.7.

The fourth monitoring season at Cape Poosaspea started on the 30th of June. We count the waterfowl migration on daily basis with the same methods as in the previous years 2004, -09 and -14 – hopefully until the November. You will find the current news with photos and updated numbers here during the coming months. Please save this webpage among your favourites!

The first days of the season have been pretty much as expected: increasing numbers of ducks, mainly Common scoters (9360 – 6th July), Red-breasted mergansers (394 – 6th July) and Goldeneyes (783 – 5th July), some waders, Black-headed gulls (3320 5th July) and Common Gulls (811 – 3rd July). We expect the Black-headed gulls to peak at any day when the weather favors. A drake Surf scoter delighted an observer in 6th of July.

At the observation point we’ve seen the late broods to hatch. Oystercatcher, Common gull and some ducks have their small chicks exploring the world as the worried parents do their best to protect them from Herring gulls, Crows, Goshawk and Otter.

Take a look at the photos, results and stay tuned to see what’s coming!

-J.K., M.E.

tuttvart ja merivardid / Tufted Duck and Greater Scaups tuttvart ja merivardid / Tufted Duck and Greater Scaups Crested Grebes / Tuttpütid Crested Grebes / Tuttpütid

2014 migration

6th of November The monitoring season 2014 ended. You find preliminary numbers and comparision with 2009 here.

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