2019 migration

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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