Friday, 25 March 2016

Western Estonia

Last week had a nice trip to estonia started off well as we drove to our main base on the west coast of Saaremaa Island. The first real productive area was around around the ferry where we had good number of seabirds seen with Goosander, Long-tailed Duck, and Scaup all out on the sea. On the Island we stopped on the road bridge which was great spot where we had 12 White-tailed eagles, Big numbers of Whooper Swans with a few Bewicks Swans and Smew, Goldeneye and Goosander. Also on route Crane, Bean geese and Great Grey Shrike where seen

Estonia from the air

Pair of White-tailed eagles

Pair of Whooper Swans

Goosanders flying through
Next morning an early start to try and locate some owls of which we heard Tawny Owl, Tengmalm Owl and Pygmy Owl but we did have a nice Hawfinch in a local Village all before sunrise. After breakfast we when Woodpecker hunting of which we saw Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser-spotted Woodpecker and Black Woodpecker of which the last two where seen drumming and gave some nice views. Also seen where the Northern Bullfinch, Northern Treecreeper, Marsh Tit, Cranes and a few Yellowhammer.


Black woodpecker


Northern Bullfinch


In the afternoon we had a nice Seawatching session on there western shore of the Island with the highlight a flock of 150+ Stellar Eiders seen though quite distance, interesting they dive and feed on the surface as one but great to watch. Other seabirds seen in the hundreds were Goldeneye, Mute, Whooper swans, Goosander and Long Tailed Ducks with a few Red-breasted Mergansers, Shelduck and Wigeon and a nice flock of Snow Bunting on the beach

Flock of Long-tailed Ducks

Pair of Goosander
We then moved to the main western coast of Estonia where the next morning we when to a Grouse leking site where we had decent views of over 30 Black Grouse performing. In the fields a few Whoopers swans where around with a few Singing Yellowhammers and skylarks which are migrants in Estonia and a great sight of a pair of hunting Golden eagles

Leking Black grouse

Whoopers Swans in the snow



Golden Eagle (honest)

The last afternoon was spent at a local bog which was frozen but did contain 3 Waxwings and the woodland near by had a Lesser spotted Woodpecker, Black woodpecker and Middle Spotted Woodpecker.As were packing up to go back to Tallinn the guide manged to pick up the call of a Parrot Crossbill which showed well in the Trees for us.

Parrot Crossbill

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