I agree, that mute swans are not on the top of anyones birding list or main subject to aim with camera. But they are still lovely majestetic birds that always get my attention. Close to my home, there is a place called swan bay. When we had cold winters then they gathered to that bay, but now lately there has been just few couples and most of the pairs are spead all over the coastline. Lets see, how winter is progressing, if the sea freezes, they might gather there again.
Planning a long weekend to Tallinn and wondering what to do here in winter? Many people take a long weekend on even week trip to Tallinn before Christmas. Why? Well, first, Tallinn has highly recommended Christmas market, according to its thought one of the best one in Europe, see the article HERE. I was going through the city center this Saturday, the tree is already there and some market booths are built already. I think the market will be ready after week, maybe 10 days. I will share you the images of the market when they get it ready. I really hope there will be some snow to add dot on top of “I” letter :). I think the second good reason to be here is that it’s not crowded in winter. you can enjoy walks in the old town or Kalamaja hipster area, visit museums, enjoy dinner in Estonian…
Bohemian waxwings, those lovely nomads are typical birds to see during winter and we always try to find them during our birdwatching day tours around Tallinn (see the details HERE). This year has been good for mountain ash, so the food base is relatively good for them. But of course eating about twice of the body weight daily or 800-1000 berries a day the berries vanish quickly :). Did you know that they are called “pestvogel” plaguebird in Dutch and “Russ”- a Russian in Italy?
Common cranes are such a beautiful birds, and I always enjoy seeing them. Of course they are ususally one of those “must see” things on our birdwatching day tours as well. Best time would be spring and autumn migration but they are easy to see during summer as well. Either you choose to go to west Estonia birdwatching day trip or half day Tallinn day tour (Okay, its not only Tallinn, we will drive outside a bit as well) you will most probably see them. But I collected some images of them from 2019 season tours.
A throwback…. You know there is no good explanation for that but you sometimes JUST KNOW that somebody is looking at you. I was following some fresh moose tracks, as I happend to see young moose about distance of 300…400m. Found the footprints i tried to follow it but lost it in few hundred meters. I also realized that it’s too damn dark to get a reasonable quality image anyway. And then i feel that somebody is stearing at me. i turned arund and there was a about 7-8 weeks old ural owlet up on the tree just about 10 meters away. So i climbed a tree myself to get an better angle for the shot but it was too dark already for proper shot. Luckily Sony a7iii allows to shoot okay quality with really high ISO, so I got at least some memory of that moment. Find HERE more…
Black grouse in the action. He is waiting for rivals and preparing himself for a fight. We have bird watching day tours! Check them out here!
There are some curious (and a little bit crazy) capercaillies in the forest. The best time for seeing them is in early spring when they have their mating rituals. Usually they are seen in the bog forests and gravel roads. But as I mentioned before there are some crazy ones who can be seen everywhere. 😉
Autumn migration is ongoing in west-Estonia. Here are some shots from last weekend. there is still time to enjoy the experience, find your daytrip HERE
Last year (2018) in May I was filming ural owl nesting period. some of those clips ended up to Estonian National Television to very popular enviromental show Osoon (Ozone). Although the clip is in estoninan language without subtitles, if you are into birds you will get it without translation. I have added short description of the clip below Ural owl clip starts from 21:25 , and its about 5 min long. So the clip is about ual own nest which I found in the middle of April. The owlets hatched 3rd of May and left the nest on the 27th of May, which I unfortunately did not witnessed. In this clip there is only few minuts of this period but alltogether I filmed about 40h of footage. Please CONTACT me if you are interested of using some of that material.
I have not counted how many hundred hours I have spent near ural owl (strix uralensis) nest, mostly filming but some photography as well. I have got some good and some great footages and I hope that the result will be some 15-20min movie about the owl. So since my last post there has been explosion of spring, everything is green and it has been beautiful weather, but it has been also explosion of mosquitoes and I mean the air is thick of them!!! So filming near the nest have been challenge. As you see, 2 chicks are out, good and strong and I think just few days are left before they leave the nest. So I must use the time left to get most out of it! I want to thank the people around me who understand and support that project! 😉