It’s mid- March but the temperatures are still quite wintery. Night temeparatures drop down to -10C, around zero during the daytime and snow is still usual every day. Badgers are up and active, so there is finally something to enjoy from the trail cameras Also some migratory birds have arrived aleady some weeks ago, skylarks first geese, lapwings. The only thing we have to wait is that COVID would ease things and sot of “normal” life would be restored.
I got a nice european elk surprice on my trail camera. I’m usually go to trail cameras once a month for mainteinance. When the camera registers the movement, it send s me 2 low-res images, never the videos. So its always bit of surprize what i get from there. This time i got spontaneos laugh when opening the first 10-sec video when adult elk fills about quater of frame and stares at you. It was probaly 2 m away and the camera is about 2,8 m from the ground. So you can imagine the size of the animal. I also loved that the common cranes are calling same time, I know they are roughly 50 -70 meters away and tenous european aspen forest amplifies this call very nicely. It’s a male, note the antler bases on the forehead.
Found a new ural owl nest. Very good location for filming and photography. Well lit and minimal if any disturbance while approaching the area. It’s european aspen forest edge that is surrounded by cleared area with low shrub, some mixture of and beside ural owl there is also balck and white-backed woodpecker habitat, heard pygmy owl far away, common cranes, roe deer and elk trails. This time the nest itself is more challaenging then 2018. Current nest is way deeper. So you can see on the image that owl dives inside the tree about 30-40cm. in the owl nest the owl sit much higher so it was well visible most of the time like you see on the image below. In general I feel very sad that such a nice spring is without birding tours. COVID has done its job and i need to do all birding tours alone. 🙂…
Elk watching is considerably easy in spring and autumn (Sept-October). Some areas of Estonia are probably suffering because of high hunting limits and might be bit difficult to see them. Around Tallinn and west Estonia there are still many high success rate spots left and there is good chance to see them. Of course it’s a nature and nothing is guaranteed! More information of such wildlife watching daytrip you can find 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! 😉