Thursday, 21 May 2009

Destinations: Pikla - Estonia

The disused fish-ponds at Pikla lie by the hamlet of the same name on Estonia's Baltic Coast south of Parnu, about 12km north of Haademeeste, between road 4 and the sea. There are ponds, reedbeds, meadows, dunes and the sea itself. There are 3 bird-towers here, one over the ponds, 2 looking out to sea. Passage birds include all the swans, geese, gulls, terns, waders and warblers that one would expect hereabouts. Rarities for Estonia are sometimes found here, too. Breeding birds include Little and Spotted Crakes, Savi's Warbler and Bearded and Penduline Tits.  

Monday, 11 May 2009

Special Birds: Common Sparrowhawk

Common Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus is a common and widespread bird in the region. Though often secretive in the breeding season it is regularly seen at other times and even moves into urban areas in winter. This female was photographed in the centre of Mikulov, South Moravia, Czech Republic, in March 2009. 

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Special Birds: Common Nightingale

Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos is a very common bird throughout much of the region. It is replaced by close relative Thrush Nightingale in the very east and north, and a zone of overlap occurs in a roughly NW to SE direction. A visitor, most arrive in March-April and leave in August-September. Though very common locally it is a bird that is more often seen than heard. This fine photo of a bird in full song was taken in April 2009 at Skradinski Buk, Krka NP, Croatia, by Alan Outen.