Any day I discover something 'new' is in my book a great day. Preferably a bird, but mammal, food, wine, music, everything is in the frame! A slow wake up to a possibly cold day, but by the look of it little prospect of rain. Reduced to just 4 eggs was a bonus to start with, and after we headed for the Tallinn harbour and sea wall. Before even catching a glimpse of the sea Greenfinch entered the log as an Estonian tick, as did Raven immediately we hit the foreshore. We were now out of the lee, and despite the wind speed being less than 20 knots, it was from the north east making for a cold day via wind chill. The beach was strewn with Hooded Crow, Black-headed Gull and L argentatus, but up ahead looked promising with good numbers of Duck not too far out to sea. These proved to be a few Mallard, a single Gadwall, dozens of Wigeon and hundreds of Goldeneye mostly males. However, that was as good as it got, and in some quarters the temperature was taking its toll so we decanted to a nearby Mexican restaurant where we met up with Herkko and had a bowl of soup.
After this short repast the 3 of us headed back to Ille's apartment where I had been promised a surprise. On arrival they both set about laying the table, and I have to admit to thinking "oh no not more food", It was, but only a small amount as they gave me a small taste of one of their Christmas treats, Lamprey! Caught in the river which forms the border between Russia, these elongated fish with that strange mouth sucker, is considered a delicacy and commands a price up there with caviar. Marinaded and immersed in a jar of aspic, Ille informed me that she keeps one jar strictly for herself on Christmas Day, which hereabouts is December 24th, and eats them in traditional style, with a tot or 2 of Ukraine vodka. This was the way we ate them this afternoon and I have to say, most enjoyable in addition to being a 'first'. During this treat I was also told about Vodka Socks. Yes, I was equally intrigued! Well, it seems if you get anything from diphtheria to an ingrowing toe nail, you immediately eliminate the local GP and stick ya woolies in a jar of Vodka. When they are completely soaked you slip them on and when you wake up in the morning, Hey Presto you attain the same status as Lazarus!
Well, that's it for today, unfortunately no photographs as I'm using Ille's laptop and have no idea how to downloat todays 'takings' - Manana.