At Ille's suggestion, I caught the bus this morning to the small town of Viimsi just a few miles north of Tallinn. There, she had told me, were a number of small, urban woodlands where I should find something to keep me interested. but before that,
just a couple of shot from last nights birthday dinner, unfortunately birthday girl Helis is hiding behind the foliage, sat next to her is her boyfriend, and Ille's youngest son, Herkko, then Ille and Me.
Helis and Herkko again.
It was just 10 paces from the bus to the nearest wood, which was full of bird song.
A sweet but unfamiliar song was constant from high in a Silver Birch tree and although it took a while to locate the bird it was a Pied Flycatcher, a song I have never heard before!
Nuthatch, it will be noted that the northern race of this familiar woodland bird is all but devoid of the peachy orange breast and belly of the ones found in UK.
Having spotted a pair of Common Scoter I assumed the large number (hundreds rather than tens) were the same, but on closer inspection most were to seen as Long-tailed Duck, but only a couple ventured near enough for a photo call.
Another unfamiliar, yet beautifully sweet song, came from this Icterine Warbler another song I have never heard before, and unlike the few I have seen skulking in the lower levels of thick bramble, this, one of a pair, seemed happy in the tops of the local Silver Birches.
Between seeing the Icterine Warbler above and this smart Fieldfare I also heard, again for the first time, the song of Redstart. It was only when this Thrush started up that i was reminded of the return of Martin Cade (Warden of the Portland Bird Observatory) from last years 'birding' holiday in Sweden and Finland. Of course full of news of Great Grey Owl and Steller's it was soon apparent that one of his highlights was the 'song' of Redwing. The same happened to me today, and as it was also feeding I thought a little patience may result in something even better?
Only a brief glimpse of these images will show you what I mean. Have you ever watched a pair of Fieldfare feeding young? what I presumed to be the female bird directed me to the nest, but seemed concerned about my presence and simply perched on the lip of the nest making these open beaked gestures.
Thinking the coast clear it proceeded to feed the 5 nestlings, then carrying out domestic cleaning of the bottom of the nest, before
being relieved by the more colorful partner, which I thought had to be the male. What a sight!
Some of the fauna in these wood included (white) Wood Anemony