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Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch

Three new species. Dawn saw just the two of us and Pekka and Mika out looking for Bittern, no luck. However, at 6am we went back to the hotel to pick up some of the others and with them our luck changed.  A fair drive took us out to a promontory jutting out into the Baltic Sea.  No sooner had we jumped out of the vehicles, than a largish, grey warbler was soon seen flying a circuit around a clump of bushes and small willows:  Barred Warbler was on the list, and so obliging that it was in the photo album too!  After a quick breakfast, the whole group set off, taking a circuitous route back to the port at Tallinn.  Our route took us along the Baltic coast, where we stopped and scanned from another windy promontory - plenty of gulls, terns  and swans but no new birds for our list.  We also drove through a wooded area and. stopping at an open glade, listened hard for the raucous Jay-like call of the Nutcracker.  After a long, silent wait, we were rewarded with the distant sound of the bird.  Following its call back down the track, we finally picked up this striking brown-and-white corvid, perched near the top of a pine tree.  As it moved through the trees we got better and better views until it obligingly flew over the track above us.  What a great bird! And did we get our bogey Bittern?  Well, a stop later in the afternoon by a reed-edged lake had us once again straining our ears for the distinctive boom.  Mika heard it, and then one of us, and there were tense minutes while we waited holding our breath to see if it would boom again.  Then suddenly it did, this time the boom even clearer and louder,  an unlikely sound like blowing across the top of a milk bottle.  Up into the viewing tower we went, and scanned and scanned the reeds but although we heard several more booms, we caught no sight of the bird. But we'll still record it as a 'heard' species for now, but you never know, maybe we'll get another chance for a look.  Great excitement amongst the group though as a gorgeous Penduline Tit flew across the reeds and showed off right in front of us.Back in the vehicles again, and we drove to Tallinn, where we sadly said goodbye to Mika, our fantastic guide for the Estonian leg of this trip.  We took the ferry back across to Helsinki, where we headed in for an early night ahead of another 5am start in the morning.Bird species total: 2257Posted 10pm, 4th May, Helsinki, Finland


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