Library

To achieve my goal of ID new things I have acquired a few books. From left to right: plants, fungi, snails, hoverflies, mammals, butterflies, lichen x2, habitat, birds x4.

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Minu määramisraamatute riiul. Pooled raamatud oli juba enne olemas, puudu olevad sain kirja eest jõuluvanale. Vasakult paremale: taimed, seened, teod, kiilid, imetajad, liblikad, samblikud x2, biotoop, linnud x4.

My guidebooks

My guidebooks

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Birthday trip

Trip facts:
Date: 12. January 2016
Location(s): Taevaskoda
Weather: -8 Celsius, cloudy
Duration: 5 hours
Distance: 92 km driven, 9 km walked

I have a tradition to go out hiking on my birthday. This year I chose to go to Taevaskoda, one of the best known natural attractions in Estonia. Here Ahja river is zig-zaging through its valley, several impressive sandstone cliffs tower over the river. It is a magical place and has attracted admirers for hundreds of years.

Snowy forest

Snowy forest

It had snowed during the night and covered the forest in fresh white powder. A very beautiful sight and just what a mind needs between indoor working days. Ahja, in these parts, is a fast flowing river, so it almost never freezes. We had temperatures well under -20 Celsius last week but the river was still open. A lonely Dipper was standing on a rock right at the beginning of my hike. Soon I spotted a male Hazel Grouse foraging on the forest floor. Woodpeckers were pecking away every now and then. I tried to find and check as many as possible in hopes of finding an elusive Three-toed Woodpecker but all that I did find were Great Spotted. I observed some Crested Tits up close and another Hazel Grouse sitting in a tree while searching through the woodpeckers. All-in-all a good hike on a good day.

Taevaskoda

Taevaskoda

Mul on kujunenud traditsiooniks sünnipäeval matkama minna. Sel aastal otsustasin külastada Taevaskoda. Öösel oli lund sadanud ja mets oli värskelt valgeks võõbatud. Okste pealt sadas aeg-ajalt külm pahmakas krae vahele, aga avanev vaatepilt oli seda väärt. Tõeline talv oma ilus. Pikkade tubaste päevade vahele täpselt see, mida hing ihkab.

Dipper

Dipper

Alustasin oma käiku Saesaare paisu juurest. Kohe paisu all istuski kivil üksik vesipapp. Liik, keda siin ikka iga talv kohtab, kuna kiirevooluline Ahja jõgi siin naljalt ei jäätu. Ka eelmise nädala -25 kraadised ilmad ei olnud jõele jääd peale tõmmanud. Teiseks uueks linnuliigiks sel aastal sain matkaraja ääres maas toitu otsiva laanepüü. Rähnid toksisid iga natukese aja tagant. Otsisin nad peaagu kõik üles, lootuses laanerähni leida. Paraku, aga osutusid kõik, kelle leidsin, suur-kirjurähnideks. Trampisin Valgesoo veskisillani välja ja siis teist kallast mööda tagasi. Rähnide vahele nägin tutt-tihase paari ja veel ühe laanepüü. Kokkuvõttes ilus matk, ilusal päeval.

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Twitching

Trip facts:
Date: 03. January 2016
Location(s): Kabli, Pikla, Kaarlijärve
Weather: -6 Celsius, windy and raining
Duration: 8 hours
Distance: 405 km driven, 5 km walked

I am not an obsessive twitcher (birdwatchers who go to see rare birds found by other birdwatchers) but I do twitch every now and then when a good species appears. On the last day of 2015 a Firecrest was found in Kabli, Pärnu county. It is quite rare in Estonia with 15 approved sightings. So on 3rd of January we decided to have a try at it with two other Tartu birdwatchers, Raul and Art Villem. We didn’t have high hopes at finding it, because on previous days few groups of twitchers had not managed to locate it. But it was a good excuse for a birding trip to the coast.

Firecrest, found and photographed by Jaak Tammekänd

Firecrest, found and photographed by Jaak Tammekänd

We headed out quite early, to be on the spot at sunrise. The bird was found at the yard of the local bakery. This was very convenient and after 45 minutes of searching, we took full advantage of a chance to warm up and have a nice coffee brake. With renewed vigor we resumed our search but eventually had to admit the Firecrest was not to be found.

There are a lot of coastal meadows in the region so we decided to have a look around instead. We chose Pikla fishing ponds as our destination. By the sea it was raining miniature icicles and the wind whipped them into your face. It was like being pricked by hundreds of frosty needles. One of the worst weathers I have been out with. Despite the weather we did a 40 minute hike around the fish ponds. The sea and the ponds were frozen over so there were know waterbirds around. But we saw a flock of Starlings, one Grey Partridge and Great Grey Shrike. I heard a distant Bearded Reedling calling.

Once back in the car we decided we have had enough torture for one day and head back to Tartu. On the way back it turned out Art Villem, as a very young birder, is still missing Rough-legged Buzzard from his list. So we checked an area of fields known for birds of prey near lake Võrtsjärv. It produced 4 Rough-legged Buzzards and couple of Common Buzzards. So at least Art Villem got an addition to his bird list.

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Aasta viimasel päeval leidis Jaak Tammekänd Pärnumaalt Kablist lääne-pöialpoisi. Tegu on Eestis üsna haruldase liigiga. Siiamaani on HK (Harulduste Komisjon) poolt kinnitatud 15 varasemat vaatlust. Seega otsustasime 3-ndal jaanuaril teha Rauli ja Art Villemiga bongamisretke. Väga suuri lootusi lääne-pöiakat leida me ei hellitanud, kuna eelnevatel päevadel olid mitmed teised otsimas käinud ja polnud lindu leidnud.

Startisime Tartust üsna vara, et päikesetõusu ajaks juba leiukohas olla. Leiukohaks oli väga sobivalt Kabli pagaripoe kuusehekk. Pärast 45 minutit otsimist sai seda ka ära kasutatud ja sooja joogi ning pirukatega otsimisindu turgutatud. Vaatasime veel teisedki 45 minutit piirkonnas ringi, aga pidime tõdema, et lääne-pöialpoiss jääb meil seekord leidmata.

Nurmkanad

Nurmkanad

Selle asemel otsustasime ära käia Piklas. Ilm oli muutunud tõeliselt vastikuks. Sadas ülipeenikest jäidet, mida vali tuul näkku piitsutas. Tiikidele tegime siiski ringi peale. Tiigid ja meri olid muidugi jääs, nii et veelinde ei olnud. Leidsime salga kuldnokkasid, ajasime lendu ühe nurmkana ja avastasime puu otsas valvet pidava hallõgija. Autosse tagasi saades, otsustasime, et aitab küll enese piinamisest ja asusime koduteele.

Tagasiteel selgus, et Art Villem ei ole Eestis karvasjalg-viud veel näinud. Seega põikasime Võrtsu äärsetelt põldudelt läbi. Lühikese ajaga leidsime 4 karvasjalg-viud ja paar hiireviud. Nii et bongamisretk ei läinud päris luhta, vähemalt Art Villem sai oma linnunimekirja lisa.

 

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