Season take off - get ready for the peaks
It was a calm start, yes, totally calm. Only few birds passed the stations putting us in disbelief about migration ways but never doubt the birds, they will certainly come. A few first days with a few hundred birds brought us enough calm moments to prepare the migration count, the facilities, the good mood among the team. An untypical time for harriers as they flew through in numbers particularly far below the average. Doubt increased when we started counting the early morning on station 2, which we organized only for the early morning harrier migrants. And then - almost nothing.
Eventually we sighted streams of Honey Buzzards - the expected moment - the expected witnessing seemed to overcome us. 27th and 28th August we counted 20.000 and 50.000 on day already. Along with nice passerines migration with Tree Pipits, Ortolans, Short-toed Larks, Crossbills, Orioles, first Bee-eaters, we had nice numbers, nice sightings, and no doubt anymore, that more will come.
Some cloudy days brought waders: Ruffs, Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Tereks in the Delta, and 4 dark morph Arctic Skuas in station 2!!! Fantastic observation.
Eagles made our days in the beginning with a good start of 18 Steppe Eagles mostly adult, and 5 Lesser Spotted Eagles.
Very nice insects migration in the first days, mostly Sympetrum fonscolombii with hundreds if not thousands of individuals. Other nice insect, Hyles livornica (Striped Hawk-moth) feeding during the day in station 2.
And then on 29th August the awaited peak day came and brought as tons of birds to count.
Honey Buzzard: 58.000
Montagu's Harrier: 449
Pallid Harrier: 2
Marsh Harrier: 80
and more birds. See all counts on our migration count data page.
The team is great, hardcore clickers. Good to see some guys coming back year after year, like John or Gabriel. Nice to catch back with the families as well.