The Surge

Saturday was an atrocious day not even worth talking about. Persistent heavy showers meant it wasn't worth venturing out.

Sunday was a different matter however, with beautiful sunshine and a real sense of energy and movement to birding.

An early morning walk with Kuura produced a juv Redstart, the first I've seen in weeks, and a good number of Blackcap, a sign the rain had an effect.

We set out for Saltfjarden where migration was in full swing. Cranes were moving over in droves as were a variety of Raptors.

The sense of motion that comes with migration here is something truly incredible, lacking in the migration season in Ireland, with the possible exception of seabird movement.

There's something amazing about how Cranes simply hang in the air like that. The graceful sight of a flock of thermal riding Cranes is one of the best things about this time of year.

Notable among the birds moving were a good number of juv Honey Buzzards, spectacular looking beasts.

Lots of Sparrowhawk and the odd Goshawk, White Tailed Eagles and Marsh Harriers, and a single Osprey also made an appearance.

I then picked up an adult Peregrine which hung around giving excellent views. This bird showed what seemed to be a distinctly hooked rear hood and a generally pale appearance, perhaps suggesting calidus.

I subsequently picked up a juvenile Peregrine headed west, a pretty decent haul for Saltfjarden.

As I was leaving for lunch, a magnificent full adult male Pallid Harrier buzzed over the car and made a beeline south. A dream of a bird. You can't beat adult male Pallid Harriers. One of the greatest looking birds on the planet.

After lunch in the local cafe, we made for Bole. A brief 15-20 watch here was excellent, producing a gorgeous make Rough Legged Buzzard, another juv Pallid Harrier, several Honey Buzzards, a dozen or so Marsh Harrier and a single Black Woodpecker.

It was then off to the in laws, where an evening walk around Suomenoja allotments produced a late Red Backed Shrike, Tree Pipit and the usual migrant chiffs.
A very enjoyable few hours of crammed birding.


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