Thursday, 24 May 2018

Estonia May 2018 Part 2 No food at the inn!

Arriving in Tallin which is two hours ahead of the UK, it was now past 18.00pm by the time we set foot outside the terminal. Our tour company rep was there to meet us as promised and he took us across the road to meet our car hire rep and fill in the necessary forms. A brief instruction on how to use the provided electronic tablet and we were good to go. Escaping Tallin was easy and we were soon on a decent standard of road heading east towards our hotel for the first night. What struck us en route were the huge numbers of geese both flying and in the surrounding fields. There were literally thousands and it really heightened our sense of expectation for the next 10 days. 
Around 90 minutes later we arrived at the unexpectedly grand Sagadi hotel which is part of what appears to be a summer place or stately home. We were soon down to earth though. I asked what time dinner was served until and was told 19.30. It was 19.35. We wouldn't be able to get anything now the rather unconcerned receptionist told us. The bar however was open until 20.00! Asking where we might get something to eat we were told 15 kms away. We decided we couldn't be bothered as the effort of looking for somewhere was beyond us so instead decided to take a short drive around the locality to get some early birding in.
Inevitably we found some geese!
Bean Goose   Anser fabalis
Bean goose no less, a first for me! 
There were also Great White-fronted Geese, one I'd only ever seen once before too.
Greater White-fronted Goose   Anser albifrons
Add to that a Yellowhammer feeding in a ploughed field and I was quite happy, they are something of a rarity in the UK nowadays.
The other species that struck me by their numbers were Fieldfare. They were everywhere, that was one species I'd assumed would be further north but there again we were quite far north. About as far north as the very top of the British Isles in Shetland.
We returned to the hotel for an early bedtime, knackered by our early start and journey. Forward thinking Mike had purchased a bottle of beer each so it was nightcap and bed at 2100 even though it was still light!

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