Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Estonia May 2018 Part 11 Time to go home.

The last morning, a long day ahead of us. 
Early start in the floating hide?
Forget it, I decided I was staying in bed and had a lie in until 7.00am!
Mike meantime had taken the opportunity for another chance to sit in the floating hide. He'd fared no better really but had been impressed by a distant Moose (Elk) wading across the shallow waters of the bay way out ahead of him. He'd had much better views than the two I'd seen which had been tiny dots in the distance, even through a telescope lens kindly offered to me by someone at the Tuulingu Tower.
He'd also seen a Temmink's Stint briefly but said the views were very obscured by reed stubble and when he'd got fed up he'd wandered off to see if he could find the Thrush Nightingale we'd heard calling in the Tuulingu garden. He'd managed some images but at least that was still there so a chance still for me.
On the grounds of this evidence I decided I'd made the right call as I'd had a decent sleep instead! 
I took my bags down to load the car before having breakfast and on the off chance there might just be something still about near the hide I headed to the gate leading to it.
I didn't even have to go through, there were three Temmink's Stints just beyond it! I grabbed a couple of shots before deciding I'd return to the car to get 5D4 for some extra pixel power. The other three guests were just returning from their trip and I was engaged in conversation for a few minutes so unfortunately by the time I'd got back the Stints had gone.
Still I'd had a decent photo opportunity and without putting any effort in to it , here was my 6th lifer of the trip.
Temminck's Stint   Calidris temminckii
It didn't end there either, Mike and I went back in search of the Thrush Nightingale and I got some shots of that too>
My 7th lifer of the trip!
Thrush Nightingale   Luscinia luscinia
We were ending in style.
Thrush Nightingale   Luscinia luscinia
Happy we'd got something worth keeping we returned for breakfast and later, a chat with the pro guide.
We asked him for a tip about somewhere to go on our way back to the airport and he was good enough to point out on our map exactly where to find the Slavonian Grebes.
Slavonian Grebe  Podiceps auritus
and didn't they show well too!
Slavonian Grebe  Podiceps auritus
What a shame our hide experiences couldn't have given us this.
Slavonian Grebe  Podiceps auritus
Definitely the best and most successful birding photo session of our trip!
With me navigating as usual I took Mike off course to visit one last Gosney site in his booklet. We found one solitary bird floating in the harbour but it was a first for the trip, another for the Big Year list, a Long-tailed Duck.
Long-tailed Duck   Clangula hyemalis
Why it was here alone was anyone's guess because about a mile off shore there were thousands of ducks and geese in huge rafts. Maybe this one was just anti-social.
Long-tailed Duck   Clangula hyemalis
Mike was starting to get anxious we'd be late back to the airport but I'd got the map and knew all was in hand.
Besides, had we gone the quickest way we'd have missed our last excellent sighting of the day and the trip for that matter.
We'd just passed a road sign, one of these triangular ones that warn about animals crossing ahead which never are, only this time it was!
Great way to finish! Well might have been better if we didn't have to pay a speeding fine when we handed the car back but hey, it wasn't that expensive and we'd more than earned one during our trip. We'd been hurrying around on many occasions so we got off lightly.
Anyway, it was goodbye Tallin, hello Frankfurt. Goodbye Frankfurt hello Manchester before Mike safely delivered me back home at 2.00am.
Another tip over, not the most successful perhaps but there again not  all of life's rich tapestry is.
Hope you have enjoyed sharing our adventure.

but wait T.B.C.


  1. Thoroughly enjoyed your account of Estonia David.You certainly put the effort in and endured the hardships, its the anticipation that keeps us motivated!Catch up soon mate.

  2. Thanks Paul, hope we catch up soon...6/7 ??