SEEN - SE European Bird Migration Network
Autumn bird migration at Pape (Latvia) in 2005

J?nis Baumanis, Juris Kazubiernis, K?rlis Millers

Institute of Biology, Latvian University, Latvia

Pape Bird Station in Latvia (56°09’N 21°02’E) was founded in 1966 and is managed by the Institute of Biology, Latvian University. The station is located at coastal dunes overgrown with young pine stands between the Baltic Sea coast and the shallow eutrophic Lake Pape abundantly covered with reedbeds.
Every autumn many thousands of land-birds, geese, cranes and waders pass the area. Working period of ornithologists there takes place usually from the middle of August till the middle of November. Main activities include: (i) regular visual censuses of selected migratory species of birds (including owls by means of original spot lights during the night), (ii) mass scale trapping and ringing of migrating land-birds with a Heligoland trap, (iii) irregular trapping and ringing of migrating owls in nets with sound luring.
There were no considerable changes in numbers of regular diurnal migrants in autumn 2005 at Pape compared with many previous years. Only Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus demonstrated a slight increase (2005 individuals counted this autumn) after a decrease in 2003 (876 counted). Two birds of this species were controlled bearing Finnish rings (one of them ringed as nestling in the same year).
Long-eared Owls Asio otus censused during the night (2 050 individuals counted) exceeded numbers of at least four previous autumns. Of 218 birds of this species caught in nets, c. 60% were young females.
Three of irruption species are worth to mention having second best trapping results since autumn 2000:
- Long-tailed Tit Aegithalus caudatus – 11 943 trapped (22 227 in 2000); 47 of them arrived from Kabli (Estonia) 4–14 days (most often 6 days) after ringing there
- Treecreeper Certhia familiaris – 962 (1610 in 2000); one of them ringed at Hanko (Finland) 11 days before
- Goldcrest Regulus regulus – 17 812 (25 512 in 2000); one of them ringed at Kabli 5 days before
- unprecedented invasion of Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea – some days in the beginning of November even 13 500 individuals passed the station during one morning hour of observations.
- some signs of invasion of Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus was also marked
Rarities were represented by two Yellow-browed Warblers Phylloscopus inornatus and one Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus and one Siberian Nuthatch Sitta europaea asiatica.

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