untitledIn March 2014 Estonian Birding Society published a book ”Viron Linnut, Havainnot 1990-2010”, edited by Timo Pettay. It is an overview of the status and numbers of 396 bird species found in Estonia. Previous similar works were published in German, Russian and Estonian but this one is in Finnish. For readers who do not speak Finnish, here is a list of the main elements and a translation of the abbreviations used.

For a copy of ”Viron Linnut h avainnot 1990-2010” mail your order to vironlintuseura(at)
with your name and address included. The price is 10.00 € + 12.00 € (P&P).

The preface is followed by three articles. Their topics are a short history of ornithology in Estonia, a tale of how Finnish birders discovered this treasure trove and the timing of migration at the Sõrve Bird Observatory. In the main part of the book the occurrence of common species is laid out in detail. At the end there is a Rarities Committee report of accepted observations till the end of 2013. A continuously updated rarities report is published at:

The main part of the book is a summary of the more than 400.000 records from the years 1990-2010 recorded in the databases of the Helsinki and Tartu Universities or Sõrve Bird Observatory, concerning a total of 86 million birds. Rarities are treated in just a few lines. More attention is paid to the common species – some 260 of them. Breeding and wintering populations as well as the seasonal and geographical distributions of each species are described. First the occurrence (esiintyminen) of each species is outlined in a short text. The second part (havaintoja) is a list of observations. The list begins with the number of observations (in parenthesis) followed by some 20-30 noteworthy observations from different parts of the country. Each obervation includes date, place, number of birds and the observers’ initials.

Abbreviations used in the list of observations:
Place: SLA= Sõrve Bird-observatory, KLA= Kabli bird observatory, Ppea= Põõsaspea point (also known as Spitham).
Activity: m= migrating, yöm= migrating at night, p= present, r= ringed, yks= individual(s), ä= calling, Ä= singing (drumming etc.), a= flock, 2a= 2 flocks (but a2 is one flock of two birds).
E= east, S= south, W= west and N= north.
Age & plumage: ad= adult, juv= juvenile, subad= subadult, imm = immature, tp= winter plumage, vp= transitional plumage, jp= breeding plumage. Sex is denoted male/female, age by hyphenation. For example a1″2’/3 is a flock with 1 adult male, 2 juvenile males and 3 birds in female plumage.