15. tammikuuta 2019

Winter birds near the center of Helsinki 14.1.2019

Every year there is some scarce winterers here in Helsinki and yesterday I managed to see some of those. Lone Barnacle Goose in Töölö with Eurasian Teal, European Wigeon and two Canada Geese in same little open water area.

Like last year there is some Crossbills in Eira and this time we can enjoy one male Parrot Crossbill with three Common Crossbills. I managed to see those too. And last but not least to my year list was a flock of three Rooks in Vallila, which is semi rare bird here. I saw only one bird, but that is enough!
Especially Rook and Parrot Crossbill can be tricky to find from Helsinki area.

Today (15th) I finally had my camera with me and I was in Eira with Julius while Vilma visited a doctors office. Same birds were present and I got few records shots of the birds.

Male Parrot Crossbill. 

Same bird again.

Female-type Common Crossbill. 

Our time ended pretty quickly and I took my family for lunch. After we had nice burgers, we headed back home.
Days are so short here and daylight is around 6hours now. Also our Canary Island trip is closer and we are leaving next week!

-Tom

13. tammikuuta 2019

Kingfisher in Espoo 12.1.2019

Yesterday we had finally time to go and twitch a very popular bird from Espoo. Even the local new has told about this wintering Kingfisher in Espoonlahti, Espoo. So many amazing photos has been published in facebook etc, but I have also head about stories of photographers chasing the bird and harassing the bird. That is always sad and everybody should think a bit of this. Every time the bird has to move without any reason it uses its low energy supply and its chances to survive through the winter decreases.

Anyway I took Vilma with me and we had plan that she will sit in a stroller so I can get my stroller tick and then after have watched the bird enough, she will get her candy day sweets.
When we arrived there was about 40 people watching and photographing the bird, so this twitch was easy.
We spend about 30 minutes on the site and we both saw the bird very well. Kingfisher was my stroller tick #229. Not too many easy ones left..
Light was not so good for the photos, but I managed to take some records shots. Bird was little bit behind the branches and bushes all the time, so not an easy one to shoot.

The colors of the bird are simply amazing. 

Common Kingfisher.

And again.


Great bird and nice to start my twitching year with success. Thank you Vilma for the company.


-Tom 

12. tammikuuta 2019

New Year, new birds. 11.1.219

Happy new year folks. The beginning of the year has been busy at work and not too much time for birds or birding lately.. I was out once in late December, but nothing interesting around.
On 11th I took Julius, my 7 months old son with me and we had very nice stroller walk around Maunulanpuro, where normally winters a least one Dipper and other birds.
Sun was shining a bit when we arrived and I started to test my new Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ82 camera. Of course the birds were hiding in the shadows all day and sun only little it touched the areas where I wanted to take photos.
In first feeder I had nice flock of different Tits. Coal Tit, Willow Tit, loads of Blue and Great Tits. Also around 30 Blackbirds and five Jays. When I counted the Blackbirds I noticed a smaller Thrush and it was revealed as a Song Thrush! What a nice birds in the middle of Winter here. I took distant photos (35m) and when I tried to get closer, it was the first bird who took out... Later I had lone male Chaffinch there too and I was happy.

Song Thrush. 

Chaffinch and Song Thrush.

I checked the stream for Dippers for two times and I found two different birds this time. Always a pleasure to see those! Calling Black Woodpecker and local Great-spotted Woodpecker were nice too. Not too many birds near the stream and basically all the birds I saw were in the feeder area.

Not a quality photo, but notice that fish in Dippers bill. Great action. 

With more light my photos would be awesome, but now I have to show you these...

Dipper. 

I had great time and Julius was sleeping most of the trip, so he gave me a good change to find these birds.
More birding coming and we are moving near the Viikki, which is the place for birdwatching in Helsinki. Stay tuned.

-Tom 

5. joulukuuta 2018

Some good birds in Helsinki 3.12.2018

December always means that I have to start to check my winter time list. Winter months are Dec-Feb and I have slowly increased my count of species during that time. The number is now 145 and I added two nice ones on that list on third of December.

A first winter female King Eider was found last week and cause I was working, I had to wait until my first change came on Monday morning. I took Vilma to kindergarten and drove to Vuosaari where the bird was seen last evening. I topped to have some coffee and when I arrived to Kallahti I noticed an alarm message of the bird which was positive, the bird was still in the area.
I walked to the most southernmost point of the cape and two guys told me where to look and there is was, what a beauty. Shame the light was bad and wind was strong, so bird was very challenging to watch. Very soon it moved again and flies away. I walked back and checked another place, the place where it was seen earlier, and there it was again.
This time it was in better place and I even got some poor document photos of the bird.

Soon I had to leave, because there was an Turtle Dove near by. I only stepped out of the car and walked short distance and the bird was there. Lots of people around it, so I watched it quickly and left to pick my new camera from Vantaa.
I bought this nice Panasonic Lumix FZ82 super zoom camera and I have to test it next time. With the zoom I have 1200mm reach for the birds, so let´s see what happens in real situation when I have to follow a moving targets.

Here is a short video of the King Eider and few photos.




Place where I first saw the King Eider. 

Bird was far away and light was bad, so very poor photos. 

Typical shape of the head. 

My new Lumix FZ82


-Tom