11. kesäkuuta 2015

Last two weeks.

Spring is almost gone already and Summer is here. In last two weeks i had only one short day for birds and i spend it with my pal Tyron.
Before that day i went to twitch an escape origin Lesser White-fronted Goose in Hietalahti beach, Helsinki. I ended my shift at 22.30 so there was not much light left when i arrived there with my bike. I found the flock very quickly and after watching the Goose for a while i left. Beautiful bird and sadly i can´t count it on my year list.

Notice the ring. What a beauty. 


So, i had time for birds at 7th of June, finally. Met Tyron at the Vanhankaupinginlahti and we had great, but short 3 hours there. Not so much birds around, but two singing Great-reed Warbler, lots of Sedge Warbler, Brent Goose etc. Nice time with great guy is always worth to go out.

Great-reed Warbler singing.

Some Wigeons and lots of Canada Geese.

Good old Herring Gull.

Female Pied Flycatcher.

Singing Sedge Warbler.

More birding coming this weekend. Trip to Liminka etc. More about that later here.

Tom

29. toukokuuta 2015

Marmaris, Turkey 18.5-24.5.2015

Finally i have time to write about our great trip to Turkey with Sanni. We landed actually there already 17th but it was night and we ariive to our hotel at 2am.
First few days i spend in pool area with Sanni, but like always i noticed much birds around.
Mostly common birds in our hotel area, but i saw tens of Alpine Swifts, few Pallid Swifts, Short-toed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzards etc from our balcony and from the yard.
At some point i went to walk in the woods near by and it was really big surprise to find two Kruepper´s Nuthatches! I thought there is change to see this bird, but wow, so easy. First lifer! Otherwise woods were quite empty, so i had time to watch insect life there also. I found at least four different Dragonflies, many Butterflies and even one species of huge Ant-Lion.

Nice view.

Kruepper´s Nuthatch place. 

Odalisque Dragonfly.

Kruepper´s Nuthatch.

Here is also huge Ant-Lion which scientific name is  Palpares Libelluloides, i guess!

Huge, almost 10cm long creature!

Later i rented a car from Avis and i had time to do birding in wider area. First day i drove all the way to Knidos, about 120km from Marmaris. Knidos i near little city called Datca and after Datca there is huge area of downhill fields and some olive-tree groves.
I was amazingly lucky when i stopped to watch some Buzzards and heard something odd.
I came out of the car and went little closer to the singer. This point i had only one bird in my mind. Singer was huge Olive-tree Warbler! I had quite good views of the bird with my binoculars, but when i started to grab my camera, the bird moved. I went after it and what was really amazing, there was two birds. Almost an hour i chased the birds, but no photos.... Anyway great bird and second lifer for me. Along my drive i had also other nice birds like European Roller, Rueppel´s Warbler, Lesser Kestrels, Little Owl and some many species of Shrikes (Woodchat, Masked and Lesser Grey)

Alpine Swift. Very common everywhere.

Common Buzzard

Lesser Kestrel Male.

Masked Shrike.

Knidos, near where i had my only Rueppel´s Warbler.

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear.

European Roller.

Crested Lark.

Some Huge beetle.

Nice first day i had with car and late we drove to Icmeler to have some food and later to Turunc to watch beautiful city and landscape.

My rental Ford. 

Turunc city from the mountain.

Next day i started early and went to check some famous wetlands just little bit south from Bodrum airport. Thanks for the tip Emin Yogurtcuoglu!
During my drive i had only few birds, but landscapes were awesome. I arrived to the wetlands just after nine a clock and right away i had first Corn Buntings sitting on a cable, big flock of Yellow-legged Gulls etc. I drove little further and foun place where i saw some Pelicans from the car window. Dalmatian Pelicans! Third lifer! I counted 14 of these huge birds with some Greater Flamingos, Stone Curlews, Caspian Terns etc. Great place. I moved a little and found lone Ruddy Shelduck, Black-winged Stilts, Little Egret, Spur-winged Lapwings and many other birds.

Little Owl.

Stone Curlew.

Yellow-legged Gull

Black-headed Yellow Wagtail.

Dalmatian Pelican.

Another Dalmatian Pelican. Ringed individual.

Greater Flamingo.

Distant Ruddy Shelduck

This area was also quite good looking.


I spend two hours in the area and i was really satisfied. Awesome birds and finally i saw this legendary Pelican.
Driving back was slow and not much birds during the drive.

Last full day in Marmaris and i took another expedition in the forest. This time little earlier, so i could find some birds.
I did not find many but at least six Kruepper´s Nuthatches this time. Other birds were something like Black Bird, Jay, Great Tit etc.. Also Collared Dove is common there.Many butterflies again and this time i got some nice photos of Turkish Meadow Brown.

Some kind of Blue.

Collared Dove.

Turkish Meadow Brown.

I was already walking back when i noticed big butterfly flying quite high above the nearest trees. Quickly i took my binoculars and i saw something familiar from the Butterfly books. Two-tailed Pasha! What a butterfly. Sadly it was soon gone and i did not get any photos.. Later also another impressive butterfly shoved up when i saw Scarce Swallowtail near our hotel.

Rest of the trip i spend time with Sanni and we had absolutely awesome time. Turkey was warm and food was quite good, at least the local one!
61 Species and many butterfly lifers.
Thanks to Emin for the tips and thanks Sanni for letting me go with the birds.

Tom

16. toukokuuta 2015

Morning in Laajalahti. 16.5.2015

Today i had about two hours for birds before I had some family happening with Sanni and shes siblings.
I went to Maari bird tower with high hopes, but the meadow was quite empty.. Three Temmink´s Stints, some Ringed Plovers, Garganey, Thrush Nightingale, Spotted Crake and Water Rail etc. In the tower i had nice time with some familiar guys. Some point we were talking about Great Egret which was migrating to our direction and at the same moment Jani Ceder yelled "Great Egret flying quite near!" Funny situation. Egret landed other side of the bay, but after fifteen minutes it left towards South-West. Bird came quite close to the tower and i managed to get some decent flight shots.

Great Egret.

Later i went to Arabianranta street festival with Sanni and others and while waiting in one point i noticed big raptor flying almost above. I could only see that it was some kind of Eagle, but not White-tailed or Golden. So it had to be something lesser. I had to check some compas points when alarm of migrating spotted/lesser spotted eagle alarm came from Vanhankaupunginlahti. Had to be same bird! At this point bird was already gone. About half an hour later next alarm of Greater spotted Eagle came from Maari. Had to be same bird again! I really was in right place at the right time.

Anyway, great day with some new year ticks. Tomorrow starts our Turkey trip with Sanni! Let´s see what happens there. Maybe some lifers like i mentioned yesterday, but at least warm weather and relaxing.

Tom

15. toukokuuta 2015

Recent bird watching around Southern Finland.

I have been lazy.. No energy for this blog and few times it was quite close that i just quit writing here. Anyway, here comes new post after what, six weeks? wow.

Spring is already here. I visited Vanhankaupunginlahti twice, Suomenoja twice and Laajalahti twice.
My latest trip was Salo where i twitched Red Kite to my Finnish list. That was amazing. More of that later.

Here is few pics from early April from Viikki and Vanhankaupunginlahti.

Garganey is my favorite duck in Finland. Here is couple with Common Teals.

Little flock of Common Cranes.
Here is Gadwall couple from Suomenoja where i showed some birds to my colleagues daughter. We had nice trip with Slavonian Grebes, Common Moorhens etc.

Distant photo of Gadwalls. Also Common Pochard and Tufted Ducks around.
 Later April i was in Viikki again, trying to twitch Black Redstart with out any luck.. First Redshanks there with Lesser Ringed Plovers and Common Curlews.

Very common Northern Lapwing.

And other very common White Wagtail.

23th of April i went to check Glaucous Gull very near our house in Pikkuhuopalahti. Twitching without binos and camera is not so fun but here is photo taken with
my mobile phone.

White gull center of the photo is Glaucous Gull. 3cy bird. 

Second of May i visited Raasepori and tried to twitch two Black-necked Grebes, but no luck. Other common spring birds though.
Next day i went to Maari bird tower in Laajalahti and had very nice 2,5 hours there. We had male Citrine Wagtail and Black Kite from the tower and when i was arriving there i heard Penduline tit calling about 300m from the tower. Good company in the tower and back home.

Male Citrine Wagtail.

When i arrived back home we had to prepare our selves for Sannis niece birthday party. Same time an alarm of Mediterranean Gull in Espoo just 8km from our house came to my phone. Little fight and i left to twitch. I saw the bird very nicely and made back home just in time. Lifer for me and it always deserves at least four pictures!

From here you can see some black in the wings so birds age is "second summer"

Hood is very black when comparing to Black-headed Gulls.

Also bill is thicker and more red than Black-headed gulls bill.

Last photo. 

Seventh of May we made horrible dipping trip with my uncle and i don´t want to talk about it, but next day was amazing, despite the dipped Red-rumped Swallow....

I took my mothers car and after that bloody Swallow i drove to Salo. At least i saw one Great White Egret before i leave.
Great-white Egret. 

I was about 1km away of the original place where the Red Kite was spending time when i noticed few cars next to the road. There was some bird watchers and i stopped to ask what they are looking for. Guys told me that Red Kite is flying there above the near forest. I rise my binoculars and there it was!! Mighty Red Kite. I ran to take my telescope but bird disappeared behind the woods.
Guys told me that go to the original place, it will show there. I drove like a maniac, according the speed limits of course and when i arrived the bird was flying above distant forest area.
Took few pics and watched it with the telescope about 2 minutes.
What a feeling!

Red Kite.

I drove back to the places where others still waited and they had the birds just minute earlier i arrived. I took my stuff and joined them when some body yelled Black Kite flying quite near. I got some bad photos of this one too.
Black Kite.


It seems that Red Kite and Black Kite are nesting together now in Finland and both birds were seen carrying nesting material. Later Red Kite disappeared so my guess is that it sits in the nest and Black Kite is male who carries all the food for the Red one. Maybe in few weeks we know more.
Med Gull was my Finnish tick number 307 and Red Kite was number 308. Slowly but surely i get these species.
Starting next Sunday me and Sanni spend time in Marmaris Turkey and i hope i get some Western Palearctic ticks from there. One week trip, so after that i will write something here. I hope!

-Tom-