20. toukokuuta 2019

Pied Avocet with friends 17.5.2019

On 17th I took Vilma and together we went to Kurkimäki (area near by) to visit a little children´s festival called Kurkijamit. There was a famous duo from our everyday children´s TV-show called Pikkukakkonen. We met my friend Tyron there and he had his daughter Ella with him. Together we watched the show and girls played together. During the time in the park I had info that a local Pied Avocet was hanging on Kallvik beach, only few kilometers from the park we were. Cause we both wanted to see the bird, it was easy to lure the girls there and tick the bird at the same time.
We arrived to the Kallvik and there was already loads of twitched around. Avocet is pretty common rarity in Finland, but somehow it is really rare in Helsinki. I checked the Tiira-system later and there is only even records in 2000´s from here. Bird was feeding actively when we arrived and after little nap it continued eating and moved along the shore in a small area. Here is few pictures of this beautiful wader. I was also lucky cause Tyron had stroller for Ella and we borrowed those to get the stroller tick for me. Vilma was kind enough to sit there for that little moment.

Underwater food market. 

Bird walked on the beach too. Bad picture but beautiful bird and it had some rings too! 

Pied Avocet. 

What a stunner. 

Kallvik beach. 

Kallvik peninsula, where the beach lays is a great place for birds. Last winter I got the King Eider from there and there is good sightings reasonably often.
This bird was actually first seen couple of days ago in Kouvola, about 130km Northeast from Helsinki and later same day bird continued and was relocated from Espoo. Color rings on its legs maybe reveal something later and I heard that there is few ringing projects with this species in Europe.

-Tom 

16. toukokuuta 2019

Green-winged Teal 15.5.2019

I have been working my ass off lately so no much birding in past week or so. On 11th I twitched a female European Stonechat from Viikki. Bird was showing nicely for a moment and then I ride to work with my bicycle.
Yesterday, on 14th I had nice light morph Arctic Skua from work and same time I added Blue Throat and Common Whitethroat to my year list. Nice stuff and clearly some kind of migration going.
Today on 15th I was at home ready for some shopping I promised to Sanni when I noticed an alarm of Green-winged Teal in Vanhankaupunginlahti. I told to Sanni that Green-winged Teal is a rare bird and there is only a handful of records from Helsinki.
In an hour we were walking that famous wooden path towards Lammassaari where the bird was seen. Lots of birds during the walk and got Common Rosefinch to my list with Eurasian Reed Warbler before we arrived to the tower.

Common Rosefinch through my telescope. 

There was only one duck lying near the tower and that was the Green-winged Teal. Crazy how easy it is some times. Bird was sleeping, but showed clearly that vertical stripe and no markings of horizontal stripe, which often can be seen in hybrid birds. Head markings were really good for Green-winged and overall bird looked nice and pure yank.
I only got pictures of sleeping bird, but it is better than nothing, right!

Green-winged Teal.

Green-winged Teal.



I must thank Sanni and Julius for company and patience. This was only my second record of this species in Finland and fifth or sixth for Helsinki, so still good rarity here.

-Tom

9. toukokuuta 2019

Citrine Wagtail with Julius. 8.5.2019

It was time for some Lammasaari birding again and together with Julius we headed there just around midday. I parked and we walked first into a grove which was full of songbirds. Wood Warblers were noisy and at least three males singing around the area. Robins, Song Thrushes, Redwings and Willow Warblers with Chaffinches made the most of the noise. Julius was sleeping so I had time to enjoy this concert. We continued towards Pornaistenniemi tower and near that I had pair of Wigeon and pair of Gadwall, smart looking birds both.

Wood Warbler.

It was super windy and I had no hope for any singing reed warbler during our walk towards the wooden path to the Lammasaari and I was right, really nothing but Reed Buntings and White Wagtails. From one lookout I had small flock of Little Gulls hunting insects with some terns. Finally arrived to Lammassaari tower and noticed that less birds than yesterday. Ruffs were gone, only few Ringed Plovers, big flock of Barnacle Geese and loads of gulls, terns and Grey Herons. Soon noticed a pair of Whinchats and lone Yellow Wagtail feeding in the meadow, but nothing really interesting. Some people stopped in the tower and we had nice chats about birds ans stuff. At some point two European Roe Deers ran from the Lemmenlehto woods. I was trying some raptor watch, but six Cranes was the best I got. Other birds worth to mention were four Rooks, few Caspian Terns and two Little Gulls.

Roe Deers, male and female.

Whinchat hiding. 

Distant Little Gulls.

Finally after 2,5 hours Julius woke up and we left toward my car. We were walking on the path when I noticed a guy watching something really carefully. I asked if he had something interesting and he really had! Male Citrine Wagtail was standing in the reeds and with patience I found it and saw it nicely. Male birds are always cool to see cause the bright yellow color. This was definitely my birds of the day. We continued and during the walk we got Common Moorhen to my year list and showy Wood Warbler from the same grove where we started our trip.

Common Moorhen.

Citrine Wagtail.

One of my favorite birds. 


Great three hours and after all biding we picked Vilma from daycare and went to get something for Sanni, cause Mother´s day is just around the corner.

-Tom 

7. toukokuuta 2019

Birding with Julius. 7.5.2019

Finally got time for some birding after being sick and joining my friends stag party at my summerhouse.
From Hartola I collected some nice species to my year list and at least Great Bittern, Black Kite and a Hobby are worth to mention.

Black-throated Diver.


Today I went to Lammassaari and Vanhankaupunginlahti area with Julius and got big pile of new species for this year. Blackcap was singing near the parking lot, Sedge Warblers had arrived to the reedbeds and from the reeds I also heard some Reedling calls, which are always pleasure to record. Yellow Wagtail, Lesser Whitethroat, Whinchat and all three Swallow species before I got the to Lammassaari (Sand Martin, House Martin and Barn Swallow).

Leer Whitethroat. 

Common Starling.


From the lower tower which is reachable with stroller I got Ruffs, Caspian Terns, migrating Honey Buzzard, Common and Arctic Terns, some Ringed Plovers, Redshanks, Stock Doves etc. Great time until a big group of noisy kids came to the tower and Julius woke up, obviously... I walked back, but I guess all was seen for the day. Even the Great Reedwarbler, which has been there already a week or so was quiet. Willow Warblers were singing, maybe one or two Chiffchaffs, Tits, Great-spotted Woodpecker and loads of Reed Buntings. Even though our time was relatively short, I had great time with big numbers of birds.

Flock of Barnacle Geese. 

Julius in the house.

Distant Caspian Terns. 


More tomorrow.

-Tom