4. huhtikuuta 2016

Geese with Vilma 31.3.2016

One afternoon, after my work I took Vilma with me and we drove to Viikki to twitch Pink-footed Goose to my stroller list. It was already quite late and when we arrive I got only brief looks of the Pink-footed before some idiot let her dog run in to a field. All the Geese were in the air and when they landed again, I did not find the Pink-footed again. Fortunately I saw it and there was lsot of birds to look at.
Vilma was sleeping so I did not have any hurry with the birds. Here is some photos taken by my Iphone through my telescope.

Flying Geese.

Greater-white Fronted, Canada, Barnacle and Bean Geese flock.

My tired princes saw already all the Geese. 

Sadly I did not get any photo of the pink-footed. but five new stroller ticks and quality time with my girl was my highlight of the day.

-Tom

Late March trip to Hanko 28.3.2016

Only a week late.. So, week a go I had amazing day with my friend Tyron Francis in Hanko.
We started very early from Helsinki and almost in first light we started our trip in Högholmen, which is nice place for sea watch.
Lots of birds moved, but most of them were just local gulls, Eiders and other sea stuff. I was hoping to see some migration, but that was not THE day. We stayed about 1,5 hours there and best birds were five White-tailed Eagles and two Velvet Scoters. Also hundreds of local Eiders, some flocks of Long-tailed Ducks and some migrating Lapwings.



Our next target was Vedagrundet where we had another set of sea watch. There we had flock of Greater Scaups, two Common Cranes and lots of migrating Woodpigeons.
After Vedagrundet we checked Longören where Heikki Vasamies earlier had male Black Redstart. I parked our car and soon we found this beautiful bird sitting on a some kind of wooden thing. Bird showed only very shortly and despite little search, we could not find it again.

Male Black Redstart. 

During our search I also spotted migrating Rock Pipit and Greater White-fronted Goose. Pair of Greylag Geese had some nesting plans near the shore and few Robins were calling around.

Earlier I had talk with Heikki and he told us that we should visit a place called Kobben and that was our next place. Heikki was there and he told us that there was good numbers of waders around. Greater Curlew, Golden Plover, Ringed Plovers, lots of Lapwings, two Shelducks and lots of other birds. Nice shiny weather and place like this was just we wanted.

Poor phonescoping pic of the Golden Plover.


It was already noon when we arrived to Hanko airstrip and had some raptor watch. In an hour we had one Rough-legged Buzzard, one Common Buzzard, Sparrow Hawk, two White-tailed Eagles, small flock of Bean Geese, two Great-grey Shrikes and three species of Thrushes.
While the raptor watch I got alarm message of Kingfisher in Helsinki and slowly we decided to go back Helsinki and try the bird.
Not much stops or birds during the drive so we were there quite fast. Bird showed so well that even I got some decent pictures of it.

Female Kingfisher.

And again!

What a bird! Rare and always great to see. Place was actually very close to my childhood home and I have seen same species in this same park about 15-18 years a go!

Later I dropped Tyron near hes job and quickly twitched Pink-footed Goose from Viikki before I went back home.

Thanks for the company Ty!

-Tom

12. maaliskuuta 2016

March birding in Helsinki and Päijät-Häme 10-11.3.2016

First four sick days then one day at work and then five days off. Weird when you have so much time in your hands. As soon I was healed I took Vilma with me and together we went to Fastholma to check if the famous Azure Tit would show up again. I parked my car near the place and with strollers we went to the feeding area where the bird has been almost every day. When I arrived there I met Pekka Komi and Ilpo Mutikainen. Soon Azure Tit arrived and I got my long waited stroller tick! Pekka also mentioned about Tawny Owl very near the place and of course I went to check the bird. 

Tawny Owls standard place. 

I also checked the bird tower near the owl and surprisingly I found a lone Reed Bunting to my stroller list. That day I had only my binoculars with me but still I managed to see some geese looking birds other side of the bay, so I drove to Viikki and I was right, there was flock of Canada Geese walking around the snowy fields! When I was leaving the place I found two Lapwings migrating quite high towards NorthEast! Spring birds are here! 

Next day I took my family and we drove to Vääksy to visit my mother in law. During the day I had just enough time ti twitch some local goodies. My first stop was Collared Dove from Vesivehmaa and this birds was very easy to see. Dove was sitting in a tree near the road and when I arrived, it took off and disappeared behind some buildings. 
second place was actually same place where I visited this January. Long staying, but highly secretive Northern Hawk Owl was my target bird. 
I drove around the fields and after 30 minutes of searching, I finally found the bird sitting on a branch quite far from the road. I took my change and drove some little and very snowy road, but finally I got good looks of the birds and even get my car back to the main road with out four-wheel drive! 

Northern Hawk Owl.


On same night I drove to another location to listen some owls. I knew in advance that the place holds two Great-grey Owls, some Ural Owls, Tengmalm´s Owl, Tawny Owl and Long-eared Owl. 
I arrived just before half ten and there was already one guy listening the area. I parked my car and together with the other dude, we heard all five species in 30 minutes! I was totally amazed how magical that was. Great-grey Owl was my target bird and boy, how cool was hear that deep call under the stars, in middle of nowhere. 
Also six species of Owls in one day is really outstanding! 

-Tom

Champions of the Flyway 2016

Like the topic says, I´d like to write little post of this great event.

Champions of the Flyway is dedicated to preventing the illegal killing of migratory birds in the Africa Eurasia flyway. Somewhere round 25 million (!) birds are killed illegally every year by hunters and other wise guys..
I took part of this event back in 2014 when it was organized first time and together we had amazing bird race, memorable few days and the most important thing, money for conservation. In 2014 target was Georgia and this year money is going to Greece where illegal bird killing is huge problem.

This year I can´t take part of the race, but there is one team going from Finland! These guys have done amazing work so far and I sincerely hope you people can help them to reach their target.

Arctic Redpolls have many good things in their package towards killing free Mediterranean area, so please, make their quest little bit easier and donate something.
It does not matter how big or how small it is, everything counts!

Here is link to their donation page and here is their team page if you want to check their agenda etc.

Thank you in advance!