30. lokakuuta 2022

Day one in Estonia. 17.10.2022

 After arriving on 16th in Estonia and more specific Western part of the country, we started our morning in Cape Pösaspea at 8 am. Annika Forsten was already there and we joined her to watch the sea. After all we spend whole day there and just over eight hours later we left. Wind was strong and it pushed some migrant birds closer to the shore and Divers went nicely pretty close by. Matti Rekilä and Ira Teräspuro joined us pretty soon after we came and they had nice half day with us. 

Highlight of the day was Adult breeding plumage White-billed Diver. My fourth in Estonia if I remember correctly. Bird was migrating relatively close in a flock with Black-throated- and Red-throated Divers. It was so much bigger and heavier when compare to the other birds in that flock! Still not easy to see details even from a close bird without a scope. 

Here is some migration numbers (only notable numbers) from the day and of course some photos. 

Brent Goose 239

Greater Scaup 832

Velvet Scoter 212

Common Scoter 111

Long-tailed Duck 931

Smew 4

Red-throated Diver 83

Black-throated Diver 128

Yellow-billed Diver 1 (rarity in Estonia)

Diver Sp. 71

Red-necked Grebe 4

Great-crested Grebe 19

Hen Harrier 1 adult male

Grey Plover 1 winter plumage

Dunlin 28

Purple Sandpiper  27

Caspian Gull (1st calendar year bird, Scarce in Estonia)

Razorbill 1 winter plumage. 


Because day are so short at the moment we had dinner, some driving around Haapsalu city and couple of drinks at the cottage. Pretty early to sleep. 

Barnacle flock near Tallin when we arrived. 

White-billed Diver

Rarely these birds are even possible to photo, so we were a bit lucky here! 

Largest of the Diver family. What a bird! 

Juvenile Caspian Gull

Juvenile Caspian Gull

Purple Sandpipers, aka shore rats. 

I had about zero photos of this bird before these pics.

Wind was hard, so birds struggled a bit to stay on the rocks.

I guess all the birds there were juveniles.

Posing.

"What?"

Green surrounding was nice with the Purple Sand.

Passport photo.

Long-tailed Ducks.

Brent Goose flock. Last one is juvenile. 

Red-throated Diver.

Greater Scaups.


More later.

-Tom

7. lokakuuta 2022

Pygmy Cormorant! 5.10.2022

 I was casually working at the office when I noticed an alarm of Pygmy Cormorant from Espoo! I was really mind blown and thought that this must be some kind of mistake.. Soon first pictures came and I had to leave the office to see this bird. 

I drove from Metsälä to Hanasaari and finally about an hour later the bird was found I was watching this only second ever Pygmy Cormorant in Finland! First record was earlier this year from Siilinjärvi and it was very hard to reach, so I decided to skip that one, so this one was really nice surprise! 

Bird was standing on a small islet and never moved during my visit. I walked to the Helsinki and Espoo sides to see the bird, just in case I some day start some kind of city listings. 

My fourth new bird for the year and life list in Finland now #352. 

Here is few photos of the bird, all taken though my telescope. 

Pygmy Cormorant.

Bird was sitting on that same place during my visit.

One more. 

Great bird and congrats to the finders! Easily my rarest bird in Finland this year, so far! 

-Tom 

3. lokakuuta 2022

Birding activities with kids.

 Last weekend I spend lots of time with my kids, cause Sanni arranged Vilma´s birthday party and it was easier that we were gone and she had quiet and peace to do all the things. 

1st of October we visited Seurasaari to feed some birds and Red Squirrels. Great fun for the kids when Great Tit or Nuthatch lands on to your hand and pick´s up a nut or two. Not much else in the island this time, even though we were looking all the good places. 

Here is few photos from there. 

Nuthatch in natural habitat.

Nuthatch in unnatural habitat.


Relatives came to visit and Vilma got lots of presents. 

On 2nd Vilma had all her friends over, so I took Julius and we went to help my father to our summerhouse in Loviisa. We lifted both our piers, cause when the winter hits, all the ice would destroy everything. Also some cleaning around place and so on. Sun was shining so we had great day outdoors. From the car window I had juvenile Golden Eagle at Gammelby junction and other common birds from the summerhouse. 

After the summerhouse we went to Malminkartano, Helsinki to see if the Rustic Bunting would show up again and it really did. Nice juvenile bird was feeding on the ground, a bit far a way, but it was very easy to see. Even Julius got lifer this time! 

Few photos here. 

Rustic Bunting was feeding on a small road.

Very rare twitchable bird here in Helsinki.

Daylight began to fade when we were there, so poor photos cause of that. 



Great weekend! 


-Tom 

30. syyskuuta 2022

Last week of November

 I´ve had a week long vacation this week. I have done some birding and lots of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu during the week. Also one quick twitch earlier this month. 

On 18th I visited Haltiala to see Pallid Harrier, which was seen there earlier that day. Bird was very distant and I was there pretty late at the evening. Anyway nice 1 cy bird with at least two same age Hen Harriers. Here is the poorest picture I have seen of Pallid Harrier. 

Pallid Harrier.

On 26th I had some plans to visit Vuosaari hill and also went there but weather was bad, almost zero migration and occasional rain bothered me a bit. Highlight was lone migrating Two-bared Crossbill and Hawfinch. 

Linnets on the rocks. 

Great Grey Shrike. 

Collared Dove.

First flock of Waxwings already at the hill. 

On 27th I started from Tähtitorninmäki, in the city center where Yellow-browed Warbler was seen day before. No luck with the bird, so I continued my trip to Laajalahti and I decided to visit Maari bird tower. Not much to tell, but Little Stint was nice new bird to my year list and possibly my last flock of Barn Swallows this year migrated over the tower. Two adult White-tailed Eagles gave us a nice show. Couple of Golden Plovers and Ruffs in the area. Good company by Jösse and Ari Veijalainen. 

White-tailed Eagle harassed by Northern Lapwing.

From Maari tower I went to Seurasaari with high hopes of rarities and stuff.  Not really a surprise that I came back only with couple of photos of Nuthatch, one of my favorite species of all birds. 

Flock of about 60 Siskins, four Great-spotted Woodpeckers and other common birds in the island. 

Small flock of Gadwalls near the island. 

Nuthatch was pretty easy to find. 

Bird always came back and checked if I had some food for it. 

Great looking bird. 

Passport picture for female Great Tit. 

When I left the island my day was not over yet. I got info of Peregrine Falcon and Nightjahr from Laajalahti, so I headed there. 
Peregrine was easy to see from Pornaistenniemi tower, great adult bird! The Nightjahr was little bit more tricky to find. Luckily I met Anttoni Halonen there and together went to look the place. We had real troubles to see the bird until some photographer just showed it to us! Photo here. 
Sleeping European Nightjahr. 


Today (30th) I had my fourth Jiu-Jitsu training for this week and those I noticed that Palla´s Leaf Warbler was found again from Kaisaniemi botanical garden. I really wanted to see the bird and rain was also ended, so I headed there. Soon after I arrived I found some familiar faces waiting the bird which was seen about 15 minutes before I came. We waited and nothing happened. People were restless and started to walk around and in five minutes Samuli Laaksonen found the bird near by the place were we stood earlier. 
It was just moving high up in the trees and I got poor record shots of the bird. Good bird in Helsinki area! 
Palla´s Leaf Warbler.

Same bird different branch. 


This weekend we are celebrating my daughters birthday, so not much birding in few days. Also back to work next week. Hopefully some good rarities will pop up somewhere near by! October is always good month to see something very rare! 


-Tom