15. heinäkuuta 2019

Summerhouse and short trip to Lammassaari 8.7-10.7.2019

After my night shifst I took my family and we went to our summerhouse. Little break between the shifts is always good. I´m woking like a crazy person before my paternal leave so not much time for birding or anything..
In Loviisa we had windy and cloudy, even some rain weather, so no butterflies, dragonflies or anything. Some birds worht to mention were flock of 18 Little Gulls, some Caspian Tern, Black Woodpecker and White-tailed Eagle.
When we came back on 10th I made short walk to Lammassaari with Julius, but nothing really interesting there. Big flock of Greylag Geese, Common Rosefinch, Yellow Wagtail etc..

We visited the local brewery called Malgård, which is quite near to our summerhouse. 

Flock of Little Gulls. 

Almost a great picture of Caspian Tern. 

Largest snail in Finland. Limax Cinereoniger. 



If you have recently contacted me via E-mail, for the record I just found a pile of mails from my spam folder, so sorry for ignoring you. I will contact you later.



Tom 

8. heinäkuuta 2019

Pacific Golden plover 4.7.2019

One of my nemesis birds, one of those which has been avoiding me for quite some time was Pacific Golden plover. I'v tried to see it two or three times before and on 4th of July I finally had successful twitch at Masku, SW-Finland. After my night shift I made an decision that if the bird is still around when I woke up I will twitch it.
At 1 pm I finally woke up, cause of some construction work in our housing company after our shared sauna burned during our Crete trip. I checked my phone and just 20 minutes earlier update of the bird that it is showing well there.
Sanni was out with our kids, so I went to check them first and then I left. Two hour drive with one stop to get some gas and I found the right place. Paavo Harri gave me the accurate address, so thanks to him!
Some people around and bird was seen probably minuted before I arrived, but it was lying in a field and was not visible that time. Soon we noticed three plovers and one looked really like bleached when compared to European Golden plovers, but I was not satisfied, cause birds were far, we did not see the under wing color and heat shimmer caused some trouble to see the birds properly.
Golden plover field. 


Minutes passed and soon somebody told that there is more plovers in other direction and same time sun went behind the clouds, so no more shimmer. I checked the birds and noticed a very strange looking plover which was clearly the bird I was looking for.
Odd slender shape, long bill and that coloration was something I have never seen anything like that before. Long feet were hiding in tall hay, but wow, that was one pretty plover.
I scoped some pictures through my telescope and I was able to see the under wing shortly, so one key feature seen too.
Here is distant scope photos where you can see the how different it look when compare to European birds.

Finally my first Pacific Goldenplover.

Funny photo where you can see semi sharp European Golden plovers and not too sharp Pacific.

Bird was feeding actively. 

With Starlings. 

With the Pacific there was about eight European Golden plovers, 20 Lapwings, over a thousand Starlings and loads of Black-headed Gulls.
Great tick and nice to have two successful twitches in a row.
Took me two hours to rive back home and we had nice day before my night shift.

-Tom



Short trip to Vääksy, 29.6.2019

At 29th we visited my mother in law at Vääksy and spend one night there with my family. We got invitation to confirmation party on next day at Lahti, so it was good idea to spend night near by. 
We had lots of good food, like always when we go there. I always feel like gaining few kilos when my mother in law starts cooking. 
Anyway, Sanni and Vilma went for a swim and we had nice time outside. I took my drone there too and it was a pleasure to fly with it again. 
Great-spotted Woodpecker, Osprey, Black-throated Diver, Wood Warbler for something to mention. 
Here is few pictures. 

Female Common Redstart.

Distant Osprey.

Chaffinch.

Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Drone. No landscape pictures this time. 




-Tom

28. kesäkuuta 2019

Red-headed Bunting, 25.6.2019

When we were still in Crete an unexpected rarity alarm came to my phone. Red-headed Bunting was reported from Salo, only 120km from Helsinki, where I live. It was only real mega rarity during my time in Greece, but somehow this was special. Days passed and the bird was always found again from that same small area where it was found.
On 25th on flight landed at 2am and after taxi ride back home I took my car, picked my uncle Jände and together we started at 4am from Helsinki to Salo. 
In 90 minutes arrived to the site and there was already some people looking for the Bunting. Some familiar faces like Olavi Kemppainen and Pekka Komi were there. We got info that bird was singing just minutes before we came, so thank god it was still there. 
Like a minute later I also heard the song and soon we found the bird sitting on a small branch just above the ground. 
I got some pictures and short video from that situation. Shame that later the bird did not show that well anymore, so after 30 minutes we decided to leave. 
Here is few pictures of this amazingly beautiful and rare bird. I can only imagine how the finder felt when he watched this bird. Bright yellow and reddish brown color combination.. Wow. Also singing Marsh Warbler, many Sedge Warblers and loads of Pheasants around. 



Male Pheasant. 

Singing Red-headed Bunting. 

More Singing. 

What a beauty. Those colors area really impressive. 

Twitchers. 

First lifer for the year if Finnish rarities committee accepts this as a genuine vagrant. It is clear that there is almost zero cage birds in Europe and those day are over when people carried thousands of Red-headed Buntings from the East. Also this species is so close to Black-headed Bunting and that species is always category-A stuff in Finland.
My opinion, very likely real A-cat rarity which can overshoot the migration and that way end up here by accident. Anyway, third record for Finland! Both birds back in the days are Cat-D.

-Tom