31. lokakuuta 2018

Hawk Owl and other stuff. 28.10.2018

On 25th me and my uncle Jände had an effort to twitch that long staying, but always some how ephemeral Cinereous Vulture from Kirkkonummi. Bird was sitting there on a tree and was seen by many, but cause we had our duties earlier, we were late of course. During the drive to Kirkkonumi we got message that bird disappeared again and there was no idea were it went. Anyway we went to the birdtower, but late is late and we got nothing. After that there is only some uncertain records of the bird... So no vulture for me..

On 28th I was driving with my family in Pasila, near our house and I spotted an Hawk Owl from the car window. Quick turn and there it was sitting on a tree and then on a lamppost. I parked the car and took some record shots through my telescope.

Smart looking bird! 

Hawk Owls are not so common here in Helsinki and you need serious luck to find one among hundreds of birders. Bird was not seen again in same site, but I´m sure that someone will find it somewhere near very soon.
November is coming and there is less and less birds here in Finland, so let´s enjoy all that we still have.

-Tom

13. lokakuuta 2018

Twitching while working. 13.10.2018

Yesterday Mika-Ilari Koskinen found a Marsh Tit from Herttoniemi, Helsinki. This species was missing from my capital-area list so I was interested. I still had to work today, but I managed to use my time right and I drove to Herttoniemi this afternoon.
There was few people looking the Tit and when I arrived the bird showed Up after five minutes calling and showing all the features we needed. It was feeding on a ground and stopped only for few seconds in a tree.
I did not have my binos or anything else with me, but calling bird is easy catch even without those. I managed to take some very very poor pis of the bird with my phone and here is one.. I feel little bit shame to publish this but who cares!

It just left when I took the photo... 


October is going and good birds show up almost daily. Let´s hope that there is some real monsters coming soon. :)

-Tom

Hunting that bloody Vulture 11.10.2018

This morning I used my last day off for Vulture. I started from home at 9am and I drove to Kilpilahti, where the beast was last seen day before. There was tens of twitchers with same idea and at the end I think we were close to one hundred watchers.
First two hours were slow and most of the time people just talked to each others and only one "big raptor" shouting on that time period. Only three people aw something big flying low and it disappeared quickly, what ever it was.
Temperature was rising and more and more raptors started to move. We had few Common Buzzards, some Rough-legged Buzzards, Sparrowhawks, Goshawks, lone and quite late Marsh Harrier and few White-tailed Eagles. The most interesting raptor was flying quite far away, but Jarkko found it anyway and yelled "Golden Eagle". Subadult looking bird was flying with some crows far east from the cliff where we watched it.
Landbird migration was nice and big flocks of Geese migrated in distance.
After noon we got info that Vulture is flying East from our point, near Porvoo center. I decided to go and try to catch it with the car. I drove like a maniac, but it slipped few times from my fingers.. I was close, but the Vulture was flying so low, that I didn´t see it. At the end I was standing in a point where it was suppose to show up, but nothing.
I had to pick Vilma from daycare so I left after 2pm with only some year ticks with me. I was really hoping to see this, but maybe there is another bird coming in the future.
I have now missed to MEGA birds in short period of time, but maybe my luck will turn, who knows.

Local Great-grey Shrike in Kilpilahti

Distant Marsh Harrier.


-Tom

Birding and twitching with Vilma. 10.10.2018

On 10th I took Vilma and together we drove to Pikku-Huopalahti, which is area where me and Sanni lived before Vilma was born. Anyway we had long staying Turtle Dove in our minds and that was the reason why we went there.
Bird was seen in a park almost daily before we get there. I walked around and we met some other twitchers, but in two hours we spend there, nothing... Vilma threw some rocks into a small waterhole and I tried to watch the area where the Dove was normally seen.
Lots of Waxwings, and Domestic Sparrows around with some passerine migration. One Goshawk too, but that was it. We left to my fathers office where my brother and uncle works too. They were happy to see Vilma and Vilma was happy to see all them. On our way to the car we also got a nice memory from a Mounted Police patrol. One Police man gave a picture of his horse to Vilma and you can really see when a little girl is so thrilled! She loves horses and that was basically the thing she was talking rest of the day.

Waxwings through my telescope.

Proud Vilma with her new Palaad card. 


Later afternoon, after we got some food ans stuff at home Vilma wanted to go out again and this time we went to Viikki, to check if there is some nice birds around. We were walking on wooden path towards Lammassaari when I heard and little later saw a flock of Bearded Tits! Always a pleasure to see those tiny birds with their tiny wings. Soon we walked back because Vilma wanted to see the tallest tower in the area and it was close to us. We raised up to the tower and from there I was able to see Little Grebe, some Smews, Gadwalls, Lapwings etc. Also quite many Willow tits flying around.

Road to Lammassaari.

Vanhankaupunginlahti in autumn colors. 

Vilma. 

Vilma again. 
Male Gadwall. 
Smews.


We were already at the car when an alarm of Cinereous Vulture came. I was thinking about it for a minute and came to conclusion that we have to go to the Vuosaari Hill to see it. I texted Tyron that now or never kind of vulture mania message and we arrived 20 minutes later to the hill. Vilma was tired, so I had to carry her and my telescope to the top of the hill, but I made it. Many people already there and in hour we didn´t see anything near the Vulture. Flock of Bean Geese with two Greater White-fronted Geese were best I think. Shame but obviously the Vulture went further north from that point and landed somewhere near Porvoo. More of that in my next post.

-Tom