22. maaliskuuta 2015

Spring is here, almost. 22.3.2015

Yesterday i spend pleasant day in Vääksy with my fiancee Sanni. Her mother lives there so always good reason to visit there. During our drive i saw Ural Owl from car window! Ultimate surprise. Along the day i watched several fields and even tried to twitch Little Grebe near by. Grebe was in bad place and last part of the road was "private" and there was barrier about 300m before the shore where the bird was seen. I don´t want to annoy any landowners so i gave up and left. During the day i counted about 30 Whooper Swans, two Skylarks, ten Lapwings and when we arrive a lone female Hen Harrier in Vääksy golf court.

Whooper Swans in Vääksy.


Today i had some time to check Seurasaari before gym. I bicycled there and walked around the island. It was freezing cold! In one and a half hours i had 10 Canada Geese, one Woodcock, seven Tufted Ducks, three Great-spotted Woodpeckers, lone Stock Dove, some Goldeneyes, an adult Black-headed Gull and other common birds.
Here is some photos from the island.

Adult Herring Gull.

Canada Goose.

Adult Black-headed Gull.
Little bit art with Blackbird.

I drove back to Pikku-huopalahti where i live and tried to take some photos of my favorite local birds, Domestic Sparrows. Surprisingly i found also three Tree Sparrows there.
After i got some decent pics, i gave some food for the birds and left to the gym.

Tree Sparrow.

Smart looking female Sparrow.

Next weekend more birding. I have to work all weekdays...

-Tom-

9. maaliskuuta 2015

Close range birding 9.3.2015

Today we had so nice weather that i needed to go out and enjoy some long waited sun. Especially when i saw flock of Bean Geese from my window!
I walked about 8 kilometers from home to Seurasaari and then gym. First i stopped at Meilahti Arboretum where i had nice flock of Siskins, some Green Finches, and Goshawk.
Magpie is cool looking bird. 

I continued my walking to Seurasaari where i checked all open water areas and couple of feeding places.
I had 8 Mute Swans, 9 Goosanders, some Goldeneyes, awesome Glaucous Gull and migrating flock of Geese. Gull was third calender year bird and it was  hanging with Greater Black-backed Gull on the ice. I can´t remember if i have seen this age Glaucous Gull in Finland before, but normally my sightings of this species are 1cy or 2cy. Here is some photos of the Gull and Goldeneye.

Glaucous Gull with GBB-Gull.

Flying GG

Smart looking Goldeneye male. 

Later i leave the island and walked about 3 kilometers to my gym. Got some Goldcrests, Tits, Treecreeper etc during my walk. Awesome weather, like i mentioned earlier, so maybe more birding tomorrow.

-Tom

6. maaliskuuta 2015

Spring birds 5.3.2015

Finally some birding after long break. Yesterday i had awesome time with Tyrone Francis in Viikki and Vanhankaupunginlahti.

View from the bridge between Pornaistenniemi and Arabianranta.

We met at the bridge between Arabianranta and Pornaistenniemi and went to check Pornaistenniemi places. Nothing really special there and i guess Sparrow Hawk was best bird in that area. All the Woodpeckers were missing and only Tits and Crows around.
We walked to Viikki sewage and there we had eight Goldeneyes with few Mallards. Goldeneye males really have funny looking display!
After sewage we walked to the real Viikki area where most of the habitat is fields and forest. In first field i noticed Great-grey Shrike sitting in a tree. Distant but nice bird.
We checked all the fields but nothing really there this time. Another Great-grey Shrike near the famous red barn, calling Goshawk and some Goldfinches but that was all..

Great-grey Shrike.

After fields we went to Purolahti tower but the result was same there.. Calling Great-spotted Woodpecker was best i guess.. When we left i noticed open area in the bay and there was lone Grey Heron standing on the edge of the ice, looking quite lonely. Maybe it will get company little later. Also two Whooper Swans swimming in that small open water.

Whooper Swans and lone Grey Heron.

Next stop was Hakalanniemi tower and there we finally got some birds. First there was only 139 Crows hanging on the ice. Little later happened what often happens when you stand in same place little longer. Lone Stock Dove sat on the electric cable and suddenly flock of four Lapwings came from North and flied around the bay for some time. Both new species for my year list.
We stand there little more but despite huge effort, we did not see any White-tailed Eagle for Tyrone.

Possibly the worst Lapwing photo ever. Two birds flying.

Rest of the walk was quite quick, we checked one old feeding place, but it was empty.
Not much birds along the walk back to Pornaistenniemi where Tyrone had hes bicycle, so we discussed about politics and other very important topics while walking. Maybe that is the reason why we did not see any birds!
Luckily my day was not over yet. I was in Pikkuhuopalahti where i live and walked near my house when i noticed two small birds feeding in open grass. I went little closer and two Skylarks rose in to the air! Year tick number 97! With a big smile i walked back home.

Thanks Tyrone for excellent company, i think we had great fun. Next time maybe Suomenoja to check some other ducks and Black-headed Gull colony?
I really hope i have time to go out again next week. It is going to be very warm (10 degrees) so lots of migrant birds coming? Next time i also put some effort for bird photos.

p.s. I hope you like this new exterior of my blog. Sanni made it!

-Tom-

18. helmikuuta 2015

Some local winter birds. 16.2.2015

Earlier this week i had some time to do local birding in Helsinki. My shift started at 3 pm and before that i went to twitch Eurasian Wigeon. Long staying couple of Wigeon have been in small lake which is part of the Töölönlahti. I went there and quite soon noticed male Wigeon swimming among the Mallards. Here is one quite good picture of the male.

Male Wigeon showing hes wings.

Also you can see female swimming in that same photo up right. This was probably my easiest missing winter tick before these birds. Now number is 123 and i started to count these two years a go.
Later i walked through city center and went to Tähtitorninmäki because i knew some people saw Nuthatch there few days earlier. I got no luck with that species, but i found my first Common Redpoll for this year and lost of other common birds. Robin was only not so regular winter bird there.

Green Finch with Great Tit.

Robin.

Female Blackbird.

Time went quickly and soon i had to go to work. Nice sunny day and i was really satisfied.
Good news came today that Snowy Owl is still in Kokkola, so wish me luck that we will see it next Saturday.

-Tom-