14. heinäkuuta 2018

Midsummer in summerhouse 22.6-24.6.2018

Finally some time to make all the photos and write this short post of our midsummer trip to Loviisa. I have a summer house there from my father side and at least once a year we visit there. Place is beautiful near the ocean and I have seen lots of Dragonflies, Butterflies etc there.

In three days we had amazing food, lots of good times with my father, youngest brother Matias and Sari, my fathers wife. I had few butterfly traps, but those were mo success with wasps and bumblebees! One few Red Admirals and some moths around those. Here is some pictures from that weekend. Weather was windy all weekend, so insect activity was quite low..

Mottled Beauty.

Red Admiral on my butterfly bar. 

Great Oak Beauty

Polypogon Tentacularia.

Some birds too! Here is juvenile Tree Creeper. 

Trichius Fasciatus and Ancistroserus sp. wasp.

Clouded Magpie moth.

Black-tailed Skimmer.

Silver-ground Carpet.

Chimney Sweeper.

Common Bluet.

Shaded Broad-bar.

Normally I´m a birdwatcher, but this time of the year when most of the migration is already stopped and birds are breeding, I just watch what I can. Dragonflies and Butterflies are very interesting groups and there is so much to learn.


-Tom

17. kesäkuuta 2018

Day trip to Vääksy. 16.6.2018

Yesterday we had nice family trip to visit my mother in law. She lives in Vääksy, Asikkala o we had little bit over an hour drive there. We spend the whole day there walking around, sunbathing on the beach and eating great food she made for us.

This girl was ready for the beach.

Pied Flycatcher.


Most surprising moment was when Vilma was swimming and I noticed a Golden Oriole near the beach. I quickly crabbed the stroller and it was a tick! Golden Oriole is very hard to see these days, at least in my own area.
I also saw a interesting butterfly which I think was a Queen of Spain fritillary, but it was only flying, so no chance to nail it.. Loads of juvenile birds around and their parents carried food for them.

I want my food Wagtail.


When we walked back from the beach I noticed a Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-moth, but it took off so quickly that I didn´t have any chance to get any pictures of it.. Lots of Common Swifts, Pied Flycatchers and other common birds around. Also some singing Bramblings around the house. Few photos from the yard.

Common Scorpionfly female.

Common Blue.

Smoky Wave.

Marbled white spot.


Later we had nice walk around the Vääksy, but nothing really interesting around. Goldeneye chicks, Goosander, Swallows, Great-spotted Woodpecker nest and some singing birds like Garden Warbler and Blackcap. I was surprised that almost zero Dragonflies around the area and I saw only some mid-sized individual flying far a way.

Beautiful Vääksy scenery.

Beautiful Vääksy scenery.


Around seven a clock we started our drive back home and both kids were asleep when we arrived back to Helsinki and home. Great day!



3. kesäkuuta 2018

Double dip. 3.6.2018

Many good birds around Finland in last few days. With high hopes I took Vilma and Jände with me and together we went to Ämmässuo dump in Espoo to twitch a Rosy Starling. That species has avoided me very effectively. I tried to witch one back in 2016 but it was gone and few birds around Finland, but too far for me or my schedule has been horrible..
Anyway we arrived to Espoo after 10 am and after few hundred meter walk up hill we arrived to the site. I knew that place is huge, but wow.. Distance between us and nearest Starlings were about 350m to 400m. Not an easy task I´d say. Because Vilma was with us I had our strollers and lots of other fun for her. She watched Peppa Pig from out tablet and I gave her a box of strawberries. She was happy most of the time. Here is some landscape photos from the dump.
Ämmässuo dump.

Jände and Vilma.

Vilma tried to help us, but no luck today.

We gave about 1,5 hours for the Starling, but nothing even close to that around. Lots of Common Starlings, different Gulls, Ravens, pair of Whooper Swans and Marsh Harrier. From the dragonfly family I saw lots of Broad-bodied Chasers and some bigger one, maybe Hairy Dragonfly.
Just before we back in my car, an alarm of migrating Eastern Imperial Eagle came from Maari birds tower, Espoo. Quick thinking... Panic... Where to go? Can we still see it from some observation point?
I hit the road again and we started to drive towards Helsinki. Bird was going East rapidly so we had to think how far we have to drive. New info came and it was still flying East from Vanhankaupunginlahti. At this point we decided to drive to Kilpilahti, which is a place just before Porvoo. We thought that this is the spot and we ended up front of it. Vilma was tired and she cried a bit, so I had to hold her and watch the sky at the same time (Not easy, I promise). We had high hopes again, but all we saw was Honey Buzzard, Common Buzzard and Crane.. At some point we were sure that the bird has passed us from another place. It must have gone from our north, or maybe we were too slow. We drove about 60km from Espoo to there and lost of things can happen during that drive.
And almost forgot to mention that this same eagle was seen in Pori yesterday.

Vilma having a snack during our raptor watch.

The place where that Imperial Eagle should have been shown.


After all the dipping and missed birds, I was actually very happy that we tried to do all that. We have always fun with my uncle and with Vilma around, there is no awkward silence in the car. It is also nice to see how Vilma is actually getting more and more interest of birds and today she said me later "daddy, don´t worry. We can try these birds again tomorrow" I can´t be sad after those words.
Thanks for the company Jände, it was a pleasure again.

-Tom


23. toukokuuta 2018

Quality birding in Espoo. 21.5.2018

On 21st I dropped Vilma to daycare and headed to Maari bird tower in Espoo. I arrived just after 8 a clock and there I as surprised that there was only Touko Torppa, Jani Ceder an Hannu Ruotsalainen in the tower. I checked the meadow and I found three Temminck´s Stints, some Ruffs, Redhanks etc. Stints were new to my year list. Very soon after I arrived an alarm came of an female Red-crested Pochard from Elfvik tower. Distance from Maari to Elfvik is about one kilometer and little bit more when you go with car or a bike.
Others wen to twitch the bird, but I wanted to stay and wait if I can see it from Maari. I regularly checked if the bird would came in open and visible, but nothing in first hour. Boys came back and told that bird was showing well from that other tower. I was not worrying and my waiting paid the price when me and Hannu Palojärvi, who also twitched the bird earlier noticed it swimming with Mallards just behind the last reeds. Nice bird and new species for the tower. Here is a very poor record shot of the Pochard. Taken trough my telescope and distance of 1000m.

Female Red-crested Pochard from 1000m. 

My only real bird photo from the tower. Sedge Warbler singing.

Scopes and tower. 

View from tower to the bay. 



The atmosphere was relaxed and calm after we found the bird and more people came to the tower. We had few Honey Buzzards, a single Hobby, some Ospreys, Kestrel etc migrating and not too many birds on the meadow. Still I got some new species on my year list including that Hobby and Honey B, Little ringed Plover, Water Rail and finally when I was walking to my car, a Spotted Crake near the road walking in the reeds and it disappeared very quickly.

On 22nd I spend lots of time outside with Vilma. Our backyard is amazing because there is lots of flowering apple trees. Vilma like pink color and ques what color are the flowers :)

Also some birds around singing Garden Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, lots of Common Swifts and Fieldfares around. Vilma likes every animal and wants to stroke every Squirrel and European Hare in our backyard. Shame that the animals are little shy for this.

Flock of Barnacle Geese migrating over our house.

Apple tree flowers. 

Anemone Nemorosa from our yard.

Vilma showing me some Common Swifts.

Vilma and apple trees.




My two week summer vacation started this week and after that I will spend 3 weeks on parental leave. Baby is coming in a week and second, hectic baby period coming into our family.

Yesterday an Scops Owl was found from Lammi, and that is interesting record. Only one previous bird in Finland back in 2011. I twitched that first on, but for some reason I´d like to go again. Maybe it stays a month calling every night, likethe last one.

-Tom