16. toukokuuta 2015

Morning in Laajalahti. 16.5.2015

Today i had about two hours for birds before I had some family happening with Sanni and shes siblings.
I went to Maari bird tower with high hopes, but the meadow was quite empty.. Three Temmink´s Stints, some Ringed Plovers, Garganey, Thrush Nightingale, Spotted Crake and Water Rail etc. In the tower i had nice time with some familiar guys. Some point we were talking about Great Egret which was migrating to our direction and at the same moment Jani Ceder yelled "Great Egret flying quite near!" Funny situation. Egret landed other side of the bay, but after fifteen minutes it left towards South-West. Bird came quite close to the tower and i managed to get some decent flight shots.

Great Egret.

Later i went to Arabianranta street festival with Sanni and others and while waiting in one point i noticed big raptor flying almost above. I could only see that it was some kind of Eagle, but not White-tailed or Golden. So it had to be something lesser. I had to check some compas points when alarm of migrating spotted/lesser spotted eagle alarm came from Vanhankaupunginlahti. Had to be same bird! At this point bird was already gone. About half an hour later next alarm of Greater spotted Eagle came from Maari. Had to be same bird again! I really was in right place at the right time.

Anyway, great day with some new year ticks. Tomorrow starts our Turkey trip with Sanni! Let´s see what happens there. Maybe some lifers like i mentioned yesterday, but at least warm weather and relaxing.

Tom

15. toukokuuta 2015

Recent bird watching around Southern Finland.

I have been lazy.. No energy for this blog and few times it was quite close that i just quit writing here. Anyway, here comes new post after what, six weeks? wow.

Spring is already here. I visited Vanhankaupunginlahti twice, Suomenoja twice and Laajalahti twice.
My latest trip was Salo where i twitched Red Kite to my Finnish list. That was amazing. More of that later.

Here is few pics from early April from Viikki and Vanhankaupunginlahti.

Garganey is my favorite duck in Finland. Here is couple with Common Teals.

Little flock of Common Cranes.
Here is Gadwall couple from Suomenoja where i showed some birds to my colleagues daughter. We had nice trip with Slavonian Grebes, Common Moorhens etc.

Distant photo of Gadwalls. Also Common Pochard and Tufted Ducks around.
 Later April i was in Viikki again, trying to twitch Black Redstart with out any luck.. First Redshanks there with Lesser Ringed Plovers and Common Curlews.

Very common Northern Lapwing.

And other very common White Wagtail.

23th of April i went to check Glaucous Gull very near our house in Pikkuhuopalahti. Twitching without binos and camera is not so fun but here is photo taken with
my mobile phone.

White gull center of the photo is Glaucous Gull. 3cy bird. 

Second of May i visited Raasepori and tried to twitch two Black-necked Grebes, but no luck. Other common spring birds though.
Next day i went to Maari bird tower in Laajalahti and had very nice 2,5 hours there. We had male Citrine Wagtail and Black Kite from the tower and when i was arriving there i heard Penduline tit calling about 300m from the tower. Good company in the tower and back home.

Male Citrine Wagtail.

When i arrived back home we had to prepare our selves for Sannis niece birthday party. Same time an alarm of Mediterranean Gull in Espoo just 8km from our house came to my phone. Little fight and i left to twitch. I saw the bird very nicely and made back home just in time. Lifer for me and it always deserves at least four pictures!

From here you can see some black in the wings so birds age is "second summer"

Hood is very black when comparing to Black-headed Gulls.

Also bill is thicker and more red than Black-headed gulls bill.

Last photo. 

Seventh of May we made horrible dipping trip with my uncle and i don´t want to talk about it, but next day was amazing, despite the dipped Red-rumped Swallow....

I took my mothers car and after that bloody Swallow i drove to Salo. At least i saw one Great White Egret before i leave.
Great-white Egret. 

I was about 1km away of the original place where the Red Kite was spending time when i noticed few cars next to the road. There was some bird watchers and i stopped to ask what they are looking for. Guys told me that Red Kite is flying there above the near forest. I rise my binoculars and there it was!! Mighty Red Kite. I ran to take my telescope but bird disappeared behind the woods.
Guys told me that go to the original place, it will show there. I drove like a maniac, according the speed limits of course and when i arrived the bird was flying above distant forest area.
Took few pics and watched it with the telescope about 2 minutes.
What a feeling!

Red Kite.

I drove back to the places where others still waited and they had the birds just minute earlier i arrived. I took my stuff and joined them when some body yelled Black Kite flying quite near. I got some bad photos of this one too.
Black Kite.


It seems that Red Kite and Black Kite are nesting together now in Finland and both birds were seen carrying nesting material. Later Red Kite disappeared so my guess is that it sits in the nest and Black Kite is male who carries all the food for the Red one. Maybe in few weeks we know more.
Med Gull was my Finnish tick number 307 and Red Kite was number 308. Slowly but surely i get these species.
Starting next Sunday me and Sanni spend time in Marmaris Turkey and i hope i get some Western Palearctic ticks from there. One week trip, so after that i will write something here. I hope!

-Tom-


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