20. lokakuuta 2014

Säppi island 2014

Last Saturday i came back from Säppi island where we had our annual birding trip. We spend one week in the island with great birds, great company and great fun.
I´m too lazy to write every day separately so here i´m going to go trough the whole trip in same post.
If you are interested about Säppi island here is some information about the island.
I was travelling with my friends Markus Lampinen, Petteri Mäkelä, Teppo Lehtola, Tomas Swahn, Pasi Alanko and Sebastian Andrejeff and we had great plans to find something very rare and special.

Petteri, Tomas, Sebastian, booze and Markus in boat.

First morning did not offered us much but worth to mention were Ring Ouzel, two Rought-legged Buzzards, Lesser Black-backed Gull and few Tengmalm´s Owls in our yard.


First Owl what we caught. 

Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Later when i was having sea-watch with Petteri, Pasi and Teppo, Markus called that they just saw Nuthatch which was first record in the island since 2001! Petteri was nervous but we decided to stay.
Soon rest of the guys came from the nets and they had this kind of surprise for us.

Nuthatch! Race Asiatica from east. 
First full day and 78 species. Very nice start.
Basically most of the days were lost of same. We had sea-watch, ringing and later we walked around the island. First two days did not gave us any rarities except the Nuthatch but the something happened.
Third morning and we were in the harbor again when Petteri noticed "tick" sound and it was clearly some kind of Bunting.
There is basically three species what you can see in Finland and have that kind of call.
Those are Rustic, Little and Yellow-breasted Bunting and last one is super rarity these days.
Petteri went to look at the place where the bird landed and it was not big surprise that it was Little Bunting! Always good sighting and only my second ever, so i was very happy!
Before i got any pics, bird took off and flied far a way.
Same day boys who were ringing, had Yellow-browed Warbler somewhere and i did not saw it. Other good Phylloscopus warbler was Willow Warbler, which was quite late and oddly brown.

Great Grey Shrike.

Willow Warbler.
15th of October Lågskär bird observatory challenged all bird stations to playful competition and rules were simple. You just had to see as many species in one day as you can. Time was 24 hours.
I went to the nets with Teppo and finally had long waited and very needed ringing training. We spend few hours there and caught 167 birds. Most of the ringings were Goldcreasts but there was also few Chiffchaffs, one Bullfinch, some Long-tailed Tits etc. I also spotted Yellow-browed Warbler near the nets, but i moved a way very quickly.

Black Bird in Teppos hand.

Long-tailed Tit.

Chiffchaff. But what race?

First year male Bullfinch. 
Later we spread all around the island and it was really good idea. I was walking in Hanhisto which is one little cape in the island and i noticed Ring Ouzel, Blue Throat, Common Guillemot and some other good species for our team. Later evening we counted our species and number was 94! Only Sörve bird station in Estonia beat us and we were number one in Finland.

Goldcreast with ring. 
Next morning we had our normal sea-watch. Migration was poor so me and Teppo went to make some coffee. It did not took long when Petteri tried to call me. There was bad signal in the station area so run out. Soon Petteri walked fast towards us and told us about local Yellow-billed Diver near the harbor. I took only my telescope and started to run as fast as i can and after 400m and maybe 35 seconds i watched this majestic bird flying behind the kräveli. That was really close!! New tick for me in Finland. Bird was 1cy and also my first not Adult bird. I have seen this superb species in Estonia few times. Other nice species this morning were Snow Bunting flock and 1cy Peregrine Falcon!

Teppo and Petteri having sea-watch with their own style.

Later we walked to Hanhisto which is most famous place to see Olive-backed Pipit in Finland. It is big meadow and you have to walk it with many guys in one line.
This time about 30 Meadow Pipits jumped in to the air before something amazing happened.
With one or two Meadow Pipits there was totally different species. Call was immediately identified as Olive-backed! Sadly bird flied to the woods and we had to wait for a while. About 45 minutes later we were walking again one meadow and Petteri had recording in hes mobile phone. This time bird gave only two or three calls but that was enough. Petteri had one of the calls recorded in hes phone and we had document! Later evening we had sauna and we were little bit celebrating the Pipit. It goes without saying that Pipit was lifer for me!

Happy Markus with hes huge Swarovski binoculars. 

Next day was same stuff. Olive-backed Pipit and surprisingly also Yellow-billed Diver were still present. Guys saw two Shore Larks, we had four migrating Nuthatches! etc.

Tree Creeper.

Highland Cattle near the bird station.

Flock of migrating Cranes.

Black Woodpecker.

Rough-legged Buzzard

Chiffchaff with food.

Teppo and Pasi having good time in Hanhisto.

Bohemian Waxwing.

Last day was the worst.. Again me and Teppo went to make some coffee because zero migration and again Petteri called us. 1cy Pomarine Skua landed quite near.. I ran again but no luck this time. Still waiting my first Pomarine Skua in Finland. Olive-bakced Pipit was still present and this time Markus saw it well sitting in tree.
Just after midday we left and only Tomas stayed in the island.

What a trip we had... So much fun and great stories to tell and some stories which are not for public audience. :)
Thank you Petteri, Markus, Pasi, Teppo, Tomas, and Sebastian. Memorable trip. Can´t wait till next year.