17. marraskuuta 2019

Fifth lifer for the year. 17.11.2019

Yesterday 16th of November I finally had time to twitch long staying Great-northern Diver from Kirkkonummi. All went well until my kids said that it is time to go home... That was before the bird was relocated. Fun... SO I dipped yesterday and today on 17th I had to put my a-game to see the bird.
I waited again that the bird was seen and together with Vilma we went to see the bird. It was 40 minute drive to Vittrask, a big lake where the bird was seen daily from Monday I think.
It was before non we arrived and Vilma wanted to stay in the car, so I gave her my other phone to watch cartoon while I went to search the place. Some familiar faces around and finally after half an hour I found bird very very far a way which could be the right bird. We followed it and it dived and then showed its head few times.
I was quite sure that we were looking the right bird, but distance was about 1.5 km and I wanted to see it better.
I checked maps and we drove to the other side of the lake. We arrived to the place and while we searched way to shore some guy found it from parking lot. I managed to see the bird quickly and then we decided to move closer. We found a nice place and bird was showing it´s best but still quite distant views. I looked the bird and tried to learn how to ID this species in the future if some day I found my own bird.
Diver was lying there calmly on the water and it was clearly a place where it didn´t fish, only rested.
In fifteen minutes it started to move again and dived few times. That was god time for us to leave. Vilma was super brave and she walked all the way in rocks and roots.
Here is few distant shots of the bird. All taken through my telescope with my phone. Lake produced some hear waves and light conditions you can see from the photos.

Distant and dark... Anyway Great-northern Diver. 1cy bird. 

Vilma was happy when the bird was found. I showed it to her too, so I add this one on her list. 

This was maybe the best I got. Sad but true.. 

I wish to be on the other side. From that sauna building even I could get better photos. 



So, lifer bird for me and finally got this one. Now the number is #337 in Finland.

Great-northern Diver is rare in Finland and best way to see these here is definitely like this bird, late autumn some local bird. Also some individuals every year migrates with other Divers along the coastline. These birds are usually seen in May.
Only 15 records from my home county (Uusimaa) during the 2000s. Thirteen of those were migrating birds.

-Tom

8. marraskuuta 2019

Birthday Cattle Egret 30.10.2019

Finally had time and energy t write something about my last visit to see some birds. It was my birthday about an week a go and I twitched a long staying Cattle Egret from Mäntsälä, which is about 60km from Helsinki.
Story of the bird is interesting, because it was originally found from Hattula, then it moved to Janakkala and then finally found from Mäntsälä few days later and distance of the original place is almost 90km.

Anyway it stayed in Mäntsälä and cause I had a day off I went to check it. Bird was easy to see, I was still driving when I saw it in flight and it stayed on one field during my visit there. Surprisingly it has eaten many Voles every day. Did not realize how much of a predator it can be!
Here is few pictures of the bird.

See the white dot under blue sign. 

The birds was feeding near the road and it got at least one vole during my stay. 

Phone scoped from the distance. 

Beautiful bird. 

Cattle Egret was my Finnish tick number 336 and fourth new one for the year. Also fourth record for Finland, so we are talking about very rare bird! Last one was 2011 and before that there is a records from 2006 and 2002. First for Finland was eastern race Coromandus and it was placed in category C back in 1994.
Hopefully I will have time to go outside soon... Some records of White-backed and Three-toed Woodpeckers near my house, so maybe I will go after those in near future.

-Tom 

4. lokakuuta 2019

European Roller 4.10.2019

Recently my birding has been slow, because I have been bit sick and it has been raining most of the days. Only short times outside before today and I have visited Kivikko field and Kaisaniemi Arboretum shortly after or before my work.

One of two Goshawks in Kivikko.

Dunnock in Kivikko. 

Siskins in Kaisaniemi.


Today I was working when I noticed an alarm message of European Roller in Espoo!! I was hoping and hoping that the bird will stay and checked my watch all the time. Finally I was released before 2pm and I went to pick my family and my binoculars from home.
We arrived to Tali, which is nearest area of the bird in Helsinki side. After little walking we found to the area where the bird was supposed to be. Some twitchers around and I met Ville Vepsäläinen when we arrived. Together we found the right place but the bird was lost, and we just had to look around.

The founder of the bird Hannu Palojärvi and loads of others were looking the bird. I was so happy that Hannu was the man who found the it. There is a real kind person who has helped me in the past few times.
At some point I was talking with Matias Castren when we noticed a group moving fast towards something. They were in higher grounds so we had to walk a bit the finally, there was the bird I was looking for. I checked it properly and then I went to pick my kids to get that stroller tick! It was easy. Bird was sitting on a branch and gave us little distant but good looks. I think it was 1cy bird because all the brown color and not so shiny blue like adult birds. Though I am not an expert of any kind of bid ID stuff. Here is few pictures of the bird and the place where it was.

European Roller. 

What a great looking bird. 

This photo was taken from Helsinki side of the area. 

Twitchers.

Stroller tick in the bag. Julius started to be little tired at this point. 


What a twitch. Thanks to my family for the company and support. Dream come true bird. If I´m right, this was first bird after last Roller seen in Helsinki back in 1966, but not sure. Not too many records anyway.

-Tom 

25. syyskuuta 2019

Mandarin Duck 23.9. and 25.9.2019

Recent days there has been few Mandarin Ducks around our capital area. I had crazy week at three different jobs, but finally managed to visit one bird with Vilma on 23rd.
We arrived to Tapaninkylä quite early morning and grass was still under white frost. Our target was active and it was feeding in a small pond with local Mallards. Mandarin Duck might be little smaller than Mallard, but damn it made very clear if someone was too close to its personal space.
I let Vilma take some photos with my phone and that gave me a few moments to take some nice morning light photos. One Red-throated Pipit migrated over the park during the time we were there. Nice morning and great bird. Now the fall is here, bring out the real rarities!

I also tried to twitch Yellow-browed Warbler from Paloheinä, but missed it for about 10 minutes. Good that I had one in Kaivopuisto earlier last week!

Mandarin Duck.

Open wings.

Mandarin Duck.

Something different. 

What is that!?!

My favorite pic with nice light. 
Vilma took some photos with my cell. 


Today on 25th I went to look the bird again, this time with my friend Tyron. He had nice lifer of showy duck and we were happy. I got some new pics and this time the bird even came to the dry land.

Rainy day light. 

Walking Mandarin. 

Great looking bird. 


More birding coming soon I hope. Best times coming and I need to go out more often!

-Tom