26. maaliskuuta 2012

This feels like spring! 26.3.2012

After a late wake-up is started today from Finnå wastewater treatment plant.
I don´t know why but i all ways walk same route there and this day wasn´t exception. First bird what i noticed was nice singing male Chaffinch. After 10min walking i stopped to watch some birds which were high in the trees i saw lonely Crane flying over me. I try to run little bit because it went behind the trees but i didn´t see it again.
Nice start and new year tick for me.
I continued my walking and next stop was pair of Goldeneyes. The birds swim in the ditch which was next to the path and there is some small trees so that´s why this super bad photo..

You can see why it´s Goldeneye.

After Goldeneyes and many Mallards i arrived at a place where there was lot´s of open water and a bird-watching tower.
Many Coots and Mallards, one Common Pochard, one Gadvall, two singing Skylarks and more Goldeneyes. I was in the tower like 20minutes but nothing else did not appear.


Common Pochard male.

Gadvall and Pochard, both new year ticks for me.
I continued walking again and i saw something like 20 Crows in same tree and making huge noise. Then i noticed some raptor sitting in same tree but lower. It was little bit in the shade but i get few photos and i was able to identify it. Goshawk. One of my favorite bird of prey.

Can you see the Goshawk?

After this nice bird i left and i had already decided to go Seurasaari.
Between Finnå and Seurasaari i saw flock of 36 Barnacle Gooses! I couldn´t stop because i was driving but nice catch from the window!
I was thinking this little spring progress "project". It´s nice to see witch species comes first and when and so on..
I parked my car in parking lot and first birds were 2 Mute Swans, 2 Canada Gooses and 15 Mallards. These Gooses and Swans were not there last time, so new arrivals.

Canada Goose.

"Don´t take photos" Mute Swan.

I walk my normal route again and i actually noticed that there was less birds than last time. Most Tits are singing or nesting or something but you can´t see those anymore. Black Birds are most common birds in feeding places.
Here is some numbers what i saw or heard today.

Great Tit 30
Blue Tit 20
Coal Tit 2
Black Bird 30 (Some singing males)
Song Thrush 1 (Voice)
Chaffinch 6 (All singing)
Greenfinch 2
Bullfinch 4
Stock Dove 2
Woodpigeon 1
Treecreeper 2 (Voice)
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 (Male)
Sparrow Hawk 1

Stock Dove.

Weird Black Bird.

Perhaps the most interesting bird was this weird Black Bird witch have some leucistic spots in head, breast and flanks. First when i saw this bird i thought that it is Ring Ouzel! I have bad photo of it where it shows a little bit same looking breast pattern.

This was nice day. Now i have to work two days and then Friday we are going to Estonia and try to find Willow Grouse, Ural Owl and Great Grey Owl. Wish me luck with those.



25. maaliskuuta 2012

Urban birding... 25.3.2012

I had to work this weekend but it does not stop my birding activities.
Saturday while working i saw flock of 6 Bean Gooses and White Wagtail.
The same weather is still continuing, wind from the north and few degrees of warm.. not quite perfect for the migrants..
Today i make little balcony watch at home and first bird was Woodpigeon. I think i don´t even need to tell you, that my balcony is not the best place for bird watching...
Little bit over an hour i had something like 10 species...

Black Bird
Great Tit
Blue Tit
Herring Gull
Common Gull
Feral Pigeon

Woodpigeon from distance.. 

Tomorrow i really go out..
Thank you and sorry.


20. maaliskuuta 2012

Owl twitch and beautiful day 20.3.2012

Last night some dude found Great Grey Owl at Viikki, Helsinki.
I woke up at 10 a clock, i open my laptop and then i noticed this... It was quite a shock because it´s good rarity in Helsinki area. There was no updates for this morning but i decided to go.
I landed to Viikki about hour later i saw one birdwatcher in the parking lot. He said that bird is missing and there is few guys looking for it.
At the moment i realized that the game is over.. I still had little hope left and i started to walk towards the place where the bird had been seen.
Weather was super nice, +6 degrees and lot´s of sun. Around the midway point between my car and bird i met the other birder who had also bad news... He stopped looking after two hours.. I continued my walk and soon i was in that area where Owl was seen. I checked every bush and tree but nothing... Even the bird is quite big, it can be really hard to find from the woods.
After an hour i started to walk back to my car and at he same time i took few photos of Coal Tit´s and Green Finches.

Coal Tit try to find something.


A pity that the bird disappeared so soon.. I have never seen this specie before and this was second in Helsinki this year... Maybe sometime in the future ?
When i got to the parking lot, i remembered that Lintuvaruste(Bird Life) store is very close and i visited there. I bought this second edition of "Birds of the Middle East". It´s quite important book for our Israel trip and good fill in my bookcase.
After Viikki i was not happy and i wanted to go somewhere.. Quick thinking took me to Seurasaari, witch is officially my home-patch (after visiting there about 20 times in 2 years). First birds was three Mallards who where not there last time.

Sexy looking male Mallard.
After 5minutes walking i heard familiar voice above me, this awesome Raven flew overhead, followed by an army of Crows. It was unwanted guest i think.
After this i walked around the island and maybe best observation was Stock Dove witch was so shy that i didn´t get any photos of it..
Other nice but regular birds was Willow Tit 2, Coal Tit 5, Redwing (still present), Winter Wren (Peukaloinen), Long-tailed Tit and Mute Swan.

Raven and Crow, compare sizes.

Redwing takes little bath.

This hairy dude is also common in Seurasaari.

Overall, this was first day that resembled spring. Nice weather, warm, sun, singing birds and so on.
Even i did not see the Owl, this was a good day. Wren and Long-tailed Tit was new year ticks for me so now my tick are 82. Top3 people have now something like 130, so i´m still enough behind...



19. maaliskuuta 2012

Where is the Spring... 18.3.2012

I had hour time to check Haltiala farms before work.
Firs bad sign was cross-country skiers... I all most turned back but something tells me that there may be something.
I checked area about half an hour but all what i found was two Fielfares, two Black Birds and flock of 10 Jackdaws.. Frustrating...
Birds were sitting on a pile of manure and it was steaming somehow.. Fortunately it didn´t stink :)


Next week i planned some bigger trip. Maybe to Hanko or Kirkkonummi or something like that.
I know this was little bit useless post but i do not have better things to do at work.
If somebody is interested, this Haltiala farm is quite good birding place later spring or autumn.
Last spring i found there perhaps the earliest record of Red-breasted Pipit in Finland. All so other side of the road where is some horse stables, i twitched Lesser Grey shrike.

Towards better life and better birds.


15. maaliskuuta 2012

Camera testing, 15.3.2012

Because i hurt my arms in the gym, i had day off.
I started today at Suomenoja water treatment plant pools. Place was still empty and silent.
Only Hooted Crows had some kind of spring meeting. 80 birds had arrived.
One little flock of Gold Finches flew over me and that´s all...

Always these Tits...

Part of Crow meeting. 

After Suomenoja i went to Seurasaari again.
I walked my normal route and i checked every feeding place. Nice surprises was Willow Tit, Chaffinch and flock of 6 Redpolls. Common birds where still present and nothing spectacular didn´t come front of me.

10 Coal Tits today.

Also 10 Goldcrests today. Female in photo.

Nice looking Willow Tit.

Redwing still present.

Handsome Redpoll (one of six birds)

As you can see, there is no stunning or magnificent photos, even though i promised.. Camera was little bit weird and i need to study more. For example AutoFocus didn´t work like i wanted. But i´m not going to throw an ax in to the well, like we say it in Finland.
Hope i learn to use it when we go to Israel, it would be pity if i come back with broken camera :)
OH, i all most forget, i saw 5 Canada Goose on my way back home.

Next time i go somewhere else. Hope so.


14. maaliskuuta 2012

Quick, 14.3.2012

Today i had very quick walk in Seurasaari (again). First Greylag Gooses, Bean Gooses and Pink-Footed Gooses arrived yesterday in Finland, so i thought if i´m little bit lucky, i can see something.
I was walking along the seashore and whole sea was still frozen... So no geese for me today..
Birds was same than earlier this month.. Bullfinches, Redwing, Great, Blue and Coal Tits, Blackbirds and other common rubbish..

Female Bullfinch

Great Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls.

Blue Tit was hungry.

This Great Tit landed first on my hat.

After this little walk my highlight of the day was New Camera!
I bought this "Professional"Nikon D300S, so now i have two at least for a while. Maybe i try to sell my D90 or i just use it with my 40mm lens.

This time just short post and next time i try get some magnificent photos and better stuff.
I hope that you will not get bored when you read my stories.
If i did not mentioned earlier, we are going to Israel in April. Two weeks in hot bird-heaven is one of biggest highlight this year. Also visit to New York with my girl is coming in May, so i must study some American birds . Luck for me, because i don´t even know these in Finland :)



9. maaliskuuta 2012

One new tick and same old bullshit.

I promised to my girlfriend Sarina a ride to job interview so i had a opportunity to watch birds in that area.
Place was nice old church in Espoo and there was cemetery all so. I watch map before we leave and i noticed a small river or ditch. While Sarina was in an interview, i toured the area. I saw little numbers of Great Tits, Blue Tits and Green Finches, so normal garbage... When i was photographing one awesome cute Blue Tit i heard familiar call from the sky. Flock of 5 Eurasian Goldfinches flew over me. Just after that, i remembered that river and i started to walk towards it. I saw two little ice-free spot there. I check first one, but nothing. I walked to next spot and it took like 25seconds and a Dipper rose from the water! It flew quite far a way and i wasn´t ready with my camera so images was only a dream... However, i was very happy of my observation.

Blue Tits are awesome birds!

There was Dipper!

Great looking old church.

After Sarinas interview we drove to grocerystore and then home. I was sitting at home and i noticed that there is very nice weather. I decided to go out and i drove to Seurasaari.
This time i walked longer and much more slippery rote. Here is a map of my route. I started from north, i ended up south and then back.

My route.
I didn´t find Pygmy owl this time but Redwing was still there, all so few Eurasian Siskins had arrived.
Otherwise, the birds where the complete nonsense...
Bullfinch 15
Green Finch 3
Blackbird 20
Great Tit 20
Blue Tit 40
Coal Tit 8
Goldcrest 5
Hooded Crow 20
Jay 3
Common Magpie 6
And so on.. 

"Is he still there?" 


Siskin enjoys some seeds.

Here in Finland is one little problem.. At nights, there is something like -10 to -15 degrees so there is no migrating birds yet.. It´s quite frustrating to watch every day these same boring species..
Next week, when i have to be 6 days in work (and it sucks), there is something like +10 degrees so i think that´s the last push for migrants. Hope so.
Hopefully next time i see something new.
I started to be little tired so no more text tonight.



7. maaliskuuta 2012

Cold morning and warmer noon. 7.3.2012

Before i even get out of my house, my plans had changed two times...
I started to day from Soukka harbor, Espoo. My plan was to see Glaucous Gull but it never showed up.
There was something like -18degrees and birds was some garbage like Raven, Crow, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Great Black-backed Gull and Great Tit... After an hour i had to leave because otherwise i would have been frozen to the ground..
Next i went to Ruoholahti and visit to FotoFennica by a new lens protectors for my binoculars...
Next photo shows what happens if you put your binoculars to the freezer. I forgot mine in my car overnight...


After i get new protectors, store owner Mikko gave me a hint for a Eurasian Coot or Bowling ball like we say it. I went to look at it and surprisingly i saw it! Year tick n76 for me.
Next stop was in Seurasaari, Helsinki. I have been there many times this year and i knew that there is all ways something to watch and photo. After 15min walking i notice that Tits make great noise over one bird feeding place. Pygmy Owl was sitting in a tree, next to the road! I went little bit closer and i get few "good" shots.

Pygmy owl poses in good light.

Same bird in different tree. 
 Owl change place once or twice before i was done with my camera. I continued my walking and i saw some "normal" birds like Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Black Birds, Bullfinches, Goldcrest, Greenfinch  and new year tick for me, Brambling (at last). There was all so little bit rarer bird, Redwing has been whole winter in same feeding place. I have seen it before but it´s all ways nice to see it. I think there is just few Redwing winter sightings in Helsinki. Here is some photos, i try to get birds in weird positions.

Black Bird. It could be young male.

Great tit with nice wing pose.

This Redwing does not have any tail left, hope it grows back.

When i was walking back to my car i saw Great spotted Woodpecker and Black Woodpecker. Nice to see especially last one, shame that i didn´t get any photo of it. Here is a pic of first one.

Great Spotted Woodbecker.
My last spot where i visited to day was Villa Elfvik in Espoo. I knew that there is bird feeding so i give it chance. I walked around the place and there was nothing special... few Treecreepers, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tits and some other shit..

At least there was nice weather.

I had nice day, morning was too cold but later there was only like -2 to -4 degrees so it was very tolerable.
I hope that spring will start soon and im desperately waiting migrating birds.

Next time maybe some rarities?



3. maaliskuuta 2012

First time in english.

I was thinking about this long time and because i have so much international fans, i must write this in english. :)
So first of all, im sorry about my uggly and bad english, but i hope you people can live with that.

Today wasn´t birding day but i get 1 new year tick, Golden Eagle flew over my car when i was triving to work.
Of course not photos this time because i don´t carry my camera to work.... Bird was (i think) 2nd calender year bird, with big white flashes in underwing. Easy to identify.
My year ticks are now 73 i think or 72, can´t remenber.
Next week i have more time for birds, only one day at work and i hope i get some photos and new species.

Hope you are still interested about my blog. And again, sorry for "photoless" post this time.



1. maaliskuuta 2012

Espoossa 1.3.2012

Päätin lähteä kiertelemään vähän kotikulmia ja kun Soukan venesatamassa oli havaittu Isolokki, valinta osui sinne.
Pääsin paikalle ja parkkipaikalla oli joku tyyppi joka valitteli että kun ei näy lokkia.. Päätin kuiteskin kävellä eteenpäin ja tapasinkin siellä Timo Haikaraisen. Jubailtiin niitä näitä ja koitettiin vähän ettiä lokkia. Paikalla kyllä about 30 varista, muutama Korppi mutta ei mitään järisyttävää.
Jossain kohtaan Jani Ceder ilmestyi rantaan ja jäi meiän seuraan staijaamaan.
Mukavaa oli vaikka lintuja ei juurikaan näkynyt. Parhaina voisi mainita Uuttukyyhky ja Kiuru. Molemmat taisi olla mulle vuodareita suomesta. Myös nuorehko Merikotka kävi kertaalleen pöläyttämässä lintuja lentoon.
Elikkä ei näkynyt Isolokkia.. Vuoden toinen hylsy aika tärkeestä vuodarista. Mutta minkäs sille mahtaa...

Itseasiassa tilaanteessa oli kyllä valoisampaa, kameran kännykkällä napattu.

Suomenvuodarit ponnahti yli 70. (71) Enään 45 lajia kärkeä perässä...