28. elokuuta 2012

Why photographing must be so hard? 28.8.2012

I was thinking why taking photos is so hard. I have shot maybe 80000 photos in my life and maybe 80 has been really good. So one in a 1000! That´s crazy! Why we even do this?
Here is my top7 of failures. There could be more but i did not had energy to check all my files.

Night Heron eating huge fish.

Bee-eater flight.

Sooty Shearwater.

Graceful Prinia in flight.

Yellow-broved Warbler.

Indian Roller. 

And finally my masterpiece:

Perfect position, light, sharp, everything. Imperial Eagle.

So, it´s hard sometimes. Luckily there is always others with same problems :)
Or is it just me?
If i just don´t have those skills.


-tired Tomppa-

Last day in Ireland. 27.8.2012

Last day and i checked out from window. Rain again... At that moment, it was good idea to continue sleep.
Jände went to the Bridges of Ross and there was nice sunny morning with average migration!
Around 9 i woke up and after long breakfast we packed our bags and gave up our rooms.
Jände told that some guys had Ring-billed Gull in Doonbeg! We went there first but no American gull there...
Only normal Dunlins and Sanderlings. Only new birds were 9 Sandwich Terns.


Common ringed Plover.

Today´s main target was Shannon airport lagoon. We arrived there about 1:30pm and first we had little problems to find the right place where most of the birds were.
First new Irish tick was Little Egret (4), then we noticed huge flock of waders.
We were in wrong place :)
Quick transition and right place found.

Black-tailed Godwits!

Huge flock of Black-tailed Godwits, many Dunlins and Redshanks.
We started to scan the flock and i found Spotted Redshank with Redshanks.
Of course we tried to find some rare wader from America but there were none.
Here is some numbers:
Redshank 40
Spotted Redshank 1
Dunlin 150
Black-tailed Godwit 650!
Little Egret 4
Lapwing 6
I have never seen such a flock of Godwits. Wow, really.
That was actually our last real bird place.. We had quick watch in Dublin after that and we saw Little Egret there also but that was the end...

This was nice experience for me, i got many new species of course (7).
I´d like to thank Niall Keogh, Lee Gregory and other guys who had time in Bridges of Ross.
Special thanks for Tuukka, Jände and Esko, without you i would have been in many troubles.
I can fully recommend Hotel Lighthouse Inn for every one. Staff is nice and helpful. Im definitely going back some day.
If you want to check what is going to happen in Bridges of Ross, read here: http://seabirdwatchireland.blogspot.ie/



26. elokuuta 2012

A day off, 26.8.2012

This was really day off... I woke up at 9:am and after long nice breakfast i decided to walk around little bit.
There was bad weather, windy and all that shit.
I got some photos of Grey Heron, Common ringed Plover and landscapes.
When i came back, Jände and Esko wanted to drive around. I jumped in the car and my first notice was that we are almost out of gasoline.
We drove to the normal gas-station but it was closed.. Same time our car told that we are really close to empty gas tank. We decided to drove to Kilkee and we were sure that there is open station.
Well, there was not... We asked from several people and then we got this info that in Kilrush is open station. 8miles drive and we didn´t know our gas situation. "Refuel" light were blinking!
But like in many stories, we had our happy ending.
What a story... We saw few Starling flock from the car and we had Nialls Buff-breasted Sandpiper place where i saw two Red-billed Coughs, no Sandpipers!
We came back and when others wanted to sleep, me and Tuukka went to a little walk and check the gardens near by.

Heron with something eatable. 

Red Bill!

Common Plover.

Ugly young Robin.

We had many Robins, Wrens, Great and Blue Tits and flock of Common Snipes! Great.
Tomorrow, i hope is better day.
Thanks and good night.



Little bit better in Ireland, 25.8.2012

We started again from Bridges of Ross. Migration was better than yesterday but not great as some people expected.
I counted Kittiwakes today and i got almost as big number as Niall and other pro observers.
We had 2 hours in the BOR and then we had to go to eat some breakfast. We actually took it long way beacause we were back in the BOR at 10:00. Kittiwake migration was still strong and other birds we seen also.
After Sea-watch, we drove along the coastal road and there was species like Great Tit and Goldcreast so Great! After driving we landed to Doonbeg where we tried to find rare waders again..
Surprisingly we did not find any of those American waders..

Daily Gannet.

Arctic Skua.

3cy Kittiwake.

Rock Pipit in Carrigaholt.

After empty wader try, we came back to the Bridges of Ross. Many Skuas were migrate at the evening and one Great Skua or Bonxie like locals call it flew very near of us.
Best sighting was Balearic Shearwater witch was lifer for me! Bird was with one Manx Shearwater and luckily it was quite near so we had  chance to ID it!
Reat of the wvenign we tried to photo birds and watch little bit of the migration.
Here is some numbers and photo from the day.


Kittiwake 195
Puffin 14
Arctic Skua 9
Great Skua 8
Pomarine Skua 3

and other bullshit :)



24. elokuuta 2012

More slow in Ireland. 24.8.2012

We woke up at 6am and there was nightmare weather.. Wind from East and quite heavy rain.. Esko stayed at the hotel but me Tuukka and Jände went to the Bridges of ross. Almost first birds what Tuukka saw was two Sabine´s Gulls!! Lifer for Tuukka and year tick for me and Jände. I saw one bird in Estonia 2009 with Jände.
Rest of the time we actually spoke trash and bullshit. Same time Irish guys saw four Balearic Shearwaters.. Nice, lifer flew quite near again..
We came back after 2 hours, wet and tired of course.. We saw 4 Great Skuas, one Pomarine Skua, 150 Manx Shearwaters, 4 Sooty Shearwaters and on our way back, Peregrine Falcon flew over road and frightened Starlings in the air.
Next place after dry clothes was Loop Head very near the hotel. I tried to photo some Fulmars and Gannets but it was hard again.. From the sea we saw few hundreds of Manx Shearwaters and flock of some Dolphins!

Some Fulmar photos.

This one watched others flying around.

Flying machine.

Gannet of course.

Jände found one very tame Dunlin from headland and i got some pics of it too.

Dunlin eats something.

After Loop Head we drove to the Carrigaholt beach where we tried to find some waders. There was actually many waders but most of those were Redshanks, Ringed Plovers, Turnstones and some other bullshit.
just before we were leaving, just married couple came with bestmans and maid of honors to the beach and started to take some marriage photos. We decided to leave quite quick!
We had nice meal in the Carrigaholt and then we came back to the hotel. Boys are tired and tomorrow is going to be legendary sea-watching day so maybe it´s better to rest.
This little youngster were just 30m away of our hotel.

First year Gannet.

I forgot mention earlier, i got Red-billed Chough on my lifer list. We saw day before yesterday and yesterday few birds.
Today was clearly day off. Tomorrow we are back in good shape and fresh eyes.



Slower day in Ireland. 23.8.2012

Today we stated about at 6:30. We walked to the Bridges of Ross and then the rain started... Great.
Me, Tuukka and Esko left to get some sleep and Jände stayed bravely.
I picked up Jände at 09:00 and he said that there was 5minutes rain after we left and slow/normal migration.
He had about 25 European Storm-Petrels, some Skuas, many Manx Shearwaters and so on.
Great locals guys were there all day and i just wait to see their sightings. (Not much)
We came back to the Bridges of Ross at 10:30 and migration was still slow. Hour and a half was enough and we left.

Adult Gannet came quite close.

Shag in the Atlantic ocean.

Next place to visit was nice Wader places about 40km north of Bridges of Ross.
We had many Sanderlings, Dunlins and Common ringed Plovers. Nothing special this time but i think these wader places will give us nice surprises in the future.

Something is wrong if i´d need to visit Ireland to photograph these..

After few hours in other places, we came back to Bridges of Ross and our plan was nice evening sea-watch.. Rain had some different in he´s mind and we were quite wet when we decided to leave.
Rest of the evening we sat in the hotels restaurant and pro guys showed us nice maybe 3cy Glaucous Gull!
Nice Ireland tick!
Today i took only 34 photos, so not much to show..
Tomorrow it will be rainy day with horrible East / North-East wind, so no sea-bird migration tomorrow.. Maybe waders again.



23. elokuuta 2012

First sea-watch in Bridges of Ross 22.8.2012

We started today at 6:30 from Ross. Wind was quite hard and some showers drenched everything.
Some professional sea-watchers got huge umbrellas and they were dry all the time..
My first lifer was Fulmar before we even get our selves to the hotspot. Next lifer, Gannet. Then i got few more... Manx Shearwater, Puffin, Great Skua and European Storm-Petrel. All these nice species in like 30min!

Northern Fulmar in flight.

Adult Gannet.

Great Skua in distance.
Our first round ended at 08:50 when we had to go to eat some breakfast.
After some rest and sightseeing Jände drove us back to the hotspot and our second round started at 11:00.
Mostly same species migrate again with good numbers and i tried to photo some Ruddy Turnstones.

These birds got nice camouflage. Turnstones.

We leave from the Ross about at 13:30 and our plan was to get something to eat again. We drove to the Kilkee witch is next big city when you drive north from here. We got nice chicken and after that we drove along the coast line back home.
On our way we stopped in few places. Carrigaholt beach was very nice place and there we saw Sanderlings, Black Guillemot, Redshanks, Ruffs, Dunlins and Yarrelii type White Wagtails.

Black Guillemot, maybe 1st winter bird.

Yarrelii type White Wagtail male.

After beach, we drove to the Glencarrig Farmhouse where we saw Black-tailed Godwit, Little Grebe and so on..
We came back to the Bridges of Ross at 18:10 and we had two more hours in there with nice Skua and Storm-Petrel migration.
Here is some numbers from the whole day (Migration):

Manx Sharwater 6000
Sooty Shearwater 31
European Storm-Petrel 52
Gannet 1000
Northern Fulmar 460
Puffin 15
Razorbill 100
Guillemot 5
Great Skua 45
Arctic Skua 20
Pomarine Skua 1
Kittiwake, 60

Nice numbers if you asked from me, but local professionals told that this was slow day... They saw Great Shearwater, Sabines Gull and other great rarities today... They are really good at this.
Here is still one funny looking Fulmar. Tomorrow again in the Ross and then watching some Waders.

Fulmar singing. 



22. elokuuta 2012

Ireland 21.8.2012

Me, Tuukka, Jände and Esko landed today at Dublin. Our one week Ireland explore started and after little problems, we got our Opel crappy Astra from Sixth car-rental. 
Drive was long today and about 1,5hours ago we arrived to our hotel Lighthouse Inn. 
Place is nice, warm and staff are helpful. Actual place is about 2km away of Bridges of Ross, one of the most legendary sea-watch places in Europe. 

Some city on our way to Bridges of Ross.

Rooks and Jackdaws.

Nice rainbow. 

More stuff tomorrow and i can tell more about he place also. Now too tired.



20. elokuuta 2012

Estonian Open 2012 17.8-19.8.2012

Last weekend was Estonian open bird race in Saarenmaa Estonia. 
I put together a good team with Jarkko Santaharju, Roni Väisänen and Petteri Mäkelä.
At Friday night we jumped to Tallink Silja ship and it left at 7:30pm towards Tallin. We landed to Tallin at 9:30pm and after rush and waiting in the ship we started our drive to Virtsu where is harbor and ferry to the Saarenmaa. Ferry started at Midnight and it takes 25min to get to the island.

Also other Finnish team was in the ferry. From left, Petteri, Jarkko,  Heikki, Roni and Markus.

After ferry, we drove to place called haeska or valjala, can´t remember and we had nice 1hour 20minute time to sleep in the car before the race witch starts at 3am..
I couldn´t sleep even a minute... In the car was four guys and there was super hot and everybody was just sweating. Race time in Estonian Open is 03am to 5pm so 14 hours.
We "woke up" at 2:40am and after boys had their smokes, we moved a little bit and when Race started at 3am we were outside and just listening. It was super dark and great fog came from somewhere... No birds in sound. Actually we even didn´t know where we were... Was it fields of forest? Nice start.
At 3:15am we got our first specie, Tawny Owl. After that was Lapwing and more Tawny Owls. We heard atleast 4 different!
After these and few Robin sounds, we planed to drive Southern side of he area.

Beautiful morning in Lôulahti.

We stopped few times before we started our first sea watch and we got some good species like Wood Lark, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Redwing, Fieldfare, and Hawfinch.
After poor night time we thought that game is over but it was not. Our sea watch started well and we got many good species from the sea, like Red-throughted Diver, Bar-tailed Godvit, Red-breasted Merganser, Rock Pipit and so on. Rock Pipit was actually ace for us, witch means that we were only team who saw that specie! 
Next few hour we drove around the southern side of are and we got species almost every stop, so we were in full swing! 


Jarkko, Petteri and Roni checking the sea.


At mid-days, we decided to get coffee and little snack in Kuressaare witch is capital city of Saarenmaa. There was also big park but no good birds.. 
After Kuressaari we drove to the Orissaare witch is eastern side of the island. There was many waders and ducks and we got Black tern from there and Little Stints and so on. 
After nice watch, we drove to most northern part of the island but there was nothing... place was behind of the dogs and fences, so no chance... On our wa back, we found little open place and first bird what Roni saw flying on the sea was Arctic Skua! 
There was only 20minutes time left and we decided to stop on the open field are, watching some raptors and others. 4.50pm Petteri saw White Stork walking in the field and that was our last specie. Total count was 129! We were happy but there was few easy species what we missed... Magpie! Reed Bunting! 

Here was Sanderling, Red Knot and some others.

We drove to the shop and then to hotel at Kuressaare where the evening event was. 
And here is the final results:

XVIII Estonian Open 18.08.2012 Saare maakond (v.a. Torgu vald)

Kell 3:00-17:00

1.                   141 RC & Co                                          Andrus Jair, Mihkel Metslaid, Margus Ots, Uku              Paal, Peeter Raudsepp
2.                   138 Takaveto                                           Margus Ellermaa, Vesa Jouhki, Jukka Salokangas, Andreas Uppstu
3.                   135 Team Sylvia                                       Mika Bruun, Stefan Knopman, Asko Rokala, Roland Sundström, Ari Veijalainen
4.                   134 Team Ristisaari                                  Timo Böhme, Petri Ripatti, Pekka Rusanen, Ari Vuorio
5.                   131 Jlo & the boys                                   Heikki Eriksson, Juho Könönen, Jari Laitasalo, Markus Lampinen, Peter Uppstu
6.                   130 FcFallos                                            Jukka Hatva, Hannu Huhtinen, Tuomas Seimola, Toni Uusimäki
7.                   129 Muovilapajengi                               Petteri Mäkelä, Tom, Nordblad, Jarkko Santaharju, Roni Väisänen
8.                   128 Nahkhiirmees                                    Tuukka Kupiainen, Lauri Mäenpää, Jan Nordblad, Juha Saari, Juha Sjöholm
9.                   125 “148”                                                Ilpo Hanski, Lasse Lindström, Martti Vattulainen, Erkki Virolainen
10.                 124 Buteo                                                Mihkel Jürgens, Madis Karu, Eedi Lelov, Heikki Luhamaa, Tiit Vohta
11.                 123 Unioni                                               Aki Arkiomaa, Risto Lammin-Soila, Gustaf Nordenswan, Pertti Uusivuori
12.                 122 Tuhlis ja Nott                                    Leho Luigujõe, Riho Marja, Tarmo Teppe
13.-14.           117 Bilia                                                 Christer Casagrande, Seppo Grönlund, Jari Markkula, Jyrki Tolvanen
13.-14.           117 Saaremaa Linnuklubi                        Andres Kalamees, Andrus Kuus, Rein Nellis, Hannes Pehlak, Veljo Volke
15.                 115 Odet                                                Biti Ojala, Markku Ojala
16.                 114 Himantopus himantopus                    Ilze Bojare, Ivars Brediks, Andris Klepers, Marcis Tirums
17.                 113 Eesti Naised                                     Marju Erit, Mariliis Märtson, Kadri Paomees
18.                   94 Hakit                                               Kalevi Hietaniemi, Matti Koljonen, Eero Vainio
19.                   89 KV²+2                                            Peep Lassmann, Thea Perm, Kris Voog, Kaarel Võhandu

TOTAL Specie count: 191

RC & Co                                                   TRISTA, LIMLIM, PHALOB, ASIOTU
Buteo                                                         AQUPOM, AQUCHR, LOCLUS, LANEXC
Takaveto                                                    TACRUF, CIRPYG, CEPGRY
Muovilapajengi                                           PORANA, ANTPET, SERSER
Nahkhiirmees                                             FALPER, RECAVO
Eesti Naised                                               CIRCYA, FALCOL
Jlo & the boys                                            PANHAL
Unioni                                                        LUSSVE
Tuhlis ja Nott                                             CLAHYE
Himantopus himantopus                             CRECRE

Sorry for messy copy from EstBirdings internet site. SO, we were at seventh place.. I think it´s good position when you watch these names above us. Old "racers" from Finland and some beginners luck guys also. 
An i must mention that we beat my uncles team first time.
Thank you Roni, Jarkko and Petteri! This was grat fun and next year again of course. Thanks also Uku Paal, Margus Ots, Tuomas Seimola, Jukka Hatva, Lauri Mäenpää, Jände, Juha Sjöholm, Jari Laitasalo, Markus Lampinen, Juho Könönen, Heikki Erikson, Timo Böhme, Ari Vuorio, Petri Ripatti and Aki Arkiomaa. If your name is missing on this list, sorry and thanks. 

Tomorrow we start our trip to Ireland with Jände and Tuukka and Esko.
I hope i can update from there but who knows...


Tom Nordblad

14. elokuuta 2012

Snow Goose, 13.8.2012

Some dude found Snow Goose "blue morph" at Kirkkonummi.
Jari Laitasalo put me message if i´d like to go and twitch.
I wonder for a while and i came to the conclusion that i have to go with Jari.
My shift ended at 6pm and i drove to Pitäjänmäki where Jari waited me.
After 40minute drive we stopped near the place were Goose was, but we didn´t saw it there.
Jari made some calls and we get info that bird is still there.
Little drive and we arrived to the Saltfjärden bird towers parking lot. We started walking trough the tower when Jari saw all the Gooses in flight.
Quickly we put our telescopes up and Jari found the bird flying with Greylag Gooses! Nice!
I was trying to take some photos trough the telescope but it was impossible :)
Soon Goose flock landed again and we continued our walk to the tower. Many birder walk opposite direction so there was atleast room in the tower.
We meet many familiar guys there. And almost everybody had good time. Sadly few people missed this Goose by few minutes when it flew behind the tall trees..

We had good twitch and thank you Jari for company. Thanks also Petri and other guys for company.

Sorry for photoless post. There is photo of that bird by Petri, if you guys want to see.



12. elokuuta 2012

Too normal... 11.8.2012

My yesterdays birding was actually in two parts.
First i was at the Maari bird-tower watching some shorebirds and Great White Egret.
I end my shift at 6am and i quickly drove to home because my gear was there. I was at the tower about 7am and f**k, there was breezing cold... I had way too little clothes on.
There was only one before me in the tower and he started at 4.30am, crazy people... He said that Great White Egret flew in the reeds about hour before i came so no chance to see it...
There was still some waders left and we counted 6 Little Stints, 5 Temminck´s Stints, Curlew Sandpiper, 60-80 Dunlins, Wood Sandpipers and Bar-tailed Godvit.
Little by little my hands came colder and sense began to disappear so i had to go home and get some well deserved sleep.

Taken by my phone. There is atleast Little Stint and Dunlins.

Next part of my birding were almost at the evening. Sarinas fried had housewarming party and i had no interest to go there, i went to Finnå :)
I walked to the Southern Birdwatching-tower and along the way i saw many Willow Warblers, few Garden Warblers, Sedge Warblers, Goldfinches, one Great-spotted Woodpecker, one Red-backed Shrike and so on.
The lake was actually almost empty this time, Mallards, few Teals, Shovelers, Gadwall was most numerous duck there. Also few Tufted Ducks, Pockhards and so on.. Soon i heard weird sound and huge, about flock of 400 Starlings jumped in the air from the reeds. I was thinking what i was and then i noticed that one Pockhard was dead in the water. It probably crashed into electric lines above the lake...  Sad.



Willow Warbler.

Overall i had nice day again. Mornings could be little bit warmer, but maybe i should move to Israel, there i quite hot i guess.
Next post will be next weekend because we had annual bird-race in Estonia. Wish luck to our team, Roni, Jarkko, Petteri and myself.



9. elokuuta 2012

Pigeons in Haltiala, 8.8.2012

Today, or actually yesterday i had some time before i have to go to work.
I went to Haltiala where is nice big fields and it´s average place to watch raptors i guess.
First 20minutes i had to talk with some strange old guy who told me about he´s journeys in Ukraine and how he saw some Egrets and Swifts and how raptors hunt rabbits... Thank god he have to continue he´s walk...
First raptor what i saw was Kestrel, so i thought that this could be nice day for raptors.
Windy and cloudy so conditions were good.
Soon i noticed that there is no raptors and only birds were Woodpigeons and there was almost 500 of those. Flock were eating something from the field and i got some nice looking flock photos.

Flock of Woodpigeons.

And again.

Two Northern Goshawks were very interested about these Pigeons and one even got prey!
Both Goshawks were this years chicks so 1cy.
That was actually almost all what i saw... Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler were jumping in the trees and some Fieldfares had movement.
Now working and next post maybe next weekend.