29. lokakuuta 2012

More Grosbeaks and little green surprise. 29.10.2012

I start my day at Maari bird-tower. When i arrived there, i was in shock.. Almost whole bay was frozen...
Closest birds were about 1km away.. I check the open are with telescope and best birds were 4 Smews..
It was quick visit...

Ice ice ice.. 

When i was walking back to my car, i saw 3 Pine Grosbeaks in Rowan tree near my car.
I took few pics of those mighty arctic wanderers and i continued my trip in Suomenoja.

Female Grosbeak.

I walked only 100m of my car when i noticed little flock of tits hanging in the vegetation. I went closer and whole flock jumped in the air. Then i noticed little green birds among the tits and i identified it Phylloscopus-Warbler.
Warbler stopped in the next tree and then i saw strong eyebrow stripe and two clear wing-bars. Nice Yellow-browed Warbler! I was still thinking, could this be Hume´s Leaf Warbler, but then bird made few calls and sound was clear Yellow-browed.
I had just time to take few pics of bird before it disappeared with Tits. I checked my pics and i noticed that my camera settings were very wrong... nice! Almost white frames and way too much light..

This was only acceptable photo... 

I put message to our alarm system and soon first twitcher came. We tried to find the bird together, but no luck... I walked around the are but only birds i saw were Gold Finches, Siskins and one Song Thrush.

Anybody home? 


I left after an hour and more people came. I checked from the internet if people found the bird later but no positive news, sadly.
This was nice day and my first self-found Yellow-browed.
Tomorrow i have my birthday, so no time to watch birds. Sarina promised to take me in to the restaurant, so good time is coming.
Next weekend in Estonia, let´s hope rare birds and good stuff.



25. lokakuuta 2012

Rowan fruit pickers 25.10.2012

Oh wow what a nice day i had!
Before i tell anything, i must mentioned about one Pine Grosbeak witch i heard day before yesterday! What a nice bird on my year-list.
Okay, morning was not that nice because i start from Töölö and i tried to twitch Hawk Owl witch had been there two days.
After an hour i had to leave with empty hands.. I continued my day in Seurasaari and it was nice to visit there after long time. First bird what i saw when i came out of my car was Great-spotted Woodpecker.
I walked about 500m and i noticed huge flock of Fieldfares and Bohemian Waxwings eating Rowan fruits.
There was so many birds that i did not have to move anywhere! I count about 150 Fieldfares and 40 Waxwings. Also Tits were common again and when i took some Rowan fruits on my hand, Great and Blue Tits jumped on my hand and took some food. Even one Coal Tit came on my hand.

Bohemian Waxwing.

Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Mute Swan.


I was in the island about an hour when i had to leave. I promised to Sarina that we go to the gym together.
After gym, same good sunny weather continued and i had to go out again.
I went to the Lauttasaari because i knew there is lots of Rowan trees.
I parked my car and when i came out of my car, i saw lot´s of Rowan trees around the parking lot.
I checked first trees and there was two Pine Grosbeaks!! First birds.. It was super feeling!
I went closer with my camera and i know these birds are unbelievably tame, so i was not too worried of scaring  them away.

Male Pine Grosbeak.

Same male again.

Adult female or 1cy male.

It´s hard to put age on these birds because adult female and 1cy male have same features and there is no size difference or anything in the structure.
I let these magnificent birds to eat alone and continued my walk to the beach. There was also many Rowan trees but no Grosbeaks there. Waxwings, Fieldfares, Blackbirds and Bullfinches were common. Also some Goosanders and Wigeons were swimming in the ocean.

Male Bullfinch. 

When i walked back, i noticed 7 Pine Grosbeaks sitting in the same tree where two were earlier! I went closer but same time some dude started he´s car and all Grosbeaks jumped in the air... One was actually left to sing in top of the tree! But it soon went to somewhere.
So here was little bit arctic birds for you guys. Hope you like!
This weekend i have birthday so it´s more like partying than birds.



22. lokakuuta 2012

Still some birds 22.10.2012

Finally i had time to go out... I have worked a lot and weather has been super poor in this October..
I noticed blue sky and almost no wind when my girlfriend woke me up. I had night shift last night so it was afternoon already.. Quick breakfast, some clothes on and on my way.
I was arrived to Finnå at 2:35pm and of course there were enough clouds, so no photographing conditions.
Place was quite dead.. Some Blue Tits, Great Tits and Fieldfares make little bit noise, but that was it..
Soon i noticed also few mallards, but if im honest, that did not cheer me up!

In the lake was about 20 ducks and most of them was Gadwalls. Few Coots, Common Goldeneyes,Tufted Ducks and one Showeler. Most of the ducks have already leave and next weeks forecast gives us minus degrees at nights so i think there will be less birds very soon.


Blue Tit was common, of course.

Actually there was only one place where was good numbers of birds. I found a flock of Tits, Goldcrests and one Chiffchaff! I had quite poor views about the Chiffchaff but i´m quite sure that it´s not Siberian or anything else rare subspecies. And it´s not even important because Siberian Chiffchaff is not a specie and you can´t have a tick when you see such a thing. :)

One of the last birds i saw there, Teal.

Flock of Gold Finches. 

Over 300 Fieldfares went to the East over parking lot. 

So, no rarities of course... But it was nice to see some birds after long time..
I have only one shift at work this week, so i have plenty of time to check places.
Pine Grospeaks have some movement and today somebody saw one in Espoo.. Maybe this is the week.
Wish me luck.



12. lokakuuta 2012

Hume´s Leaf Warbler in Helsinki, 12.10.2012

I do little twitching today. All started yesterday when some people found Yellow-browed Warbler from Tähtitorninmäki, Helsinki. I wasn´t interested about that so i did other things.
Last night Petteri Mäkelä saw some pics of the bird and he put email on our email-list and he thought that this birds is Hume´s Leaf Warbler.
So, Andreas Lindén and Olavi Kemppainen found the bird this morning, and they put alarm of possible Hume´s.
I went there and when i arrived, there was few people trying to see this bird.
We found the bird quite quickly and i was pretty sure about the Hume´s when i saw it. It did not have second stripe on the wing, bill was almost completely dark, overall color was more like grey than green,
call was very same than "hily" Chiffchaffs have and no like Yellow-browed Warbler.
I have seen this specie only once before in Finland, once in Estonia and one bird in Kuwait, so i don´t have much experience of this one.
Here is some photos.

This is not good pic at all... 

Little bit better. 


More and better photos you can see in Kari Haatajas blog

This was nice little bonus on my year list.



7. lokakuuta 2012

Unexpected day. 6.10.2012

Last night Petteri Lehikoinen and Kari Soilevaara came to the station and evening went little late.
I jumped up at 7am and after quick breakfast i was walking to the tower.
Wind was hard but sun was shining! Finally clear weather and good photo conditions.
From the beginning Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Woodpigeons, and Long-tailed Tits had nice moving and there was lot´s watching. Soon Markus Varesvuo join us in the tower.

Morning was beautiful and sunny. 

Jari and Tatu had nets open of course and soon we noticed that they catch way to much birds for two ringers! Petteri and me went to the nets and after 2 hours, we were still taking Blue Tits out of same net!
Did you get the idea how much birds there were?
Same time some Gosh Hawks and lot´s of other birds past the tower.
After 3 or 4 hours in the nets i went back to tower to notice that there was still strong Blue Tit move.
It´s nice to count birds when they fly so near that you don´t need binoculars.

This beauty Lesser Black-backed Gull past tower at afternoon.

Nice flock of Cranes came above the tower.

In Finland, we called this Nisari witch is nick name of Accipiter Nisus.

This one had little bit pissed face.

Specie of the day. Blue Tit.

Some Barnacle Gooses migrate today.

About after 3pm, i had to go eat something and soon others came also inside.
After food, i started to count our constant watch numbers on computer and my phone rang.

Next call chanced my whole day ens even the next day.
This day was unexpected because my dear girlfriend lost she´s keys and wallet when she was celebrating one of  she´s friends birthday in ship cruise.

So, i had only keys.. There was nobody in the house so i called to Jari and told that i have to leave..
Sad but what you can do if somebody is in trouble..
Quick packing and straight to the car. 130km later i was home.

This period in Hanko was great fun. I must thank Tatu, Aatu, Ohto, Teemu, Petteri, Kari, Kalle and especially Jari. We had good time together. I learn lot of things from Jari when i was hanging with him on the nets.
Let´s hope we have more periods like this in the future.
One Finish tick is not bad in 5days.



5. lokakuuta 2012

Wind and rain... 5.10.2012

We have such a terrible weather here, so i can post my blog already. I woke up at 7am but weather was horrible.. I continued my sleep and little bit after 8am i had to get up and check the situation.
Jari was at the bunker but soon he came back to the station where he told that there was only few birds in flight and one Goose flock.


Wind again.

Later afternoon rain stopped finally and wind was not so hard anymore. I went out and i managed to take even one bird photo for this day.
Flock of 24 Greylag Goose flew near my position. Also one Goshawk, many Goldcrests and other common stuff were seen.


Tomorrows forecast is much better, so let´s hope it´s right this time.
At least people have now time to make some useful things here in station. Or not.. :)



4. lokakuuta 2012

Still lots of birds, 4.10.2012

My day started at 5:15am when Jari showed me Awesome Pygmy Owl! I took few photos and continued my sleep.
Constant watch started again at 7:45 and twhen i arrived to the bunker, Aatu was normally there before me. Migration was good from the beginning, mostly Chaffinches and Siskins.
Sparrow Hawks had still movement, but not so much as yesterday.

Pygmy Owl.

Wind came stronger all the time and after constant watch, some times there were hard to stay in the bunker.
Best bird for the day came from net when Tatu catch Nuthach! Nice bird indeed.

European Nuthach race Europae, female. 

Today´s weather was little bit bad when compare last few days, wind and then after 3pm rain started...
luckily we did hard work before it and here is some numbers from today´s watch.

Sparrow Hawk, 181
Common Buzzard, 5
Peregrine, 1
Woodpigeon 6576
Wood Lark 22
Blue Tit 574
Chaffinch 4392
Brambling 1443
Siskin 1575

White-tailed Eagle.

Honey Buzzard.

Woodpigeons had good day.

As you can see, Woodpigeon was most numerous bird today. Photos are bad because of poor light conditions and my poor tele-objective :)
In the end, i have to congratulate my good friend Petteri Mäkelä today. He saw 400th specie today for he´s finish list. Syke´s Warbler is great rarity and it´s good milestone specie. This Warbler was found by Gustav Nordensvan yersterday from Söderskär island, southern Finland. Great work both of you guys.
I think more stuff about the Syke´s can found in Petteris blog http://himopointsaaja.blogspot.fi/

Hope there is some moments with out rain tomorrow and we can see even few birds.



3. lokakuuta 2012

Good migration in Hanko, 3.10.2012

This day started nicely when Tatu had Short-eared Owl from the net and we had opportunity to photo this awesome bird!
Our constant watch started today at 7:45am. I went to the bunker and Aatu was there already when i arrived. Other guys were at the nets again so we had responsibility of the watch first.
Passerines started slowly but soon migration was good and nice numbers were counted. Sparrow Hawks had some movement again and numbers were almost same as yesterday. Most numerous specie was Siskin and then Blue Tit, Chaffinch and Great Tit. One Rough-legged Buzzard flew south.
Tatu had most of the headlands nets and some times i had time to train with him. We had nice numbers of Blue Tits, Long-tailed Tits, Jays, Goldcrests and some other birds.

Short-eared Owl if funny looking bird!

Sparrow Hawks, 1cy and +1cy Male.

Jay, sitting on a tree.

Like yesterday, Dick Forsman came to station and i hope he had nice hours in the area, also there was some group of 20 people visiting here today so we had nice traffic here today. We had one Peregrine but sadly big group did not saw it.
I was hanging with Dick or with Tatu most of the afternoon and we had Little Woodpecker from the net and maybe the highlight of the day. Jari started to yell something about Eagle and finally i heard "Golden Eagle coming from north!!!"
Dick found it immediately and me and Tatu just seconds after that.
Bird were just gliding towards us and we waited it like little boys wait their weekly candy. Gorgeous Eagle came above us and we had nice shots about it! What a super bird!

2cy Golden Eagle. What a super bird!

Little Woodpecker.

One of the many Long-tailed Tits.

Here is some numbers of the migrating birds for today.

Golden Eagle, 1 2cy
Peregrine Falcon, 1
Sparrow Hawk, 217
Merlin, 2
Rough-legged Buzzard, 1 S
Chaffinch, 4144
Siskin, 5697
Blue Tit, 1086
Great Tit, 103
Jay, 187
Nutcracker, 5
Barn Swallow, 35
Meadow Pipit, 210
Woodpigeon, 284
Linnet, 55
Redpoll 14

So, as you can see, or read, this was nice day here in Hanko bird-station. Let+s still hope that tomorrow will be better.
Rare birds are rare but i have lot´s of hope for that. Owl rounds will continue normally, so maybe i have more Owl photos tomorrow.

Later, Jari bring me this beauty :)

Tengmalm´s Owl, 1cy.



2. lokakuuta 2012

Good day in Bird-station. 2.10.2012

Like i said yesterday, we had some owl nets on last night and we caught 4 Tengmalm´s Owls! First came at 11pm when we did first round. After that we had 3.30am round with Jari but nothing in the nets that time.

First Tengmalm´s. 

Here we have constant watch and today it started at 7.35am. Aatu and me went to the bunker and other guys had their ringing.
Markus Varesvuo came to the bunker for a day trip. It was nice to meet him finally.
Soon we noticed that today was good for Sparrow Hawks, but passerine migration was very slow...
We tried to photo some Sparrow Hawks and other birds with Markus and Jari came to the bunker quite soon.
When Tatu had two Tengmalm´s Owls last night, one of those went trees behind our sauna and Jari found it there.
Me, Markus and Jari went there and Owl was still sitting in the tree. We had nice photo session with the Owl and after other went back to the bunker, Dick Forsman came and he wanted also take some photos of the Owl.
I stayed with Dick and we had nice conversation about Israel, Eastern Honey Buzzards and other things.

This one was just watching us. 

We went back to the bunker and continued our Sparrow Hawk photo mission.
Also Eurasian Jays had nice movement and there was big flocks of those. We had some Jays also from the nets so we got close contact with this weird specie.
While people were talking, i saw weird looking bird flying above the woods and i yelled something like "what a hell is that bird"! Dick said immediately that it´s 1cy Long-tailed Skua!! Very nice bird here and not even annually here in hanko i guess.
Bird flew straight to west and disappeared after 5min. This was new specie for me in Finland so it tasted even more sweeter this time! Markus got some nice photos about the bird but i can´t put those here, sorry.
Here is some pics from the bunker.

Nutcracker in flight.

1cy Sparrow Hawk

And another youngster got ring from Jari.

I was helping guys in the nets also and most of the birds what i took of and checked were Goldcrest so here is photo of one.

1cy Male is handsome looking bird. 

Thanks for our day-trip guys Markus and Dick for company and hope we meet soon again.
Here is some migration number s from today:
Sparrow Hawk, 211
Merlin, 5
Peregrine 1 local
Jay, 113
Nutcracker, 4
Black Woodpecker 3 locals
Long-tailed Skua 1, 1cy 11:55-11:59 W
Chaffinch 543
Brambling 17
Siskin 880

We have Owl rounds tonight again so let´s see what tonight brings.