31. lokakuuta 2013

Birthday and day after 30.10-31.10.2013

I had birthday yesterday so i went to my traditional birthday trip. I went to Suomenoja where i have been many times this year. This time i did not walk around the pool but i checked every good spot where any land bird could spend any time.
Best sighting was flock of four White-winged Crosbills. Always nice to see these birds. Other birds were three Robins, few Song Thrush, Redwing and flock of Redpolls. One Redpoll looked very much of Arctic Redpoll but there was something wrong and i guess it was some kind of hybrid or just weirdly pale bird.
After one and a half hour i left to gym.


Today (31.10) I went to Seurasaari because i did not have better to do. Place is super dead these times, but weather was sunny and nice, so it is good to be out.
First birds in the island were 12 Canada Geese, lost of Mallards, one Tufted Duck and of course some basic garbage like Feral Pigeons and Crows.
When i walked deeper in the island al the birds turned Blue and Great Tits. I checked few feeders and i found some Coal Tits and even two Willow Tits, who are actually quite scarce in the island.Willow Tits are actually one of my favorite birds! Cool looking and funny voice.
Othervice not much worth to mention..
Lets see what November will bring, if it will bring anything. Normally when something comes this time of the year, it is something really rare. Yesterday Great-northern Diver were seen in Parikkala, Barred Warbler in Pori and some other good sightings around the Finland.

This guy spend time in Seurasaari.

More birding next week, after a busy weekend in work.


27. lokakuuta 2013

Day five and six, Lifer. 25.10-26.10.2013

We started from the West walking around the island. Some nice Land birds were present including late Spotted Flycatcher, lots of Meadow Pipits, Reed Buntings, Winter Wrens, Bramblings, three Blackcaps, lots of Redpolls, Ring Ouzel and very late Common Whitethroat.


Spotted Flycatcher.

White-tailed Eagle. 

Mistle Thrush.

Later when i was walking alone i flushed little bird from the ground and it flew to a tree. I raised my binoculars and wow! Little Bunting!! Bird disappeared soon and i called to Petteri that "Little Bunting at Takalahti." After little search i went back to the house and everybody were there already. This was one of those long waited lifers for me! After some eating we went back there to check if the bird is still there, but i did not. We continued to hanhisto and it took about 20minutes and Markus found Little Bunting jumping on a ground!! Now every body saw it! Teppo and Tomas got lifers also!

Little Bunting. 

All the time we knew where the bird was so Markus and Teppo put one net on and we others moved closer to the bird step by step and soon the bird flew straight to the net! Very nice catch.

Little Bunting, 1cy bird. 
Markus ringed the bird and after few photos, it was released in the same place. Maybe the cutest bird i have ever seen.
Later we walked back to the house and we saw one or two Arctic Redpolls and lots of common stuff.
This was so great day that we put sauna on and we stayed up quite late. Lifers are always lifers and that is always reason to celebrate.

Next days(26.10) weather was terrible again and because bad forecast we decided to leave the island..
Days best birds were Arctic Redpoll and Hawfinch.

This was super trip with 81 species. There was also few species that i did not saw but you cant see everything. My year tick number is now 256 and its way more than i expected beginning of the year.
I must thank Petteri, Markus, Taru, Teppo, Tomas, Juha, Tomi, Lassi and Aki for company.
I hope we can do this again next autumn. It was also very nice to get new friends, those what you cant have too much.


Day four, better and better. 24.10.2013

Morning was foggy again so we decided to walk around the island. The fog disappeared quite soon and we noticed that Common Gulls had nice movement to South.
Out of nowhere Petteri started to yell something about very odd looking bird. Very pale bird came with 30 Common Gulls and my first reaction was like "What a heck is that!?!?!" I quickly took some photos and it was clearly Arctic Skua. Then the bird landed just 30m away from us!  When it was sitting it looked little bit like Iceland Gull.

Arctic Skua. Leukistic bird. 

And again.

After 15 minutes it took off and went back to the sea. Thank god this bird came very close, i don´t want even know how odd looking this bird is when you watch it with your telescope and it is about 1km away.
After this super bird we decided to go back to the house and took our telescopes and go to the shore to have some sea-watch.
In three hours o got one Finish-tick, few year tick and it was good period. It took about and hour when Markus found 1cy Black-legged Kittiwake migratingn along the Common Gulls. I had little problems to find it first but luckily i saw it well little bit later! Other good birds were 11 Purple Sandpipers, 66 Razorbills, 3 Guillemots, 1125 Common Gulls, 21 Red-throated Divers, 17 Red-necked Grebes and Long-eared Owl.

Bad photo, but you can see Guillemot migrating with Long-tailed Ducks.

Later we had some second breakfast and then we went to check some meadows in Hanhisto and Kräveli.
In hanhisto we had many species of waders and its not common to see flock like this in late October.

Ruddy Turnstone, Common Ringed Plover and Grey Plover.

Also few Jack Snipes and Common Snipes there. We tried to find some good land birds but only 10 Meadow Pipits and few Snow Buntings. Nice surprise was lone Brent Goose.

Jack Snipe.

Brent Goose.
Highland Cattle herd was also walking trough the meadows.


Later evening we had little party because my finish-tick Kittiwake and also we had just that mood. :)


Day three, shitty weather. 23.10.2013

Like the topic says, the weather was bad.. Rain and fog, but very warm. This was good day to clean places, do some dishes and other that kind of activity. Some guys went to check some meadows but no luck.
It was almost afternoon when me and Petteri decided to check Hanhisto meadow and cape kräveli. No birds of course but lots of good talking about everything. Best birds were two Purple Sandpipers. Nice year tick for me.

Säppi panorama. 

We had good time when Petteri did all the work. 

Later Markus had one net open and we caught some Redpolls and Tits.
Later was Sauna again! :)

Juvenile Common Redpoll.

Me counting daily birds after slow day.


Day two in Säppi 22.10.2013

We had terrible night with lost of smoke and carbon monoxide... No details here but it was awful...
After i got my self out of bed i joined the others in shore to have some sea watch. NOthing special this time.. Best birds were two Shot-eared Owls and few Razorbills. Markus opened some nets but no birds..
We had some breakfast when Juha called and told about Palla´s Leaf Warbler. We wanted to see that so we ended our eating and went to Karinokka where Juha was waiting.

Petteri tries to tease Teppo with hes finstick. 

Morning light Snow Bunting. 

Great-spotted Woodpecker at Karinokka. Drinking individual. 

We walked along the shores back to the house and we took you telescopes to have another sea-watch at western part of the island.
Some Razorbills again with Red-throated Divers, Greater Scaups, 460 Common Scoters, few White-tailed Eagles etc.. Nice watch, lost of laughs and good company.
Later we went to sauna.

Evening Short-eared Owl.

Nice day, no rarities..


26. lokakuuta 2013

Säppi island. 21.10.2013

Just came back from Säppi island. I will post something from every day.
Me and Tomas Swahn stated from Espoo at 5am. Our destination was Pori and more specifically Reposaari where the long staying Sardinian Warbler spend time. We arrived at 8am and we were only people there... Okay i must say, the bird was found about a month ago, so we did not expect any traffic there.
It took about 2,5 hours to find the bird and quite many dudes saw the bird that day. This was fourth record Finland and of course lifer for me. I have seen lots of these in Israel but its real mega here. 

Morning lights in Reposaari.

Documentary photo of the Sardinian.

Later after coffee we met Petteri Mäkelä, Taru Suninen, Markus Lampinen and Teppo Lehtola and we made some grocery shopping. Lots of stuff for one week in island..At 1:30pm we met rest of the gang (3 x Rantanen and Holmes) and our boat to the island started same time. We arrived at 2pm and after we all get our stuff inside the house we start to check some places. 
Me, Taru and Markus went to put some nets on, but it was poor afternoon.. We got maybe one Blue Tit. 
Aki Rantanen saw Yellow-broved Warbler, but we were too lazy to twitch it.. Later we heard that Petteri found quite late Spotted Flycatcher. Later we came back to the house and just before the yard some dude told us about Hawk Owl sitting on weather vane. 

Hawk Owl. 
Very nice specie and quite rare there also. There is also lighthouse in the yard and we climbed there. Nice views. 

House at the right side is bird station and others are something else. 

Very nice start for our period. 


16. lokakuuta 2013

Sunny Hawk Owl. 16.10.2013

Sunny weather continues and i had full day off today. I checked some sightings from Helsinki and then i remembered that long staying Hawk Owl was seen yesterday quite near where i live.
I grab my stuff and went to Sibelius-park in Töölö where the Owl was seen. When i arrived i got info that the bird was missing and it was seen in flight about two hours earlier. I walked around the park checking all the trees but nothing.. Fieldfares were everywhere and i counted almost 200 around the park.
Later i found nice place where 14 Waxwings and Thrushes were eating Rowan fruits and i took some photos there. Finland is right now very beautiful place. Orange, yellow and red leafs in every tree and i was lucky to get some colorful pics.
Great-spotted Woodpecker.


Bohemian Waxwing. Juvenile.

Bohemian Waxwing.

And again. 

The park was also real beauty and can you imagine that this is only 2 km from city center.


Many colors. 

At some point i decided to leave and i was sure that the Owl was gone this time. Suddenly when i was walking to my car, i saw the Owl sitting in a tree!! Nice.
This year has been very good for Hawk Owls. Almost 400 records in one week, mostly in Southern Finland and this guy have been here since eight of October.

Northern Hawk Owl.

Always nice to see these birds. 

Today was also great day in Azores. Few my friends along the Western-Palearctic celebrity birders found Yellow-throated Warbler from Corvo island and this bird is first record for WP and Azores. Congratulations guys! That is something huge. More story later tonight in Tarsiger blog. Specie names are in English but the text is in Finnish. In English you can read Josh Jones blog.
Rest of the week i had to be at work before i go to Säppi island.


14. lokakuuta 2013

Suomenoja and Maari 14.10.2013

Nice sunny weather continues and i woke up quite early. Yesterday some guy found two Olive-backed Pipits at Turku and i was hoping long staying birds. Still no records today so i saved my gasoline money.
I went to Suomenoja and my main target was check bushes and leave the lake alone because there´s only some Mallards this time of the year.
I walked around the area near parking lot having some views of Robins, Black Woodpeckers, Little-spotted Woodpecker, Great-spotted Woodpecker, some Goldfinches, Siskins, Redpolls and Red Crossbills.
While i was photographing lonely Goldfinch i heard White-winged Crossbills call, but i did not find it.. Always nice specie to see/hear.



G-S Woodpecker.

These bushes are really worth of check every time. Last year i got Yellow-browed Warbler.

Just before i was leaving i had weird situation. I already put my camera and binoculars in my car when i saw three doves flying quite near. I quickly grab my binoculars and wow, European Turtle Dove flying with two Woodpigeons! I actually said it out loud but there was nobody near me! Birds went North and before i get my camera they were behind the trees..
Very unexpected bird and i was super happy. It is quite rare here and goes without saying, it was a year tick for me.
After Suomenoja i decided to check Maari birdtower, but when i arrived there, it was totally empty of birds... And i mean the meadow front of the tower not the tower by it self, hah.
Best birds were seven Ruffs and two White Wagtails.. Some Sparrow Hawks in the air and some ducks, but that was all.

Maari meadow. You can see my shadow front of the tower .

Nice day! Turtle Dove was year tick number 251 and i am way over my goal (250).
Rest of the week i have to work most of the time but next week is our main event of the autumn.
We are going to Säppi island in SW Finland. This is going to be real rarity hunt trip and lets hope that we found something.
If i have time i will post before that, but i not lets hear after our trip.

Blue arrow is Säppi and i live in Helsinki, so quite long drive. 


9. lokakuuta 2013

Memorable day in Kouvola and Lahti 9.10.2013

What a day we had with Markus Lampinen.. We had great plans to see Dusky Warbler in Kouvola and Pectoral Sandpiper in Lahti. Something went wrong today, badly...
When we arrived this morning to Kouvola rain was horrible... We walked around the Keltti area where the bird was yesterday but only thing we got was super wet clothes.
Rain stopped at 11 and after we had nice coffee break we went back to play some calls if the bird would be more active with familiar voice. Markus called to executive committee and it was okay to play tape there.
No answers and we decided to quit the searches...
Best birds during the search was flock of Pintails, flock of Long-tailed Ducks, White-tailed Eagle, Goshawk, flock of Redpolls and about 2000 Barnacle Geese.


Markus searching the Dusky Warbler.

Nice flock of Barnacle G´s.

Just before we left and alarm of Red-footed Falcon came quite near (40 km) and we wanted to check it.
There was two other cars going there and we just followed them.
When we arrived the bird was still present, but there was little problem.... The bird was Merlin. I was speechless.. It was actually little bit funny... We left very quickly towards Lahti where our second target species was.
Less than an hour drive and we arrived to Kujala landfill. High hopes were crushed when we noticed empty pool where it was earlier today... We had almost two hours there but nothing..
I must have done something bad because this happened.. This was actually funny again... I don´t have words for that feeling.. There was about 500 Herring Gulls but not much more...

Gulls in Kujala.

There it was.. 

So, no lifers today. Anyway i had great day with Markus and i think he had also good time. Maybe this means that we are going to have super trip to Säppi later this month. More about Säppi later.
Thanks Markus again.


6. lokakuuta 2013

Slow.. 6.10.2013

After many days in work i had finally time to watch some birds.. I called to Jari and we met in Lammassaari parking lot.
We had nice walk in Lammassaari area including Kuusiluoto very near, but not much birds... Siskins, Great Tits, Blue Tits and Robins were most common ones with four species of Thrushes (Redwing, Song Thrush, Fieldfare and Black Bird).
Best thing was nice sunny weather!

Kuusiluoto Panorama.


After this i met Sarina and we had nice walk in Seurasaari. Little bit better number of birds there and even three Chiffchaffs and Little-spotted Woodpecker.
Middle of the island was best place today, and i was hoping to see some rare Leaf Warbler... Of course none of those but about 80 birds in small area. Tits, Treecreepers, Goldcrests and others. Also lots of Squirrels today, i don´t know about Squirrel ages but i think there was lost of juveniles.

Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Red Squirrel.

Mute Swan.

Juv. Common Gull.

Male Goldeneye.

Not much today, but at least i went out. More working next week, so lets see when i get next tick.. Frustrating..