26. tammikuuta 2014

Annual board member meeting in Kouvola. 26.1.2014

What a nice weekend i had! I am a board member of the Finnish Twitching society and we had our annual two day meeting in Kouvola. This is one of my favorite weekend in winter when we all meet and we have enough time to discuss all the important issues.
Olavi Kemppainen picked me yesterdays morning and we arrived to Kouvola just before midday. Not much birds during the drive, but i knew that this trip was not for birds.
We started our meeting after one a clock and after many hours of hard work we ended our day and we had time to enjoy sauna and other cool stuff.
Today i woke up with slight headache, but that was no reason to skip rest of the meeting which continued after eight a clock.
Very good decisions and when we left from the Kouvola afternoon, i had very good feeling.
This time we planned to see some birds also during the drive, so we tried to twitch some Grey Partridges from Orimattila.
Sadly some local kids had their weekend motocross challenge in same field where the birds were just two days before...
Very soon we continued our drive and maybe after 15 minutes drive i noticed three black birds sitting in a tree. Quick stop and nice, little flock of Black Grouses! I took some photos and suddenly whole flock jumped in to the air and there was about 20 of those! I got some distant flock pics but at least something!

Part of the flock.

Thanks Petteri, Kalle, Janne, Petri, Juha, Visa, Annika, Jösse, Ina, Olavi and Heikki for great meeting.


23. tammikuuta 2014

Freezing winter birding almost without birds. 23.1.2014

When i woke up today i check the outdoor temperature, -16 degrees.. Not much motivation to do any birding, but there has been so long brake again, so i had to go out.
Seurasaari is about 2km away from my doorstep and i decide to walk there. I´m not really eco-birder and even less winter birder but this time i had nice few hours.
Sun was shining and first i check little pond near my house which is ice free. About hundred Mallards had their last refuge there. I guess that spot remains ice free because there is waist water pipe which brings hot water there.

Mallard party.

Gorgeous male.

Soon after i continued my walk i heard Crossbill calls from the sky. I found three birds witch looked very much Common Crossbills (two males and one female) and calls were more like Common. Not that i would know anything about Crossbill calls.
When i arrived to Seurasaari i put some peanuts on every feeder. Not much birds and city has destroyed one big feeding by cutting all branches lover than my head.. Great job.
Three species of Tits, one Treecreeper, seven Great-spotted Woodpeckers, Nutcracker, one Black Woodpecker (female), flock of Long-tailed Tits and White-tailed Eagle.
Nutcracker was surprise and maybe my third from the Seurasaari ever.

White-tailed Eagle.

WT-Eagle deserves always two photos.

Coal Tit.

One friendly Coal Tit.

View from seurasaari bridge.

When i was walking back i noticed Jay family near bridge and i tried to get some action pics when they jumped in snow. No luck this time...

Eurasian Jay. 

Nice day. Little bit too cold for me but have to to something.. Next weekend i will go to Kouvola to have meeting with other Finnish twitching society board members.
Oh yeah, almost forget. I bought new Nikon TC14 II for my camera. And it works!


12. tammikuuta 2014

Oriental Turtle Dove and other nice stuff in Western Finland 12.1.2014

Wow! It took only eleven days to do some bird watching this year. Last Tuesday some guy found Oriental Turtle Dove from hes feeder in Uusikaupunki, Wwestern Finland.
I had five night shifts this week and my first change to go there was today.
Little bit after six a clock this morning me, Markus Lampinen, Frans Silvenius, Tomas Swahn and Matt Koljonen started to drive towards Uusikaupunki.
After 260km we arrived to right place and we were very lucky when we noticed some friends showing that the bird was there! I jumped out of the car and finally saw this magical eastern dove! First it sat on a branch about one minute and later i found it drinking from little ditch about 200m from the first place.

This bird was 2 cy bird and race "meena" which means that this bird comes from open woodlands of central Asia. Only 21 records from Finland, so it is really rare bird.

Oriental Turtle Dove!

Bird had little drinking spot there.
Lots of people watching this Siberian vagrant.

Also lots of other birds around the area, including Coal Tits, Brambling, Jay and big flock of Green Finches.
After this great bird we went to local fish harbor where somebody saw Glaugous Gull yesterday.
It took about ten minutes before the bird was found!

Second year Glaugous Gull.
 Always nice to see this beautiful gull. Also lots of other gulls in the area with over a hundred Goosanders.

After harbor we had quick coffee break and then we continued to Uusikaupunki dump.
Lots of Ravens, Crows, Jackdaws, Yellowhammers, Starlings and some gulls there.
Uusikaupunki Dump.

Part of the Starling flock.

After this dump we had plans to go Hallavaara dump in Köyliö where somebody photographed first ever Kumlien´s Gull in Finland yesterday. There was already lost of people earlier today and that´s why we had no rush there.
While we were driving there Tomas saw big raptor flying above the road. Quick stop and WOW! Adult Golden Eagle circled above the road! Sadly the Eagle decided to leave very quickly. I got only distant shot of it, but we were super happy!
Golden Eagle.

We continued our drive and next stop was Iso-vimma beach where we tried to watch some gulls. Tomas saw one Glaugous Gull from the car window but the rest of us missed it.
In the beach was super cold, only few birds and nice landscape. Lone Redpoll and flock of Whooper Swans were best.
View from the beach.

Next stop was in Eura where we twitched flock of Collared Doves. This species is very rare in Helsinki area and i have seen only one bird in last two years. Here we had nine birds in same tree!
Here is two birds from the flock.

Finally we arrived to Hallavaara and there was only one guy and he left same time we came there. Super cold weather, 2000 Jackdaws, only 200 Gulls and not much else.. No Kumlien´s Gull anymore today.
Hallavaara dump.

Me having Gull-watch.

Rest of the guys, Markus, Frans, Matti and Tomas.

After we spend over 30minutes in windy freezer we decide to leave towards Helsinki.

Thanks guys for the company, this was great fun. Dove was my Finnish tick number 297, so soon i have my 300 party.
After this long brake of posting here i really consider to buy new car. But let´s see.