31. elokuuta 2014

Short raptor-watch in Espoo. 31.8.2014

I woke up little late, at 10am. There was lost of discussion about yesterdays Short-toed Eagle and i decided to go Maari bird tower in Espoo. Very soon after i leave home i realized that Eagle is going West, not East like first alarm message told.
Anyway, i wanted to see some birds and i drove to the tower.
When i arrived there was lots of people and i just barely fit in. Lots of Sparrow Hawks flied around and very soon first Common and Honey Buzzards showed up. Hobby hunted some insects near by and soon there was four of them.
Meadow was quite boring to watch, mostly because almost every birds were either Barnacle Goose or Northern Lapwing. After watching the meadow enough i found three Little Stints, one Dunlin, one Common Ringed Plover, 12 Ruffs and lost of different Ducks.


Barnacle flock.

Later we got best bird of the day and it was stunning male Peregrine Falcon. Sadly it was flying really high so no pics this time. Other goodies were two Red-throated Divers and three Red-throated Pipits.

Weather was nice. 

Nice four hours. Got two new year ticks (Divers and Peregrine). Thanks for the company Jani, Asko and others. Maybe next week we have new chance to see the Short-toed Eagle when it goes back East.


30. elokuuta 2014

Some ringing in Espoo 30.8.2014

Yesterday Roni Väisänen called me and asked if i want to join him to do some ringing in Espoo.
I´m always interested so i promised to join.
Woke up at 5.20 and after quick morning rituals i was driving towards Laajalahti where i met Roni.
All nets were already open when i arrived so i just had to sit down and have some breakfast. We had Blyth´s Reed Warbler near the net but not in the net unfortunately.
Like many times before, first round was the best and we caught decent numbers of birds. Common Snipe and Red-backed Shrike were best.
Between rounds we had good time talking about birds and other stuff. Also quite many Red-throated Pipits migrating over the reeds and one Black Woodpecker showed to us.

Red-backed Shrike.

Common Snipe.

Roni with the Snipe.
Heikki Eriksson joined us little later and he had nice bird release photoshoot with Roni.
We had some raptor watch during the day and we had few Sparrow Hawks, two Marsh Harriers, some Hobbys and one Goshawk this time.
Roni and Heikki are having good time.

Here is full list of ringings.

Common Snipe
Dunnock 3
Sedge Warbler 18
Common Reed Warbler 2
Marsh Warbler
Lesser Whitethroat 4
Blackcap 3
Willow Warbler 10
Grat Tit 3
Blue Tit 6
Red-backed Shrike 2
Reed Bunting 3

Other birds

Black Woodpecker
Red-throated Pipit ~10
Blyth´s Reed Warbler

Second Red-backed Shrike. Very different looking bird.

Reed Bunting.

Sedge Warbler.

Fly little Shrike.

 After six hours we took all nets down and packed our stuff.
Thanks Roni and Heikki, great fun. I hope we can have another day very soon.


18. elokuuta 2014

Estonian Open 16.8.2014

Last weekend me and my good friends Teppo, Jarkko, Roni and Petteri took part of the annual Estonian Open bird race.
Friday we started from Helsinki at 10.30 ferry and after two hours we were in Tallinn. Some waiting with our rental car but finally it came. Petteri was our driver this weekend so we others only  enjoyed very good driving and some beverages along the drive.
Our secret plan was to start the race from Hiiumaa island, which is second biggest island in Estonia little north from Saaremaa. I booked little cottage for us earlier and we found it quite easily.

Boys are enjoying good weather in Hiiumaa ferry. 
Great Egret is common in Hiiumaa.

Race started at 03:00 and our first species were calling Long Eared Owl just after we walked out of our Cottage. Nice start.
After leaving we went to southern part of the island hoping some night species and we had nice dark time there. Some Nightjahrs, few species of waders, thrushes and etc.
In first light we went to Cape Ristna to have some sea watch. Not much migration there but good species like Woodlark were there. Soon boys noticed that place called Surfparadiis little north would be better place for migration and there was also huge flock of local gulls, so we went there.
On our way we stopped in forest near the cape and we had nice birds like Wood Warbler, Common Cuckoo, Hobby, Willow Tit, Bullfinch and etc.
After this little movement to the surfparadiis we enjoyed semi good migration and lots of Gulls. Biggest highlight was SEVEN Caspian Gulls found in the big flock of Gulls!
Caspian Gull is not common bird in Estonia and i even got Estonian tick (282)! Six of the birds were 1cy and one 2cy. We were laughing that we have to do seven rarities committee reports because of the gulls.

1cy bird. 

Another 1cy bird.

2cy bird flying and showing underwing.

Same 2cy bird showing another side of the wing.
Boys in Surfparadiis. 

Teppo doing sea watch.

Other birds worth of mentioning were some Curlew Sandpipers, two Sanderlings, one Bar-tailed Godwit, Black Tern, Red-necked Phalarope and 20 Arctic Skuas.
Later we continued to Luidja which is maybe best wader place in whole Estonia. So much birds around there and i can mention some Broad-billed Sandpipers, Curlew Sands, huge numbers of Dunlins, few Little Stints and some Arctic Skuas.


Next stop was in Tahkuna, which is north point of the island. Not much birds there but boys found two Caspian Gulls more there! So our total was nine birds now! Amazing.
After Tahkuna we noticed that if we don´t go with the next ferry back to mainland we are doomed.
Thanks to Petteris god like driving skills we made it and we drove to the ferry just few minutes before it leaved.
Two Sandwich Terns.

From the ferry we ticked six more species and our dream to win or even have good position was alive. Best birds were Greater Scaup, Montagu´s Harrier, Little Tern and Little Gull.
In the mainland we visited in Haeska Tower, Keemu Tower and some other places before the race ended. Best species were Goshawk, Black-tailed Godwit and Greater White-fronted Goose.
Race stopped at 17:00 and we were so happy. 152 species was very satisfying number and we had good feeling about the race. We gathered in Pivarootsi and after long hours we found winner.
Here is full result list:

1. 167 Spithamn (Aki Aintila, Margus Ellermaa, Juho Könönen, Markus Lampinen, Tarvo Valker)

2. 152 MuoviLabaJengi (Teppo Lehtola, Petteri Mäkelä, Tom Nordblad, Jarkko Santaharju, Roni Väisänen)

3. 150 Takaveto (Vesa Jouhki, Andreas Linden, Jukka Salokangas, Andreas Uppstu, Peter Uppstu)

4. 148 Team Ristisaari (Petri Ripatti, Kari Soilevaara, Petteri Tolvanen, Ari Vuorio)

5. 146 Himantopus Himantopus (Ivars Brediks, Andris Klepers, Ieva Mārdega, Mārcis Tīrums)

6. 143 Sylvia (Mika Bruun, Asko Rokala, Roland Sundström, Ari Veijalainen)

7. 141 Nahkhiirmees (Jan Nordblad, Timo Pettay, Matti Rekilä, Juha Sjöholm, Erkki Valsta)

8. 139 Bad Company (Kuido Kõiv, Mati Salumäe, Tiit Vohta)

9. 138 Länemaa Linnuklubi (Trinus Haitjema, Mati Kose, Renno Nellis, Hannes Pehlak)

10. 137 Eesti Naised (Mariliis Märtson, Marju Erit, Triin Kaasiku, Aire Orula, Reet Rannik)

11.-12. 136 FC Fallos (Heikki Eriksson, Jukka Hatva, Juha Laaksonen, Pasi Pirinen, Tuomas Seimola)

11.-12. 136 V5 (Madis Karu, Raul Vilk, Kris Voog, Kaarel Võhandu)

13. 133 RC&Co (Margus Ots, Uku Paal, Ranno Puumets, Peeter Raudsepp)

14. 132 Vantaa (Heikki Luoto, Leena Luoto, Biti Ojala, Markku Ojala)

15. 132 Kõrvemaa Suusaklubi (Aki Arkiomaa, Johan Hassel, Jari Kårlund, Timo Nuoranen)

16.-17. 124 Kuldkihar ja kolm Karu (Tiina Mäkelä, Henry Tennberg, Jyrki Tolvanen, Juha Tuomaala)

16.-17. 124 Bilia (Christer Casagrande, Seppo Grönlund, Jaakko Hynninen, Istvan Kecskemeti)

18. 122 FC Pullus (Ilpo Hanski, Ilpo Huolman, Martti Vattulainen, Erkki Virolainen)

19. 120 Buteo (Eedi Lelov, Heikki Luhamaa, Riho Männik, Kalle Muru)

20. 115 Unioni (Risto Lammin-Soila, Tuomas Lukkarinen, Petteri Uusivouri)

21. 101 Sunset ökoriders (Timo Böhme, Lauri Mäenpää, Minna Mäenpää, Leena Törnqvist)

22. 99 Male&Female (Ave Huugen, Sander Sirelbu)

23. 97 Qkakk (Martin Piispea, Rene Ottesson, Meelis Suurkaev)

As you can see, we were second team this year! There were two teams with the bicycles so thumbs up for that also! Totally 206 were seen.

Winners Tarvo, Aki, Margus, Juho and Markus.

Finally i must thank Uku Paal, Mariliis Märtson, Margus Ots and other Estonian Open people for making this great race again. We had great fun.
Biggest thanks goes anyway to my team members Jarkko, Teppo, Petteri and Roni. With you guys there is always fun and we don´t take things too seriously. Can´t wait next year!

MuoviLabaJengi after the race. (c) Roni Väisänen.