21. syyskuuta 2014

Birding in Vanhankaupunginlahti. 21.9.2014

Had few hours time for birds today so i went to Vanhankaupunginlahti. I arrived to Arabianranta little after nine a clock. Yes, very late.. It is so hard to get my self up these days.
Almost first bird i heard was Migrating Lapland Bunting! Always nice bird here in Helsinki. I walked to Lammassaari tower and spend rest of my short day there.
Lots of people around because of weekend, including noisy children with their noisy parents.. Who brings four child in bird tower and have picnic there? Well, it is public place and i just have to take it.
Fortunately there was also lots of birds to look at. I counted 250 Ruffs, 350 Lapwings, 21 Grey Herons, three Dunlins, 23 Common Snipes, four Golden Plovers and lots of Ducks. Later we found one Garganey in big flock of Eurasian Teals. Also very nice bird.

Grey Heron in flight. 

Lots of Ruffs and other common birds.


More Ruffs.

It´s always nice to count local birds, but my main target was raptors. Love to find and id long distance birds, and of course close ones too!
Today i had two different juvenile Goshawks, around 10 different ages and sexes Sparrow Hawks, one juvenile Hen Harrier, one juvenile Marsh Harrier, juvenile Merlin
and highlight of the day, hunting juvenile Peregrine Falcon. Peregrine is so fast that i had troubles to watch it.

One noisy Black Woodpecker flied over the tower.

Peregrine hunting. No luck this time.

Later the same bird landed top of the electric pylon. Distance about 400m or more.

1cy marsh Harrier.

Little over three hours in the tower went quite quickly and i had to leave. We had little birthday party for Aapo, who turned respectable four years. With Sanni we bought him nice set of Mustang cars and he seemed to like those.

Almost forget to mention. I made little try for the Rose-colored Starling earlier this week but dipped it with style. 35 kilometers with bike felt like little pain when i cycled back home with out tick. But shit happens like people says! Next time i´m ready.


14. syyskuuta 2014

Dotterel. 14.9.2014

It really seems that autumn is here. Mornings are little colder, day is shorter and better birds comes up every moment. Today was first really good day in Finland. Lots of Pallid Harriers, two Rosy-colored Starlings, Short-toed Eagle and some Yellow-browed Warblers.

I was working of course, but i just proved that you must keep your eyes open all the time.
I wandered around our compound when i decided to walk up some stairs.
When i came up i saw small wader and immediately knew that it was 1cy Dotterel! Bird jumped in to the air and i also heard typical flight call. I was totally amazed. Place was totally wrong for this species and i always thought that my first Dotterel in Finland would be in large soil field.
In same place i saw also three Blue Throats and lost of other common stuff. I really hoped i could carry my camera at work that moment, but that is not possible.
Here is link if somebody wants to know how handsome bird Dotterel is.
This sighting also shows how good location Kaivopuisto is. Earlier this week i had two Turtle Doves and last autumn i had Palla´s and Yellow-browed Warblers there.
Tomorrow i´m going to Espoo with Jände.  Rosy-colored Starling was again this morning and evening in Suomenoja. Wish me luck.


8. syyskuuta 2014

Weekend in Pori SW Finland. 5-7.9.2014

Last week i had plans to go Estonia with my uncle but those plans were cancelled. I was thinking what to do and i called my good friend Petteri who lives in Pori SW Finland. I asked if i could come and in five minutes we decided to do some birding around Pori area. Later i got text from Markus Lampinen and he had same plans, so we had nice group there.
My buss arrived at 3 pm and Petteri was there waiting with he´s wife Matleena. We dropped my stuff and quite soon we got alarm message of three Dotterels flying near Yyteri.
Dotterel is one of those Finnish breeding birds what i have not seen in Finland, so we went to check if the birds would show up in Yyteri area. We walked to the new bird tower and started to check around.
Lots of shorebirds around including two very nice species like Red Knot and Sanderling. Both very good species for Helsinki dude. We also counted 22 Dunlins, 57 Little Stints, 4 Curlew Sandpipers, 139 Ruffs, Merlin and long stayer escape Lesser White-fronted Goose.

Most of the birds are way too far for photographing. 

Part of the 2500 Barnacles.

Later we picked Markus from buss station and we had nice peaceful evening.
Next morning we started from Toukari but most of the time there was thick fog.. Red-throated Pipit was best bird there.
Because fog stayed we decided to pick Jaakko Esama and then drive to the Hallavaara dump to have some Gull watch. Last week Petteri and Jaakko had Yellow-legged Gull there, so we had some expectations.
Sadly this time there was only few hundreds big gulls and almost all of those were "normal" Herring Gulls. Few Greater Black-backed Gulls also around.

Herring Gulls.

More Herring Gulls. Bottom one had almost nice looking tertials. 

Few raptors migrated, 500 Starlings and Black Woodpecker were seen.
Our next stop was in Nakkila and more specifically in Leistilänjärvi. Place is famous because some dude found Isabelline Shrike from there.
This time we had three Common Swifts, Hobby, Whinchat and Stock Dove.

Leistilänjärvi view. 

Later we dropped Jaakko back to hes car and we went to have short coffee break in Petteris house. I photographed one Rook from Petteris backyard.

Rook is common in Pori.

After coffee we went to Fleiviiki to check if the Great Snipe would show up for us.
We walked huge area with Markus and after few Common Snipes we flushed one Great snipe! Great Snipe and great feeling. Three Red-throated Pipits and Black Woodpecker also there. Here is photo of the Fleiviiki meadow so you can have little idea how big the place is.

Fleiviiki meadow. 
Common Hawker.

After we walked the area we had little raptor watch. Nice numbers of White-tailed Eagles, Hen Harrier, Marsh Harriers, Hobbys, Ospreys and majestic male Peregrine Falcon.
Last but this time the best place was Yyteri. Markus wanted to see Sanderling because it was missing from his year-list.
Huge numbers of birds and this time we counted about everything. Here is some numbers.

Common Ringed Plover 99        Whooper Swan 81               Herring Gull 175
Little Stint 49                             Great Crested Grebe 186     Golden Eye 2050
Dunlin 27                                   Red-necked Grebe 3            White-tailed Eagle 5
Temminck´s Stint 1                    Slavonian Grebe 12               Lesser White-fronted Goose 1
Red Knot 2                               Barnacle Goose 3495
Curlew Sandpiper 10                Canada Goose 17
Sanderling 2                              Greylag Goose 154              
Ruff 209                                    Eurasian Wigeon 270
Spotted Redshank 1                  Eurasian Teal 280
Common Greenshank 1             Pintail 8
Common Snipe 25                     Common Tern 1
Bar-tailed Godwit 1                   Caspian Tern 2

Escaped Lesser White-fronted Goose.

Markus in Yyteri.

Petteri in Yyteri.

In last light Petteri found funny looking hybrid goose from the Barnacle flock. My opinion is hybrid between Barnacle and Canada Goose

What do you think about this? 
Our evening ended with beautiful sunset.

Sunset in Yyteri.

Next morning there was so much fog so we just woke up late and just before our buss we twitched local Grey Partridges from Pinomäki.

Two Grey Partridges in Pinomäki.

What a weekend with great company. Thanks Petteri, Markus, Matleena and others for company! Next month we have our annual Säppi island trip, so very soon back to SW Finland.