18. helmikuuta 2015

Some local winter birds. 16.2.2015

Earlier this week i had some time to do local birding in Helsinki. My shift started at 3 pm and before that i went to twitch Eurasian Wigeon. Long staying couple of Wigeon have been in small lake which is part of the Töölönlahti. I went there and quite soon noticed male Wigeon swimming among the Mallards. Here is one quite good picture of the male.

Male Wigeon showing hes wings.

Also you can see female swimming in that same photo up right. This was probably my easiest missing winter tick before these birds. Now number is 123 and i started to count these two years a go.
Later i walked through city center and went to Tähtitorninmäki because i knew some people saw Nuthatch there few days earlier. I got no luck with that species, but i found my first Common Redpoll for this year and lost of other common birds. Robin was only not so regular winter bird there.

Green Finch with Great Tit.


Female Blackbird.

Time went quickly and soon i had to go to work. Nice sunny day and i was really satisfied.
Good news came today that Snowy Owl is still in Kokkola, so wish me luck that we will see it next Saturday.


14. helmikuuta 2015

Calandra Lark 14.2.2015

Few days a go Calandra Lark was found in Masku, SW-Finland. I had to work all the weekdays and today was first change to go and twitch this Southern oddity.
There is only 11 previous records of this Lark in Finland, so we are talking about quite good rarity.
I got my mothers car yesterday and today i took Jari Laitasalo, Pasi Pirinen and Janne Aalto with me and we drove to Masku quite early. First update came already before 8 a clock and we had still one hour driving left.
Just before nine we arrived to the place and bird was immediately showing well.
Bird was hanging very near the road and only bigger cars made it move a little. Once it went middle of the road and just before the truck came, it just ran over the road! Only lone jogger made it fly and it disappeared in to the field.

In flight bird showed typical white edge and dark underside of the wing..

Thick bill and head markings showing well here.

Black breast markings showing here.

Jari, Pasi and Janne.

Overall bird looked very much like i remembered. I have seen some of these in Israel and Portugal. After little waiting bird did not came back from the field so we went to have nice coffee and bun.
When we were driving back to Helsinki we decided to try some Collared Doves in Salo and finally after little search we found 13 birds! Very nice flock.
Also some Bullfinches, Goldfinch, Tree Sparrows and other common birds around.
While i was driving, we had two Great-grey Shrikes and one Dipper somewhere along the road.
Later i dropped all guys back home and went to Vanhankaupunginlahti by my self, i found one Dipper for my year-list. Flying bird did not gave me any change to take photos but it was awesome like always.


So, first lifer for the year 2015. Let´s hope thre is more coming soon. Next weekend i´m going to Kokkola and with good luck there is still one Snowy Owl waiting for me.
Thanks Jari, Pasi and Janne with great company. This was great fun.


8. helmikuuta 2015

Quick visit to Pori 7.2.2015

Yesterday i made short visit to Pori and met my good friend Petteri Mäkelä there. We had almost full day birding around Pori and i got plenty of new birds on my year list.
I left home very early and i was already driving at 5am. After three hours i arrived to Petteris apartment and we made some plans for the day.
Our first target was week old sighting of Ural Owl and Petteris dad Matti also joined us there. About 30 minutes walk gave us only Goldcrests, Tits and some Greenfinches. Ural Owl place was only part of the big area where we drove around next hour and with few stops we manages to see Rough-legged Buzzard, some Pheasants, flock of 25 Starlings and lost of other common birds.
Little later we went closer to city center and with little guidance of internet, we found flock of four Collared Doves!

Two Collared Doves.

These Doves are very rare in my own area, but here the population is quite stable and living. Let´s hope it will stay that way.
After Doves we went to twitch long staying Common Kingfisher. Nice place where two pipes push running water to river. Sadly the bird was very far away and behind the threes. I took some scoping photos, but as you can see, it was not that easy.

With some imagination you can "see" the bird sitting there. 
Common Kingfisher despite it´s name it is not common bird in Finland. My last was two years a go in Espoo. Next target was Winter Wren and with two stops that was nailed.

Winter Wren wintering in this pile of wood.

Petteri saw the Wren but i had only voice this time. In three months our forests are full of these little birds.
Bearded Tit was very high priority bird for me and because it is quite hard to see in Helsinki area, we went to Kaarluoto and check if we could find some, despite hard wind.
After little walk Petteri were clapping hes hands and we heard very low but clear voice from the reeds. At least one bird was there! Little more wind and we would not be able to hear that voice.


Next stop was in Ulvila cemetery and there we had lone Eurasian Nutcracker. This time i even got some photos of this awesome bird.

Tail with broad white tip.



In these photos you can see long and narrow bill and  broad white tail tip. My opinion this bird is eastern race ssp Macrorhynchos which is coming from E-Russia and Siberia. Of course Finland must be some kind of frontier where we have both subspecies.
After Nutcracker we had nice meal in local kebab place and then we checked few areas near by Ulvila without success. Soon we decided to go back to Petteris place to have some coffee and finally i left back towards Helsinki little after three a clock.
When i was driving in Huittinen area i noticed Eagle flying above the road. From car i saw large white patches in both wings and i immediately knew that this bird must be Golden Eagle! I was in bad place, between two cars so it took me a while to find place to stop. When i finally found good place i saw the bird flying South quite far a way. Anyway, very nice sighting. I think you can´t never see too many Golden Eagles! In my opinion this bird was second calender year bird, so it was born last year. Rest of the driving was easy and i was back home just after sunset.

Thank you Petteri for great company and guidance in Pori again. 78 year ticks so far and more is coming for sure. Next week is mostly working, but let´s see what happens.