21. tammikuuta 2017

Morning in Suomenlinna 21.1.2017

Weekend and Sanni was at home again, so I had time to visit some place for birding alone. I chose Suomenlinna, because I wanted to see open sea. I took 9am ferry and after 15 minutes I was walking towards the southern end of the island. There was only -1 degrees, but frosty wind did some damage to my fingers, because I made bad decision with my cloves.. Still I spend almost hour and a half watching the sea.
Flocks of Long-tailed Ducks moved around and two White-tailed Eagles waited for a easy meal. Among the Long-tailed Ducks I foudn four Tufted Ducks, some Goldeneyes, two Black Guillemots, lone Smew, six Red-breasted Mergansers, and of course a lots of Common Goosanders.
Of course in winter you don´t have migration, but I still saw one migrating Black-throated Diver! I had to check the bird properly, because this time of the year is possible to see either Yellow-billed or Great-northern Divers too!
At some point I was watching the sea when I heard lots of noisy Crows and I raised my eyes, just to see that there is an Eagle Owl flying away from the island and chased by ten Crows!
I tried to follow the bird but it disappeared behind the rock. Maybe it landed to Vallisaari, which is quite near of Suomenlinna. Anyway, what a moment!

Empty Harbor.

My seawatch place.

Land birds were almost missing today, so I only found a little flock of Fieldfares with one Song Thrush and two Snow Buntings. Most surprising moment was when I was leaving and I noticed weird movement near the shore. I went to look and this monster walked there!

American Mink! 

These creatures are one reason for disappearing wildfowl and shorebirds in Finland. I heard that these are quite common here, but this was my first.

After walking back to harbor I noticed that I have still 40 minutes to the next ferry, so I took large cup of coffee and a cookie in nearby cafeteria. Sensory returned in to my fingers again!
Finally the ferry came and I was back in Kauppatori harbor. I noticed a flock of large gulls and I went to photograph them.
This pale and beautiful individual got my eye among the other gulls.

What a beauty.

Same bird now standing.


Others were not even near as interesting as this one.

Herring Gull.

Herring Gull.

Of course the interesting one is a Herring Gull, but beautiful anyway. My inner laridist woke up again.

Great day with great birds. Next week some more stories about my adventures with Vilma.


20. tammikuuta 2017

Checking the Dippers again. 20.1.2017

We had quite late morning today and I thought that no time to visit any destination far a way, so we went to check if the Dipper would show up again, and this time I took my camera with me.
When we went out the day looked bright and nice, but when we arrived to the stream there was only little bit light and not really a photographers weather.
I promised to Vilma that if I could take some photos of the birds, she could visit a playground little bit later. We had a deal.
This time I found only one Dipper but it posed nicely and I got my poor light photos. Also few Grea-spotted Woodpeckers today with normal forest Tits.

One of two Dippers in our near by stream.

Same bird.

Two Great-spotted Woodpeckers.

We walked back to the playground and Vilma had good times. We tested the Swing together and there was also some kind of spinning wheel where she loved to be.

My happy little girl! <3 

Great morning. More later.


Meilahti Arboretum 19.1.2017

So, we visited Meilahti area yesterday and we had great times with nice birds. Lots of normal Great and Blue Tits, some Coal Tits, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Bullfinches, Chaffinch, two Great-spotted Woodpecker, Pheasant, Starlings, Goshawk and maybe the best of all, Nutcracker!
It was very slippery and I had problems to walk properly with Vilmas strollers.  We also visited Seurasaari bridge, but clock was ticking and Vilma had to go home for a daily nap.
Pheasant, Starlings, Chaffinch and Nutcracker we all new species for my year list, but shame no stroller ticks.

It seems that Helsinki has very healthy population of Goshawks. They are everywhere! 

Great-spotted Woodpecker.



Shame we had only an hour time this morning. Place is good and with more time you can easily go to Seurasaari and back.


18. tammikuuta 2017

Paternity leave. 16.1-17.1.2017

So, I´m on paternity leave for four weeks, a homedad. I have plenty of time to go out and watch birds with my daughter, and we started all that from near by area called Keskuspuisto. There is few feeders near our house and great stream which holds at least two Dippers.
At 16th we had nice walk in the woods and along the stream. We had two Dippers, Lesser-spotted Woodpecker, Goshawk, Long-tailed Tits and other common stuff.

Our Dipper place.

Next day we made same route and this time I got some photos of the Dippers. I have camera, but because I´m lazy, I left it home and that was mistake..
First I found a Robin from the feeders which was quite responsive, and after that two Dippers just watched us from 2 meters! All I had was binoculars and my phone.

Shitty record shot of the Robin.

Too many photos of the common bird like Robin? 

And here are the Dipper photos.


And another.

Even Vilma got tick of this great species. She noticed this second bird, started to point it and said "titityy" which is a common Great Tit language, you know? :)

More stories coming soon. Maybe some other places we should visit.


Vääksy 7.1-8.1.2017

It was weekend and good time to visit my mother-in-law in Vääksy.
We had amazing food and good times on Friday when we arrived. On Sunday I had time to visit the Asikkala Kirkonkylä again with more time. I started from stream near the center, but no luck with the Dipper this time..

No Dipper this time.

Local birdwatchers found Siberian Accentor and Ortolan Bunting from there last year and I wanted to try to relocate them. Place also holds big flock of Yellowhammers, Goldfinches, Redpolls and Arctic Redpolls. When I arrive, there was a lone birder, but I had to drive little more further to park my car, and when I came back he was gone...
I was scanning the area with my telescope and it was maybe eight time I looked that same tree and BOOM, Siberian Accentor! I watched it about few seconds and started to grab my phone to take some scoping photos. At the same time an ATV passed me and flushed all the birds in different directions.. Great! I tried to relocate the bird, but no change.. I stayed another 20 minutes.

Small part of hte bigger Yellowhammer flock.

Later I was back at my mother-in-laws place I got a phone call from Mika Selin and he told me that the last record of Accentor was back from mid December! And even bigger surprise was that he had Ortolan Bunting there just before I came to the place! You really can´t see everything! I hope the local birders can relocate both of the birds, so others can see it too!

What a great trip to Vääksy again.


17. tammikuuta 2017

Working and local birding. 1.1-2.1.2017

New year and new birds. I had to be at work on January first, but that did´t stop me. I twitched a our local Hawk Owl from Kaivopuisto, near my work and because I´m working in proper place I had 20 species in the end of the day.
On second I was walking in Maunula with Vilma and got some new species on my 2017 list. Willow Tit, Tree Sparrow, Black Woodpecker and other common stuff. Funniest bird was this Blackbird which is not so black after all.

Adult male Blackbird with white tail. 
 Later that day we made another effort in the forest, but only Goldcrests this time.

Good times, I wish you all a happy new year!