21. helmikuuta 2017

Lots of sunlight, no birds. 21.2.2017

Awesome looking weather drove me and Vilma outside. I´m having a day off and because of that Vilma can stay home. We checked our normal places but today was really slow.
We did not find any Dippers. Only the most common birds around today. Only difference for normal was many Bullfinches around. I counted 16 today and normally you can see maybe 4. Also four Jays, three Great-spotted Woodpeckers, small flock of Siskins, Raven and Fieldfare around.
Here is some photos.

Male Bullfinch.

Clear weather in Maunula.


Dipper stream.

 After we came home I put Vilma to bed I started to feel very sick. Let´s hope this is gone fast..


20. helmikuuta 2017

Urban Crested Lark 17.2.2017

Finally time to write about our last twitch during my paternal leave. Last friday I took Vilma with me and together we went to Kamppi where this bird  which played hide and seek with me last two times was seen again. When we arrived the bird was missing of course and I was nervous. I didn't want to come back here anymore.
Soon I met Matti Koivula and together we tried to think where to find this bird. We walked around the area but nothing. 
At some point I choose to go and check the old place where the bird was found originally. We went around the block but again nothing. 
When I arrived back to the place where we started I saw big group of birders watching something. We ran there and Jarkko Santaharju showed the bird to us. Phooh! Finally. 
I got few nice pics and suddenly the bird took off and went behind the fence above the grass area where it was found.
I was really lucky cause we came back just before it was gone again..

Good camouflage. 

Crested Lark.

Little bit closer.

Birdfound something to eat before it took off.

Good looking bird and very rare here in Finland. This species is declining rapidly in the countries near Finland and makes this bird even rarer every year.
Later we drove back home and we had good time in our backyard. Also lone Fieldfare in our yard with Jackdaws etc.


Quite son we headed back home and it was time for a nap. I had to take those too because I had nightshift later.
Going back to work felt frustrating. In my wildest dreams I could be a stay home dad, but I have to win the lottery first.


12. helmikuuta 2017

Back to basics. 12.2.2017

My yesterday was so unsuccessful. Together with Tyron we tried Water Rail from Vanhankaupunginlahti, ut no luck.. Both were with babies so that makes it also little bit harder.
Anyway Tyron had to leave and we went to Kamppi where Crested Lark was refound after 2 months. I knew that pale is going to be hard. We walked around the area with Vilma but no luck.. Before noon we had to leave because of Vilmas nap.
Day was not over and we came back! and this time we put some real effort on this bird, but again, nothing...

This photo describes my day. Great Tit with swollen foot. It hardly moved when Vilma went close to it. 

Today I decide to stay in Maunula and keep my self and Vilma busy with basic stuff. I thought that why not go and check the old places on my "local patch". Who knows what will show up.
We had pleasant morning with the whole family and Sanni left to work just before Vilmas nap time.
After her beauty sleep we went out. I told Vilma that first some birding and then playgrounds, like we always do.
We went to check Dipper stream and it was very nice today. First bird we found was actually new one. This bird had ring and earlier there was not any ringed bird in this stream.

In this photo you an see the ring. 

This new bird had totally different area for feeding than the others and it dominated the southern part of the stream. We continued towards the feeder near by and before that I found another DIpper without any ring.
Feeder was busy, mostly Tits, but also two Great-spotted Woodpeckers, Greenfinches, Blackbirds, Treecreeper and Jay.

Second Dipper.

Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Two birds!

This time we went in the woods having some offroad strollering and Vilma was very excited about the bumps!

Vilma and the woods.
We walked about 20 minutes and I found a path which too us back to the stream. I checked the open water holes and soon I found another Dipper. I started to take some photos of it and same time another bird landed quite near. Both without rings. So the stream holds three birds now! How cool is that.


I had to take some mirror image photos of the bird.

And again.

"I see food" 

And the last one.

Southern part of the stream.
It would be nice to know who put the ring on this new bird, but in my pics I can´t see the ring number.. Maybe some other day with better light I can manage to get photo good enough.
So, after all this we went to have good time in the playground. Vilma was happy and I saw pair of Ravens flying above the area. We spend about 40 minutes there and then back home.

My beautiful girl. 

Time is running when you have good time. The old saying is very correct. My last weekd of paternity leave starts tomorrow and we are spending our mornings in Vilmas new daycare to see how things work. I really hope everything goes smoothly!

We will try some birding in afternoons next week.


10. helmikuuta 2017

Nuthatch twitching. 10.2.2017

So, I posted my last post at noon yesterday and didn´t know that still have possibility to go out again that same day.
I picked Sanni from school and all together we went to Munkkiniemi to see if the Nuthatch which was there about a month ago, would still miraculously be in the same place.
Well, it was not. We spend about 45minutes in the area, but all we saw was Waxwings, Great-spotted Woodpeckers, Fieldfares, Redpolls and other common stuff.
The visit was not a waste of time, mostly because I had change to spend time with my whole family, but also Waxwings gave me a good set of pics. Birds were very tame and when they eat, they don´t give a rat´s arse what you are doing.

Rotten apples are good stuff for Waxwings!

Such a beautiful bird.

Bohemian Waxwing.


At this point my old camera begins to clot.

Anyway we had great time and place was really worth to visit.

Today we started at 9am with Vilma and our target was old manor park in Espoo. Place hold a pair of Nuthatches and both birds uses feeders near the manor house.
Because it was my first visit in the area I had little troubles to find the right places, but luckily I had Kari Haataja´s number and I called to him to ask some details. Kari told the places and I went there. First place was almost empty, just few Treecreepers, Bullfinch and Tits. At the second feeder we were luckier and bird was there. Shame that it showed only few seconds and disappeared after that like all the the other birds in that place... Anyway I was super happy. This was my target and new stroller tick of course.
At the same place I had also Black Woodpecker and some Great-spotteds too. We walked between both feeder and just before we left I heard Nuthatch call on above the first feeder! After that I let Vilma watch some Mallards swimming in the stream and then we left.


Black Woodpecker. Very hard place to photo behind the branches. Female bird! 

Beautiful light in the park. Lots of old trees makes this place perfect for Nuthatch. 

Beautiful place where I should visit again some day. No wonder why these birds are breeding there.
Thank you Kari for the details, that was big help!
Later today we had nice evening walk with Sanni and Vilma. We walked around the Maunulanpuro where we had one Dipper and near the Maunula cemetery we heard Tawny Owl Calling! Nice year tick, though I knew that there is some around the area.


9. helmikuuta 2017

Same old in Helsinki, with old friends. 9.2.2017

Today we started from Hietaniemi where we twitched long staying Long-eared Owl. Bird was hiding in a thick tree and it was very hard to locate it. Because of the situation I did not took any photos, but always nice to see these.
Weather was sunny and clear but it was really really cold (-14degrees).


After Hietaniemi we went to Eira to meet my friends Petteri, Matleeta and Mimosa from Pori. We had quick look of the Two-barred Crossbill and then a nice coffee in Cafe Carusel nearby.
It was great to see old friends after a long time all together. Later we dropped Matleena to city center and with Petteri and Mimosa we went to see that hybrid Thrush again.
Bird was showed nicely and lots of photographers around. I managed to get quite good pictures of the bird.

With Blackbird.

Angry Black-throated Thrush.

Little bit closer.

We continued towards Petteris car which was parked near the Crossbill place and we had another look of the bird. Also this was showing well and everybody saw the bird. We also met our friend Gustav there.

Two-barred Crossbill.

Because Petteri and Mimosa had to leave I walked back to Kaivopuisto with Gustav and it was time to go home. Vilmas nap time was coming and she really needs her beautysleep :)
During the walk I stopped one, to take photo of the Hawk Owl in the park.

Long staying Hawk Owl and Greenfinch.

We had very nice morning today. Shame that didn´t have more time with the Mäkelä family, but I think we will met soon again. Thanks for the company.


7. helmikuuta 2017

Stroller twitching in a hard way. 6.2.2017

Yesterday I didn´t have time to write this, so here it comes.
On 5th an Two-barred Crossbill was found from Eira, near city center. Because it was super cold morning I decided to wait the first update and then go, if the bird will show up again. This bird was still missing from my stroller list and I had some pressure, so I decide to move to Seurasaari, which is close and if the alarm will come, I can get there faster.
I packed Vilma and just before we arrived to Seurasaari I got the message that the bird is still there. Great!
After 15 minutes we arrived there and lots of people were watching in same spot. "It must be there" i said to Vilma, but when we came closer people just talked and watched their photos of the bird. I asked where the bird is but know one really knew what happened before somebody said that bird just left when I came...
Great stuff... I started to walk around the area and check some good looking trees, but nothing.. Two Fieldfares, Mute Swans, Mergansers, Goshawk and two Long-tailed Ducks.
Not really what I wanted. After an hour I had to leave because Vilma had to get her nap.

At least the view was fine.


Mute Swan.


Later afternoon I got another update and it said that bird was still there. We ate and because I promised Sanni that I will pick her up from school, we had to move anyway. First back to Eira and then to Meilahti where her school is.
Bird was showing very nicely and I got some decent pictures of it! Lots of people who missed it earlier came back to see the bird. Two-barred Crossbill was hanging with Common Crossbill female and together they ate cone seeds.

Common Crossbill. There is something in this photo I like.

Two-barred Crossbill.

Both birds.

Two-barred can really hide in that Larch.

Awesome bird.

So, hard work was rewarded again and I got my missing Crossbill species on my Stroller list. My number is now 205 with Vilma and not many easy ones missing anymore.

4. helmikuuta 2017

Local birds in Maunula 4.2.2017

Today I decide that we have to check our local area with Vilma and maybe find something nice from there. I´m living in Maunula, about 8km from Helsinki city center. Like you have seen earlier in this blog we have nice stream with Dipper around and today we visited that place again after a week or so. When we arrived I instantly found one Dipper very near the road. Shame my camera settings were totally wrong to this situation and I got only one decent photo.

And of course it is behind that stick.. Dipper.

Anyway, Dippers are so cool birds. The bird flew little bit further and started to swim. Crazy that they can do that and find food from there.
We continued and I started to check a local feeder near the road. Black Birds, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Great Tits, Siskins, like always. Then something happened and larger bird landed near by. "shit, that is Nutcracker!" Not so common bird here and big surprise for me. I showed the bird to Vilma but she was not so excited! Bird was quite shy so it was hard to get any proper pics, but here you can see it. By bill lenght and thickness I´d like to say that this is European/Western-Russian subspecies "caryocatactes". Also tail had only a little white on the edges.

We continued walking and tried to find another Dipper, but not today. Nutcracker was calling near the feeder again when we passed it, but it was too far to take any photos. Other birds in the area were five different Great-spotted Woodpeckers, three Jays and Goshawk.

Nice short time in the woods.


3. helmikuuta 2017

Nice winter birding in Helsinki 3.2.2017

This morning we started from Tokoinranta, which holds two Barnacle Goose and a lone Wigeon. Place was great for Vilma who likes a lot to watch Mallards and other birds, and there we had big flock of those!

Mallards everywhere! 

Eurasian Wigeon wintering in Helsinki. 

One of two Mute Swans in the area.

Happy girl and lots of Ducks.

Two Barnacles. 

After Tokoinranta I wanted to visit Kaivopuisto and twitch a local Black-throated Thrush hybrid something, and because there aws also Haw Owl in the area, we went there.
I parked my car and we walked towards little group of people and they were watching the Owl.

Northern Hawk Owl.

After taking my records shots of the Owl we walked to the Thrush place. Bird was showing well, but it was so dark again! My photos are shit, but you can see how odd looking bird this is. Maybe it has some influence of Nauman´s Thrush of something.

Black-throated Thrush.

And same bird again.

Well... Maybe someone wiser than me can tell what a heck is this bird. Anyway it is a great looking fellow and rare for sure.
After birds, like always I let Vilma walk and play around before we left home.

Vilma and Kaivopuisto.