22. maaliskuuta 2017

Seurasaari with kids 20.3.2017

We had day full of kids and it started quite early when Sanni´s sister brought her daughter Oona (4-years old) to our place before work. With two young girls you really have to have something inspiring to do, or they will be too bored to do anything!
So, we decided to visit Seurasaari to feed some Mallards and Squirrels, and girls loved it.
I bought one kilo of peanuts and some bread and we were ready.
We arrived to the Seurasaari and there was a familiar flock of Mallards with two Mute Swans waiting for food! Also one Goldeneye and lots of Common Gulls around.

Common Gull.

Flying Mute Swan.

We walked around the island and we fed some Squirrels and birds whenever we found them.
In the middle of the island I heard Grey-headed Woodpecker, but after small search I could not find it.. Nice species anyway. Lots of Great and Blue Tits in the feeders and I hope most of the peanuts are eaten by them.
We also found one Woodpigeon, but nothing really interesting this time.

Hooded Crow.

Woodpigeon. Sign of Spring.

Oona, Sanni and Vilma trying to feed birds. 

Just before we left the island I noticed big flock of crows chasing something. Right away I knew that the bird has to Goshawk. Not many raptors will not cause the kind of fear, as the Goshawk does!

Second calendar year Goshawk. 

When we left we gave rest of the bread to the Mallards and Swans, and we left back home for the girls nap time.

Female Mallard.

Female Goldeneye.

Great trip and especially Oona was very happy that we went there. Vilma is still so small that she does not care if we visit backyard swing or this island.


18. maaliskuuta 2017

Spring birds in Helsinki. 18.3.2017

Today I had time for birds and I started from Haltiala. I was still inside of car when I noticed few Lapwings and lots of Skylarks around the fields. I stopped and checked the first field, 6 Lapwings, tens of Skylarks ( lots of them singing) and Pheasant! Great start. 
I drove further and parked my car near the farm. I had pleasant 45 minutes watching the fields and the sky. Nothing really special this time, but Merlin is always nice to see and migrating Mistle Thrush was good indicator of spring. 
I counted totally of around 70 Skylarks in the area with 20 Yellowhammers, 13 Tree Sparrows with only few Stock Doves and Woodpigeon. Again I had only telescope and phone with me, so pictures through that. 


After Haltiala I drove to Viikki. I put my telescope on in the place where I was alone and very soon I saw Ringed Plover, lots of Canada Geese, around ten Greylag Geese, seven Barnacles, lots of Lapwings and other common spring stuff. There was big group of birders few hundred meters from me, but I thought that it would be nice to find something by my self. 

I waited and soon I noticed flock of Geese flying quite near my spot. There was four Greater White-fronted Geese with (my opinion) Tundra Bean Geese (rossicus). Very nice to see these "real" Geese after long winter. Also lone Common Buzzard migrated over the area and some Stock Doves moved over my spot. TOtally I spend about an hour there and I had to leave because there was too old for my gear.. I thought that the day would be much warmer. 

Distant flock of Geese. 

So, very good day with 9 new species for the year of 2017. Spring is just around the corner and more birds coming every day. Let´s hope that I will have time to go out again very soon.


Family walk in Maunula. 16.4.2017

We had family walk in Maunula few days a go and it was a big surprise when we found two Dippers in our nearby stream. These birds disappeared about a month a go and now it was first time when I saw them since February.
One bird had ring and other not. I had only binoculars and phone with me, so pics are what they are..

First Dipper with ring.

Same bird.

Other bird without ring. 

Not much else in the woods near the stream, but like always we had lots of Blackbirds, few Great-spotted Woodpecker etc.

Good times.


14. maaliskuuta 2017

Seurasaari 14.3.2017

Finally we had time to go out. Sanni had exam and teeth surgery, so we left home early to visit Seurasaari before picking her up form Töölö.
When we arrived I noticed that sea was still covered with ice. I was hoping some open water spots and maybe some waterfowl. Well, there was one, but there was only few Mallards, pair of Goldeneyes and pair of Mute Swans. We walked around the island checking some feeders and other places.
Not much to tell... Two Willow Tits, some Coal Tits, lots of Blue and Great Tits.
Great-spotted Woodpecker showed to us and some large gulls sitting on the ice. When we walked back I had possible adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, but situation was too quick.. Good looking bird anyway.
Our walking was slow because Vilma wanted to walk by her self.
Weather was cloudy and grey, so not ideal to photograph anything.

Male Goldeneye.
Coal Tit.
Great Tit.

Great Tit on my hand.

Vilma walking in the island.
Common Gull.
And again same Goldeneye.

 So, the island was quite empty. When we arrived to my car, Sanni informed that her surgery was late and we went straight to home. During the drive in Pikkuhuopalahti I saw two Canada Geese from the car window!
Yesterday I had also short walk with Vilma and we had lone Rook fying with Crows and Jackdaws in Maunula. I checked also our Dipper place but it had only two Great-spotted and two Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers. Rook was new species on my stroller list!


7. maaliskuuta 2017

Collared Dove 7.3.2017

Finally after being sick and working I had time to visit Espoo and twitch one of the easiest misses of my stroller list.
We started at just before nine a clock and after 25 minutes drive we arrived to Tillinmäki where this Dove has been the whole winter,  I guess.
I took our stroller and Vilma out of the car and walked to the place. After five minutes I found the bird walking under an dense spruce. Bird was walking toward the house which holds the feeder so I had to wait. I also saw another twitcher and told him that bird is here.
We waited and waited, but nothing.. Guy had to leave and another came to check the place with me. It took about 45minutes after I finally found the bird sleeping in that same spruce! We were mostly looked at ground level so maybe that´s why it took so long to find it..
Anyway, Vilma saw the bird too and I got very good stroller tick!
Collared Dove is almost annual, but rare visitor in my home county. Closest breeding areas are in Salo which is little bit over an hour drive from Helsinki.
Mostly these Doves are very local and that´s why rare here. Also Goshawks in breeding areas hunt these Doves very regularly.

Collared Dove.

Collared Dove.

Good day, until I found out that I have fever again...


1. maaliskuuta 2017

Second visit to see Water Rail 27.2.2017

Last week my whole family was sick and even our little Vilma got Stomach flue. We had to stay inside few days.
Mondays was full of hope after I noticed first signs spring. Lapwing in Viikki, migrating Stock Doves, Rooks in Viikki etc.
I started from Viikki sewage and tried to see Rooks on my year list. Place was full of birders but no luck with this semi rare species here in Helsinki. Four Teals and flock of 10 Starlings around.

After the sewage I went to see my friend Tyron with his daughter Ella in Vanhankaupunginlahti and together we went to check if we could find the Water Rail again. Our last twitch together was not so successful, so we had huge pressure this time!
When I arrived Tyron had already seen the bird and now we just had to wait until I saw it.
Bird showed well and I got few pictures of it, thought there was awful light for taking any photos..

All my photos were too dark.. 

Water Rail.

Water Rail.

Lots of snow and Water Rail.

Little bit better light in this photo.

Bird took something from the ground and ran away.

I really hope I could update my camera some day. Nikon 300s body is about 8 years old and I have serious trouble to get any proper pics in poor light conditions..
Maybe next Christmas.
Tomorrow I will try to see local Collared Dove from Espoo. Wish me luck.