25. huhtikuuta 2017

No Green-winged Teal for me. 24.4.2017

It was quite early in the morning when I noticed an alarm update of Green-winged Teal in Porvoo, quite near Helsinki. Bird was found yesterday by Markus Keskitalo and somebody relocated it this morning. Vilma had doctors appointment at 10.45 am so we had to wait until the doctor will give us green light for being outside. Green light we got and my uncle Jände join us to see the bird. Just before noon we arrived to Ruskis where the bird was seen and first we tried to see it from the parking lot. I have seen one Green-winged Teal in Finland, but this time I was looking for a mega stroller tick, of course.
Jände was checking the Teals (around 200 in the area) when something scared the whole flock away.. Nice. We had to move to the bird tower and it meant that I have to carry Vilma and the strollers to the tower. Thank god Jände took my telescope, with out him I would have been in trouble.


In the tower we meet (again) Jörgen Palmgren and some other twitchers looking for the Teal.
We spend over an hour there, but no luck with the duck. Some raptor moving was clearly going on and we had female Hen Harrier, Goshawk, Osprey, some White-tailed Eagles and a real surprise, Black Kite.
Jörgen found the bird and I quickly saw it too, but only with my binos. I took my telscope, found the bird and same time I put Vilma on the strollers. Check, stroller tick number #213! I was really impressed of my quickness in this situation.
Other birds worth to mention was flock of 10 Greenshanks, Hawfinch seen by Jörgen and some flocks of distant Geese.

Vilma in the tower. 

Finally Vilma started to be cranky and tired, so we had to leave. Green-winged Teal was found (of course) later at same evening from the same place.. Maybe next time.
Black Kite was very nice and I was happy even without the Teal.
Thanks for the company Jösse and Jände.


22. huhtikuuta 2017

Some year ticks and local birding. 21-22.4.2017

Yesterday I had time to visit Vanhankaupunginlahti. I chose Pornaistenniemi tower and when I arrived, I met Tuomas Seimola and Eino Hiekkanen there. Tuomas and hes friend had only lunch break, so they had to leave soon, but with Eino we had nice raptorwatch.
I spend little bit over an hour there and we had quite early Hobby, Kestrel, Osprey, two local Marsh Harriers and two local Goshawks. This was only raptors! Other birds we saw were nine Greater Curlews, two Common Cranes, Greenshank, Redshank, two Little-ringed Plovers, some Green Sandpipers and Caspian Tern. Hobby was nice. The situation was funny, because when I found the bird, I told Eino that there is some Falco flying and together we just watched it. In mid May the bird would immediately be a Hobby, but because we are still late April it is harder. Especially with these resent Northern winds and below zero nights.
Anyway, I had to leave too early to get Vilma from day care. Together we went to Kannelmä to get Sanni´s birthday present. Her b-day is next Tuesday.
Later we tested our new bicycle baby carrier. It worked perfectly.


Male Marsh Harrier.
Vilma and her baby in the carrier. Fun times with this combo.

Today we had to stay in Maunula, because we have plans for the afternoon and I had to put Vilma to bed quite early. My friends are going to visit us today.
We walked in Maunula and I tried to find something new from here, but no luck. Big numbers of Redwings, Fieldfares, Robins, Chaffinches around. I had one flock of Barnacle Geese going NorthWest. Raven showed to us and our local Goshawk was in the area.

Female Blackbird.

Female Chaffinch.


Male Bullfinch. 

Many rarities has been found today, so I hope I will have time to check the places tomorrow afternoon. Morning is going to be great, because we have tickets to Helsinki Coffee Festival and can´t wait to taste those goodies there.


20. huhtikuuta 2017

Unsuccessful Twitch. 20.4.2017

I often start my day watching the birds from my backyard. Nowadays there is mostly Thrushes (Redwings, Blackbirds and Fieldfares), but today I really surprised when I noticed male Hawfinch eating something in a tree. I´v seen few near the house, but never in my yard. What a start from the day.
Later I noticed alarm of the Hoopoe in Malminkartano, which is quite near my area. I took Vilma and together we went to tick this rare beauty. We arrived to the place which is huge wasteland hill and I was really hopeful to see the bird. Many other twitches arrived too. We walked around the hill and I met Jörgen Palmgren and together we watched the area. Lots of Redwings and Fieldfares, but no sign of the Hoopoe we were after... After an hour I decide to leave.. 
Shame that nobody didn´t find the bird. Still missing from my stroller list. Only year tick was Meadow Pipit! 

Female Pheasant.

Malminkartano Hill. 


European Hare.

Happy girl, even when we dipped the bird.

After groceries we came home and when Vilma was in bed, I tried to took Redwing photos through our windows... Shitty but fun.


Let´s hope more rarities will show up in next few days when I have days off. 


15. huhtikuuta 2017

Black-legged Kittiwake in Helsinki 14.4.2017

Yesterday Vilma wanted to wake up very early and it means that I have to get up too. I let Sanni to continued her sleep and together we went to have breakfast.
Soon after I got my phone in my hand I noticed Black-legged Kittiwake alarm from Vuosaari and it said that Kimmo Heiskanen had local bird in Kallvik.
This species was still missing from my stroller and local county list, so after quick decision we had rapid breakfast before we left towards Vuosaari.
During the drive I had to call Kimmo and ask some details of the place, but finally we found the right one. When we came to the shore where all the birders stood, the bird was still there!
The Kittiwake was swimming quite far a way but with telescope it was easy to see all the details of the bird. After watching it for some time we went little bit closet and I got some documentary skoping pics but those were rubbish. I let Vilma play half an hour near the shore and then we left.
Happy Vilma after tick, and Kallvik beach. 

Today after night shift I noticed that bird was still there. I slept few hours and woke up when my mother visited us with Sanni and Vilma. Later my wife had some plans with her friends, so I had change to visit Vuosaari for the second time.
This time I was alone and I had my camera with me. With few twitchers we had great time with the bird which was very tame and responsive. Bird was mostly swimming, but finally it gave us a nice show in the air. Here is "few" photos I took today.

Kittiwake cleaning up it self
And again.

Still cleaning up.


Here is some wing for you.

What a beauty.

Still swimming.


Finally in the air.

Close up.

So, the bird is 2cy which means that it was born last year. Normally Black-legged Kitiwakes are real seabirds and closest breeding areas are in Norway. It is scarce visitor here and normally all the records are migrating birds, with only few records of local birds in Helsinki.
Thank you Kimmo Heiskanen for finding this gem!


13. huhtikuuta 2017

Maari tower. 12.4.2017

After my tooth surgery I had time to do what ever I want. I went to Espoo and arrived to Maari tower at 10.30am. Lots of people in the tower, but just enough room for me and my scope.
I looked the meadow and in first round with scope I had already three new species for my year list.
Caspian Terns, Common Terns and Little ringed Plover. Lots of wildfowl in the bay and Crested Grebe was also new to my list. Soon I found some Smews with Pintails and Gadwalls. Life was good, sun was shining and lots of birds.
After all I spend almost 2,5 hours in the tower and highlights were Hen Harrier, Curlews, few migrating Black-throated Divers and Chiffchaff.
Totally I got 13 new species to my year list and happily I left back home and from there to pick Vilma from day care.

Spawning Pikes near the tower.

Black-headed Gulls.

Reed Bunting.

Caspian Tern.


Thanks for the company Jani and others in the tower. Great times.
Today I woke up and looked outside.. Snowing.. Winter just came back and that is not good for the migrant birds. Let´s hope this will end soon. First White Wagtail in our backyard today walking in the snow.!


7. huhtikuuta 2017

Suomenoja 6.4.2017

Vilma had a day off from daycare and I had same with my work, so after her 1,5 year doctor, we headed to Suomenoja.
Place was full of birders and birds of course. Hundreds of Black-headed Gulls screaming over their breeding colony with tens of Common Coots and other water birds made this place a real concert of high noises!
I walked around the pools with Vilma and because she was sleeping I had change to stop where I want and when I want.
First year tick was Northern Shoveler and I had about 8 today of those beautiful ducks.

From the same spot I also noticed singing Reed Bunting, which was also new species for my year list.

Landscape Reed Bunting photo. 

I continued walking and at some point Vilma woke up, so I had to move my legs faster.
First White Wagtail was nice and I also saw lots of Common Pochards, two Moorhens and and lone Dunnock.
I really tried to see other Ducks, but it seems that I had to visit this place later again. This is absolutely the best place to see Gadwall in this county with Slavonian Grebes.
Few photos here:

Common Pochards.

Fighting Coots.

And again.

White Wagtail.

Black-headed Gull.

Mute Swan.

Great times with Vilma. No stroller ticks, but maybe we can live with that!


6. huhtikuuta 2017

Local birds again. 28.3.2017

Finally time to write something. On 28th of March I took Vilma and together we had nice walk in sunny Maunula. Not much birds around, but Redwing with Fieldfares and Linnet were new ones for the year.
I always let Vilma play in some point and this time we were in familiar little park near the well known Dipper stream. No Dipper that time dough...
Best moment was when I noticed Goshawk sitting in a tree quite near us. I had only my binos and phone, but I managed to get some decent photos of this huge adult female bird. Bird was collecting nesting materials and it just took one branch from the dry tree!


Vilma playing!

Adult female Goshawk.


Great times.
On 29th I had sub adult Golden Eagle migrating over Pasila, near Maunula and on 30th at work I had my firs Lesser Black-bagged Gull and same thing with the Oystercatcher.