29. toukokuuta 2017

Lesser Yellowlegs 28.5.2017

Like I wrote earlier, I dipped the Lesser Yellowlegs last time. Today I got another change for the species when Jan Sördersved found same or different bird from the exact same place!
Saturday was full of everything (when the bird was found) and I had no change to go there, but today I drove to Lohja after first update message which said that bird is still there.
I arrived there just after nine a clock and took about five minutes to walk to the place from my car.
I noticed Paavo Harri and he told me where the bird was just moments a go and soon we found the bird again! Great feeling after being late only ten minutes last time. Bird was showing well, but far a way. Also Broad-billed Sandpipers, Temminck´s Stints, Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper and Lapwings around.

On my way to the spot.

Lesser Yellowlegs.

Lesser Yellowlegs.

Lesser Yellowlegs.

Lesser Yellowlegs.

Lesser Yellowlegs.

Lesser Yellowlegs.

The lake was much smaller than last time. 

Also met Tom Lindroos and his wife Kaija there, and we had nice time watching the bird and eventually we left together. Thanks for the company and good luck for your retirement time! I hope we will meet again somewhere soon! Thanks also Paavo for company, and hope you had luck with the Woodchat Shrike in Urjala!
Later I came home and spent time with Vilma. We are very eager to draw and I made this artistic sketch of the bird. You can´t see any yellow, because Vilma ate most of the yellow crayon, but here is the thing! Vilma gave some red color in my sketch, but that only makes it better!
What can you say, Collins birdguide here I come! 

Great bird and great find by Jan, again. Let´s hope more rarities and other interesting birds for this spring.


24. toukokuuta 2017

Recent biding in Helsinki area.

I have been working very much lately and for example last week I had six shifts and one day off.

On 15th of My a Lesser Yeallowlegs was found from Lohja, just an hour from Helsinki. I took Vilma and together we went to see the bird. We arrived to the place about 1,5 hours after the last update which said that the bird is still there. A long walk from the car and we arrived to the place. Vilma sat on a ground and I asked where i the bird. Firs people just mumbled something about the bird and then somebody said that it is gone.. Great! I started to look the place and birds but mostly there was Wood Sandpipers, some Ringed Plovers, Temmink´s Stints, Spotted Redshanks, Greenshanks etc..
I was really disappointed.. Only sixth record for Finland. Thank god I have seen one in Lempäälä back in 2008. On our way back home I saw a Cuckoo from the car. It was only new tick for the year that day.

Lesser Yellowlegs place.

On 17th I was coming back from work with my bicycle and in Malmi I noticed a familiar call. A Red-breasted Flycatcher was calling near the road. Always nice to see these.
I was still cycling back home when I saw few large flocks of Geese migrating high in the sky. One flock went little lower and I had two Brent Geese with lots of Barnacles geese! New for the year again!
I came home and clearly Barnacle Geese had the day. I started to count the birds and in one and a  half hours i had 27 flocks of Barnacle Geese and in total that was 6555 birds, two Brent Geese and star bird of the day, Red-breasted Goose migrating in a flock of 260 Barnacles!
I was tired after work, but that is one of those spectacles you want to see!
Big numbers of Geese went that day in many points in Finland and some places counted over 100 000 geese in one stay. That is real hardcore birdwatching!

6555 of these in one moment near my house. Amazing.

Later that day I started also a new project. More of that later.

18th of May we had local Maunula day and lots of stuff in the park near our house.

19th I went to work again and there I had my first Arctic Skua for the year. Normally I have 1-3 birds every year from there. Next morning I was driving back home and when I was standing in traffic lights I noticed a dark bird flying above me. I raised my binos which I always have in my car, and BOOM! Must be a Pomarine Skua!
I parked my car and tried to see more details of the bird. Tail was clear, like a spoon and long. Bird was light morph and I clearly saw the whitish underparts, brownish chest band and whitish throat. Some gulls were harassing it and the wingspan was about a same with Herring Gull. So very big bird. I send the alarm message and then continued to home to have some sleep.

20th of May we had red morning in Kaivopuisto.

Spring is here. From my backyard.

Yesterday (23th) I had great time with my wife Sanni and after long breakfast we walked around the local central park. Lots of birds singing and I spotted some Wood Warblers, Common White Throats, Ichterine Warbler and Blyth´s Reed Warbler.
Totally we walked about 6km.
In the afternoon we had Vilmas season ending party at the nursery and they had some awesome dancing shows with other kids!

Yellow flowers.

The stream which I visited more often at winter time to see the Dippers. More green coming every day. 

Not much bird photos, but at least something. Next weekend off, so maybe something coming.


15. toukokuuta 2017

Weekend in Vääksy 13.5.-14.5.2017

So we visited Sanni´s mother in Vääksy and what a great weekend we had. We took Sanni´s four year old niece with us and arrived to Vääksy before noon yesterday. Before we left I checke some local bird sightings and my main target was Red Knot which was found few days earlier near my mother in laws place. Inland observations of Red Knots are very rare and this was also quite early individual.
When we arrived the bird was easy to see from a little pier.

Red Knot.

My Swarowski and the place. 

So, very good stroller tick for me! Also around 30 Yellow Wagtails were quite impressive sight. Later girls went to bed and I continued to Pirppula shore to look if some migrants would show up, and they did.
Almost first bird I found was smart looking Blue Throat. Bird was hiding under a rowboat and was impossible to photograph.. Good bird anyway. Also lots of Willow Warbler, some Pied Flycatchers, Great-spotted Woodpeckers, calling Great Bittern, some Common Sandpipers, Wood Sandpipers, Little Gulls, Red-breasted Grebe along many Crested Grebes and male Marsh Harrier.

Male Pied Flycatcher.

Female Grea-spotted Woodpecker going into her nest. 

Willow Warbler.
Later evening we had more relatives visiting us and we had good time inside and outside.

Vilma having a good time outside.

Sunset from my mother in laws balcony. 

Today I had some time to spend with birds and I went to check if the Red Knot would show up little bit better. I arrived there and watched the bird with my scope when it took off and landed after long flight. I went to look at it, but nothing... I saw few Wood Sandpipers leaving, so maybe it went with those. While searching the bird I found my first Spotted Flycatcher of the year, but nothing else.. I left after 45 minutes search. Three Lesser Whitethroats calling around the area too.
Little bit later I checked Pirppula again and wanted to see if even more birds has arrived. Nothing really interesting in the bushes, but eight Willow Warblers in one tree was nice. Same pair of G-S Woodpeckers in the area and lone Pied Flycatcher.
I started to look the lake and I knew that today many Black Terns has arrived to Finland. I saw a small flock of Little Gulls, but nothing with them. I scanned the water and maybe ten minutes later I found it. A lone Black tern was flying very low towards South-West and it was clearly migrating. It didn´t care about other birds, it just continued and soon disappeared into the thermal ripple. Bird was adult and had clearly a whitish tail, black head and uniform light grey upper parts.
Always nice to see these. I don´t have many records in Finland of Black Terns, but in Estonia I have seen hundreds.

Peacock Butterfly.

There it was. Place where I saw the Black Tern.

Good stuff and new birds for the year list. Red Knot was stroller tick number 217!
Tomorrow I take Vilma and we will cycle to somewhere to watch some birds, so more posts coming soon.


12. toukokuuta 2017

Nice day with some rarities. 12.5.2017

I started my day from Vanhankapunginlahti. Yesterday I planed to go to Maari tower, but I changed my mind. Of course a Great Egret was there and I still need it to my year list. I checked the Citrine Wagtail place, but nothing. Only two calls from Spotted Crake, some Swifts and two Marsh Harriers. I continued my walking towards Lammassaari and finally I arrived to the tower. Place was empty and not much birds, if you don´t count Barnacle Geese.

Part of the big flock of Barnacle Geese. 
Only few Ruffs, some Ringed Plovers, Redshanks, Common Snipes, Meadow Pipits, Grey Herons etc. Best animal was definitely this Roe Deer in small island in front of the Lammassaari.

Roe Deer.

Grey Heron.

I left and walked back to Citrine Wagtail place. After few minutes I had two Bearded Reedlings near the platform and finally the Citrine Wagtail gave me a flyby.
Also a tame Wood Sandpiper gave me a good pose and first Sedge Warbler started to sing just before I Left.

Wood Sandpiper.
Same bird.
Reed Bunting.

While I was there I noticed a message of local Pallid Harrier in Vuosaari and that was my next destination. I parked my car and started to walk towards Vuosaari hill where the bird was seen. During my walk I had Male Black Redstart near the parking lot, but it disappeared before I got my camera ready.. So I walked to the main scoping place and there Ilpo Mutikainen and another guy told me that bird was seen flying and then landing somewhere. I waited and Ville Supponen came little bit after me. It took about half a minute and Ville found the Harrier flying near us. I took several pictures, but most of them are real crap.. Focusing a bird with back round of woods made it very hard. Here is few photos of the bird.

Pallid Harrier.

Pallid Harrier.

Pallid Harrier.

Pallid Harrier.

So, the bird is second year female. Feel free to comment if I´m wrong.
I texted to Tyron who lives in Vuosaari that when ever he has time, he should visit the hill and check the bird. Fortunately he was at home with hes daughter Ella and they both came to the hill and saw it.
Even bigger surprise was White Stork which passed the hill migrating East. I was looking at it and same time Tyron came with Ella and he saw the Stork too! Great birdwatching I´d say.
I also saw two Adders at the hill and few Goshawks. Migration was very slow and that´s why seeing a Stork was mega surprise.

Record shot of the White Stork.

Scenery from Hill.

Male Adder.

So, what a day. Some rarities and other quality birds in one day is quite a rare for me.
Tomorrow we will drive to Vääksy and visit Sanni´s mother. It is good for Vilma to see her grandmother and good for us to leave the city and calm down in a quiet place. Maybe some birding there too.
Thanks for the company Ilpo, Tyron, Ville, Leo, Tuula and others I met today.


11. toukokuuta 2017

New spring birds with Vilma 11.5.2017

Day off from work, so Vilma was home with me. We headed to Vanhankaupunginlahti to see if we could find new spring migrants. Also a local Citrine Wagtail and Penduline Tit were interesting, both new to my stroller list if we could find them.
Everybody knows that with kids you really don´t have early mornings, so it was already nine a clock when we arrived to the vanhankaupunginlahti. Willow Warbler was singing with tens of Chaffinches, Black birds and other thrushes.
We walked to Pornaistenniemi and it took me about five minutes to find the Penduline Tit! A lone bird called first few times and then I saw it sitting on a reed just before it disappeared. Bird was possibly female, because of quite narrow mask. First stroller tick in my bag! I tried to find the bird for a while, but nothing, so we went to the pornaistenniemi tower.
Lone Sand Martin in small flock of  Common House Martins, about 10 Common Swifts flying over the bay, two Marsh Harriers, some Grey Herons, Reed Buntings, calling Great Bittern and singing Reed Warbler. I had to watch Vilma all the time, because she is always very interested about stairs and you can only imagine what happens when you let one year old try to go down alone.

Vilma running in Pornaistenniemi tower.

From the tower we continued towards Lammassaari. There was new very wide path and we tried it, but it ended very soon. We left the stoller and walked the boardwalks towards Lammassaari. I let Vilma walk but carefully watched from her back. All went well until she fell and hit her upper lip. We had some lap time and Vilma was okay very soon. Lesser Whitethroat was new year tick from boardwalks. Walking back too forever, but we made it. Sun was shining all the time so it was good walk.

Vilma and nice scenery. 

We went again towards the tower we already visited and this time we checked the public hide near it.
First I found Wood Sandpiper near the path and got some decent photos of it.

Wood Sandpiper.

Same bird, different light.

In the hide we had Coot, some Reed Buntings, callign Bittern again and more Wood Sandpipers.

Outside the hide.

Inside the hide. 

We were walking near the tower when I heard a call which had to be Citrine Wagtails. In few seconds I found the bird flying over the reeds going towards Lammassaari. A male Citrine Wagtail! What a nice ending for our trip. Soon we left and checked the grove near by but nothing but three Blackcaps and Chaffinches around.

Beautiful woods.

Male Blackcap.

That is some serious nesting material.

Vilma was super tired, so we headed to the car and back home for a nap.
Great morning. Tomorrow I will go to Maari tower again, so new post coming soon.
At home I noticed that Citrine Wagtail was also a new stroller tick so two new ones today.


6. toukokuuta 2017

Great day in Maari tower. 5.5.2017

After I dropped Vilma to her daycare I decided to visit Maari tower in Espoo. I knew that there was some waders around earlier days, but you never know what happens when you go there late.
I arrived at 8.45am and quite a lot of people in the tower. I noticed Jani Ceder and few other common faces.
The meadow was huge because water level was quite low. Ruffs, Wood Sandpipers, Temmink´s Stints, Bar-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshanks, Redshanks, Greenshanks, both ringed Plovers, Common Sandpiper etc. Great start! This was also one of those rare days when I really had time to watch birds.
Morning was cold, but when the sun raised the temperature started to rise. Some flocks of Golden Plovers, migrated and during the day we had about 130 birds going. Also raptors gave us a good show today. Hen Harrier, Merlin, Hobbys, Kestrels, Goshawk, Sparrowhawks, Osprey, two Rough-legged Buzzards, three Common Buzzards and the bird of the day, Greater Spotted Eagle!
Eagle was originally spotted from Vuosaari and it was seen from Viikki, Kumpu and Malminkartano before it passed us in Espoo. I had real luck there, because Vilmas daycare time was going to end very soon and I had to leave. I was able to watch this majestic birds for five minutes before I had to run.
Later the guys saw also two White-storks which came from the same route from East to West.
Other great bird worth to mention was long staying Cinnamon Teal. Interesting species which is normally sent to category E, so likely escape. Anyway very rare bird in wild and only few records in Finland. I have sen one in Estonia back in 2003!

13 new year ticks and lots of nice moments.
All the photos taken through my scope with my phone.

Bar-tailed Godwit.

Temmink´s Stints.

Cinnamon Teal from 1km distance.

Common Sandpiper.

Thanks for the company Jani, Petteri, Tuula, Antti, Leo and others. Great day.