18. elokuuta 2017

Estonian Open 2017 11.7-13.7.2017

Last weekend I took part to Estonian Open bird race, which is annul in different locations in Estonia.
This years race was in Lääne-Virumaa county and area was pretty unknown for us.
In our team we had My uncle Jände, Matti Rekilä, Gustaf Nordenswan and me. We arrived to Estonia at friday afternoon and after we found our hotel, we had nice dinner nearby. Also lots of race plans were made during the drive to the area and in dinner table.
Race time was 03-17 and we started our race at 03.25 Also there was a kilometer limit (150km) so that made this even harder.
First species for the day was calling Ural Owl. Great species and often pretty hard to hear in this race. Second species was White Stork, standing in its nest. We also had Pygmy Owl, some Thrushes etc during the dark-time.

Sunrise near the Vohtu Country house. 
During the morning we had really nice time, lots of birds, some good, some from the base list. Grey Plovers, Curlew Sandpipers, Bar-tailed Godwits, Long-tailed Duck, Black and Velvet Scoters, lone Black-throated Diver, Grey Wagtails, Kingfisher, White-backed, Middle-spotted and Black Woodpeckers, Common Rosefinch etc.

White Stork in morning light.

Great Egret is common bird in Estonia.

White-backed Woodpecker.

Grey Wagtail.

Grey Wagtail.

Later afternoon is always harder, but we managed to find some nice species like Thrush Nightingale, Sanderling and Sandwich Tern.
When the clock was five in the afternoon we had 125 species on our list. Not bad I think.
In the race ending ceremonies we noticed that our 125 is nothing when comparing to the winning teams total.
Team Takaveto (Margus Ellermaa, Vesa Jouhki, Markus Lampinen, Jari Laitasalo and Jukka Salokangas) had amazing 151 species! Great job guys and congrats!
Our team was on seventh place. I was very happy how we handled the day and more important, we had great time the whole day.
Next morning we had lots of time before our ferry back to Finland, so we twitched Ruddy Shelduck from Paldiski area, near Tallinn. It was only second for me in Estonia, so good species. Other nice birds were many Lesser-spotted Eagles, Male Montagu´s Harrier and big flock of waders in Shelduck place.

Bar-tailed Godwits and Red Knots. 

Ruddy Shelduck! 

I must thank Matti, Gusse and Jände for amazing company and taking me with them into the race. I also thank Mariliis Paal and Uku Paal for making this great event possible every year! Since 2010 I have missed only one race and I hope many more will come in the future.


10. elokuuta 2017

Butterfly weekend in Hartola summerhouse. 4.8-7.8.2017

Last weekend we had great three nights in Hartola, our summerhouse with my family and mother.
Most of the time the weather was bad, but when it was not, I went outside to look around.
Lots of Butterflies and some Dragonflies near the cottage and I spent lots of time there.
Here is some photos from there.

Lesser Marbled Fritellary. (Brenthis Ino)

Second brood Map Butterfly (Araschinia Levana) 

High Brown Fritillary (Argynnis Adippe)

Essex Skipper (Thymelicus Lineola)

Arran Brown (Erebia Ligea)

Ringlet (Aphantopus Hyperantus)

When I walked more further I noticed this amazing Silver-washed Fritellary flying from flower to another.
Silver-washed Fritellary (Argynnis Paphia)

Same individual. 

Very good looking butterfly.

We also collected a lot of blue, raspberries and some mushrooms (Chanterelle).
Some dragonflies around too and I saw at least these species.

Immature male Common Spreadwing (Lestes Sponsa)

Male Beautiful Demoiselle. (Colopteryx Virgo)

Female Beautiful Demoiselle (Colopteryx Virgo)

Female Moustached Darter (Sympetrum Vulgatum)

Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula Quadrimaculata)

Brown Hawker (Aeshna Grandis)

female Black Darter (Sympetrum Danae)

It seems that area is much better for insects than birds. I drove to the known place and found Capercaillie about 10km from our summerhouse. Bird left from the road when I drove and noticed it little bit too late. Other birds during the weekend were Common Cranes, Some Whinchats, Common Whitethroats, adults and juv Hobbys, Grey Heron, Common Buzzard etc. Not much.

Common Cranes.

Only lifer this weekend came from the butterfly family when I spotted at least three of these!

Maybe the worst photo of Hornet Moth ever (Sesia Apiformis), but there it is. 

I was surprised how big these Hornet Moths are. Great find.
Around 30 species of Butterflies, 8 species of Dragonflies etc this time.
Thanks for the company Sanni, Vilma and my mother.
This upcoming weekend we are going to the Estonia and it is time for this years Estonian Open bird race. Wish us luck!


3. elokuuta 2017

Last days in Sardinia and summary 28.7-2.8.2017

Already back home.. Great vacation in Sardinia and here is few pictures from the last few days we spend there. Mostly I had only my tourist mode on, but I managed to see dark morph Eleonora´s Falcon flying North from Maria pina beach!

Beautiful sunset in Alghero harbor. 

Long-tailed Blue in Alghero city.

So our last morning was yesterday and I woke up at 6.30am. I went to check the nearby forest, but it was totally dead. Only one singing Blackcap, few Chaffinches, Firecrest, Splender-billed Gull and lots of Sardinian Warblers.
I noticed a field like area other side of the main road and went to look that area. Some Spanish Sparrow flocks, lone Hoopoe, Stonechat and nice surprise, Eurasian Stone-curlew!
Place looked really dead but it was full of birds. After Stone-curlew I had three Kestrels, two Sparrowhawks and Buzzard.
On my way back I had to take one photo of the most common bird here, Sardinian Crow (Corvus Corone Sardonius). These Crows are smaller and more slender than in Finland. In flight it looks more like a Woodpecker than Crow.
Our plane was on time and it left from Fertilia airport at 11.35 am and we were back home about four hours later.

Eurasian Stone-curlew.

Male Spanish Sparrow.

Sardinian Crow.


Great island for birdwaching, but maybe in other month than July. I guess May and later maybe August-September are great there.
I missed one of my targets which was Corsican Finch. It can be found in one area in Sardinia and it´s much easier in Corsica Island.
Totally I had 66 species which is pretty good when you are birding alone and you travel with your family.
New lifers for me were Tyrrhenian Spotted Flycatcher, Balearic Woodchat Shrike, Moltoni´s Warbler and Marmora´s Warbler. With first two I have to wait until next year when they got the full species status.
Other nice birds for me were Red Kites, Red-creasted Pochards, Griffin Vultures and that lone Eleonora´s Falcon.
I can recommend Alghero for holiday, but nothing really special there. Old town is beautiful and has violent, colorful history. People are nice, but only about 10% speaks English.
Cagliari, Bosa and Porto Torres were nice and worth to visit, especially Cagliari and Bosa. Yesterday morning I red that there was fifth Little Swift for Italy in Cagliari day after we were there.

Next weekend we are spending in our Summerhouse and I will try to post something from there.