23. toukokuuta 2018

Quality birding in Espoo. 21.5.2018

On 21st I dropped Vilma to daycare and headed to Maari bird tower in Espoo. I arrived just after 8 a clock and there I as surprised that there was only Touko Torppa, Jani Ceder an Hannu Ruotsalainen in the tower. I checked the meadow and I found three Temminck´s Stints, some Ruffs, Redhanks etc. Stints were new to my year list. Very soon after I arrived an alarm came of an female Red-crested Pochard from Elfvik tower. Distance from Maari to Elfvik is about one kilometer and little bit more when you go with car or a bike.
Others wen to twitch the bird, but I wanted to stay and wait if I can see it from Maari. I regularly checked if the bird would came in open and visible, but nothing in first hour. Boys came back and told that bird was showing well from that other tower. I was not worrying and my waiting paid the price when me and Hannu Palojärvi, who also twitched the bird earlier noticed it swimming with Mallards just behind the last reeds. Nice bird and new species for the tower. Here is a very poor record shot of the Pochard. Taken trough my telescope and distance of 1000m.

Female Red-crested Pochard from 1000m. 

My only real bird photo from the tower. Sedge Warbler singing.

Scopes and tower. 

View from tower to the bay. 

The atmosphere was relaxed and calm after we found the bird and more people came to the tower. We had few Honey Buzzards, a single Hobby, some Ospreys, Kestrel etc migrating and not too many birds on the meadow. Still I got some new species on my year list including that Hobby and Honey B, Little ringed Plover, Water Rail and finally when I was walking to my car, a Spotted Crake near the road walking in the reeds and it disappeared very quickly.

On 22nd I spend lots of time outside with Vilma. Our backyard is amazing because there is lots of flowering apple trees. Vilma like pink color and ques what color are the flowers :)

Also some birds around singing Garden Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, lots of Common Swifts and Fieldfares around. Vilma likes every animal and wants to stroke every Squirrel and European Hare in our backyard. Shame that the animals are little shy for this.

Flock of Barnacle Geese migrating over our house.

Apple tree flowers. 

Anemone Nemorosa from our yard.

Vilma showing me some Common Swifts.

Vilma and apple trees.

My two week summer vacation started this week and after that I will spend 3 weeks on parental leave. Baby is coming in a week and second, hectic baby period coming into our family.

Yesterday an Scops Owl was found from Lammi, and that is interesting record. Only one previous bird in Finland back in 2011. I twitched that first on, but for some reason I´d like to go again. Maybe it stays a month calling every night, likethe last one.


16. toukokuuta 2018

Hamnskär, Loviisa 14.5.2018

So, on early morning of 14th I was driving to Kotka where I was meeting some other twitchers and together we tried to find the White-winged Lark again.
The boat started at 8.30am and it took little bit over an hour to get in Hamnskär which was the place.
During the ride we had three Arctic Skuas, a flock of Greater Scaups, lots of Divers (both species) and some Razorbills.
From the boat we had to use smaller rubber boat but everything went well and we all landed in to that beautiful island.

Our ride. 

We walked to the place where the lark was seen yesterday, a memorial for submarine accident with costed many lives back in 1917.
No bird and soon we decided to walk around the island and try to find it that way.
Island was full of birds and lots of arctic migration passed very near.

Flock of Black-throated Divers. 

Telescope and sea.

We walked about 45minutes but nothing.. Common Rose finch was singing, Dunlin was sleeping near by, lots of Velvet Scooters and Black Guillemots around.

Always nice to see these Guillemots. Not so easy in Helsinki area.

Suddenly I noticed a small bird sitting on a bush of small tree. I saw that Pasi and Esa were watching it. They were in backlit side, so they saw only dark bird, but no details. I was in better side and noticed little bit yellow in its bill, all grey color etc. I yelled that this must be a Corn Bunting!!
What a feeling. Not the birds we were looking at but very rare bird and it was self found.

Phonescope photo of the Corn Bunting.

And again.

This photo shows the bill and head pattern. 

Soon the bird flew and it was found from another tree. and I was ready to look the lark again. Later we gathered near the memorial but again no Lark... and soon our ride told us that we have to leave, so he can do some other businesses.


When we left we made a deal with the driver that he would stop near the Appskär, where is possibly only Common Guillemot colony in this part of Baltic sea.
After 10 minutes we slowly passed the islet where the colony stands and what a sight it was. Most of the birds were Razorbills, but we found at least 10 Common Guillemots.

Common Guillemot.

Islet full of birds. 

Islet full of birds.

Common Guillemots and Razorbills.

Auk frenzy. 


Rest of the ride people just sat there quietly and looked happy, even without the White-winged Lark.
I must thank all the members of the trip, Matti Mäkelä, Esa Mäkelä, Sinikka Lonka, Timo Sahi, Pasi Alanko, Arvo Ohtonen, Hannu Ruotsalainen, Tarmo Lehtilä, Teo Ylätalo, Kari Pitkänen and Leo Wallinmaa. What a day we had. Self found Corn Bunting, what a bird.
Loads of year tick for me and my number is around 150 now.


Family trip to Suomenoja, backyard birding and quick visit to Viikki 11.5-13.5.2018

On 11th I had some pleasant time with my family in Suomenoja area. Place is full of birds and we also saw nice variety of species.
Vilma was walking by her self all the time and we also had some packed lunch with us.
Gadwalls, Moorhens, Sedge Warblers, Common Pochards, Showelers etc in the area and of course a noisy colony of Black-headed Gulls flying around the lake.

Adult Black-headed Gull landing into its nest.

Hide and seek with Common Moorhen.

Smart looking male Common Pochard. Bird of the year in Finland this time.

Gadwall male.

First Sedge Warbler for the year. This male was singing all the time. 

Hooded Crows dancing in mud. 

We also saw a most wanted bird of the area when Slavonian Grebe passed us and landed quite near. This is the place to see it in capital region.

Slavonian Grebe and female Showeler.

Also first Grass snake for the year. Vilma was excited! 

Lots of fun and nice weather. Place is just big enough to spend two hours there with you family.

Next day I took my camera where ever we went and most of the day I spend with Vilma in outdoors. Here is few photos of very common birds. All taken in our backyard. We had great time and Vilma was swinging all the time.

Fieldfare and nest.

Blue Tit.

Female Domestic Sparrow.

On 13th we had to drive Sanni to hospital emergency because she had so bad allergic reaction. While she was there together with Vilma we went to check some birds in Viikki.
Some new year ticks, good weather and time together was the best in that day.

Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Willow Warbler.

Marsh Harrier and Hooded Crow.
Also small Northern Pike with Vilma.

At the same day a White-winged Lark was found by Heikki Ropponen and I was anxious to go there. Bird was in a island, maybe 30min from Porvoo, but it was mothers day, Sanni is pregnant etc. Some times you just have to wait the next day and Later that evening I got a place from boat which was going in that island next morning. More of that later.