26. huhtikuuta 2019

Eastern in Hartola. 19.4-22.4.2019

From 19th to 22nd we had nice long weekend in Hartola with my family. We had lots of good food and sauna, with some butterflies and birds.
Most of the days we just enjoyed the sun, had few beverages and relaxed, but on 21st I took Vilma with me and first we tried to twitch a local King Fisher, but without any luck. Place was full of birds and I got some Black-throated Divers, Great-crested and Red-necked Grebes, calling Chiffchaff and Few Green Sandpipers.

Red-necked Grebes

Woods from our terrace.

Distant Greater Curlew with too much heat shimmer. 

Later that day we also twitched Rustic Bunting, and this time we had even little luck with us, cause I heard the bird well. I spent almost an hour there and bird stayed in the woods calling many times. Soon Vilma started to be little bored and cranky, so we left back to the summerhouse. This was my second Rustic for the year and cause it is rapidly decreasing I will try to see these as much as possible.

It was so warm that even roe deer was in the shade. 

Male Bullfinch.

And female Bullfinch. 

Last night in Hartola was clearly the best for moths and next morning I found lots of those around our cottage walls. Here is few species from the wall.

Brachionycha nubeculosa.

Left, Achlya flavicornis. Right, Lycia Hirtaria and top Cerastis Leucographa.

Very good weekend with some new birds for the year and great start for the butterfly season. Thanks for the company Sanni, kids and my mother. I bet I will spend time in Hartola this summer, cause I will have paternal leave for 6 weeks later in August.

On our way back we stopped to visit Sanni´s mother in Vääksy and there I had migrating looking Red-throated Diver during the drive and most awesome food, again.


23. huhtikuuta 2019

Boat ride 17.4.2019

On 17th I met my friend Timo at the Herttoniemi and together we went to pick up his new boat. We had plans to ride around the close by island around Helsinki and we had awesome three hours with some learning to ride with the new boat and taking pictures from wobbly boat. My pictures are bad most of the time, but this time those are really bad and I felt hard to find anything to publish.
We had nice set of species including Shelduck, Rock Pipit, tens of Black Guillemots, hundreds of Eiders, small flock of four Brent Geese and stuff. Sun was shining and we had great time.

Black Guillemot.

Common Eiders.

Common Eiders.

Harmaja lighthouse.

We visited near Katajaluoto, Harmaja and Kuivasaari and then we slowly ride towards Herttoniemi through Tammisalo channel and near Santahamina. Small flock of Tufted Ducks near Santahamina with Red-breasted Mergansers etc.

Great day and thanks to Timo for taking me with him. Lots of new species for the year list.


16. huhtikuuta 2019

More spring birds and some stroller ticks. 16.4.2019

Working and applying to new work recently.. My birding has been standing outside with the kids and having something during the playground stuff.

On 12th I twitched a pair of Tundra Swans from Pikku-Huopalahti, Helsinki. It was easy twitch even without any optics. Also Great-crested Grebes and loads of other common stuff around. Tundra Swan was a new stroller tick and it was good to have it, cause they area already gone and next change is maybe spring 2020..
On 13th we were having great time at the local playground when I noticed a "tick" sound coming from a small bird which was flying very low. I always carry my binoculars and I was pretty surprised that I was looking male Rustic Bunting coming close to us. Bird continued over the playground and I never saw it landing. Rustic Bunting is declining rapidly and seeing these here was really incredible! This was my second record of this species in this decade. Last time was in Espoo 2013.

Today I had pleasant walk with Julius, who was sleeping all the time again! We started from Latokartano and then checked the Viikki fields and we ended up in Vanhankaupunginlahti where we had nice time with lots of common birds and even few less common too.
Bird of the day was definitely Black-tailed Godwit. Gorgeous bird in breeding plumage was a real candy for my eyes. Shame it was in distance of 250m or so.

Reed Bunting male.

European Hare.


Great-crested Grebe. 

Male Smew.

White Wagtail. 

Anyway during my stay there I had flock of seven Curlews, two Smews, loads of Grey Herons, Marsh Harrier, Stock Doves, Teals, Greylag Geese etc. Also some butterflies around including "Archiearis parhenias", "Gonepteryx rhamni", "Callophrys rubi" and "Nymphalis antiopa"

Reed Bunting was my year tick number 100 and now I have 103 after this trip.

Grey Herons.

Archiearis parhenias.

Black-tailed Godwit from distance. 

Tomorrow I will go for an boat ride with my friend, so more birding tomorrow.


5. huhtikuuta 2019

Viikki fields and stuff with Julius 4.4.2019

Yesterday I had very pleasant walk with my son Julius in Viikki fields and surrounding areas. Julius was in stroller and basically he slept the whole time we were walking around for two hours.
Lots of birds in the area and I noticed that Thrushes have arrived. I had all five basic species of Thrush today (Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Redwing and Fieldfare). Tens of Skylarks singing and few Wagtails feeding in short grass. I picked many new species to my year list from the fields, including Common Ringed Plover, Common Redhank and Redwing.
I remember that I was thinking about Black Redstart something when I passed that famous red barn in the middle of the fields and there it was, a Black Redstart! Funny situation I thought and I forwarded the info about the bird into our alarm system. This species is always nice to find and it is one of those rare breeders in Finland.

Common Ringed Plovers.

Eurasian Skylark.

Backlit Black Redstart. Female or young male. 

I continued towards Viikki arboretum and I walked through the forest near by. I had Greater-spotted Woodpecker and always nice Grey-headed Woodpecker. I checked the bay from Hakalanniemi, but nothing interesting there.. Maybe a Goshawk for mention something.
I walked to Purolahti and there I had quite early Little Ringed Plover, loads of Eurasian Teals and some Canada Geese. Also lone White-tailed Eagle passed the area and went towards NE.

Distant White-tailed Eagle. 

Very distant Little Ringed Plover. 

I went back the same route and this time I found a pair of Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers from Hakala forest. Male was drumming and female did everything to ignore the male. Let´s hope they will breed there somewhere near. Pair of Stock Doves in the area too.
I stopped to the barn again, but no Black Redstart anymore. Also Julius woke up there, so we walked back home pretty soon after that.

Lesser-spotted Woodpecker. 

Great two and a half hours today of quality birds and sunshine. Roughly 40 species today and almost forgot to mention, that Black Redstart was my stroller tick number #230!


3. huhtikuuta 2019

Slow birding in Latokartano area. 27.3-30.3.2019

Recently my birding has been walking the near by areas in Viikki. With the pace I´v been working, does not really give you much more options...
On 27th we were in playground near by with kids and during the time there I was able to look around. Many Woodpigeons has arrived, flock of Tree Sparrows, some migrating Geese etc. Not much to tell but clearly it is spring here. Can´t wait to have few days off and time to visit Viikki fields and the whole bay area.

Male Mallard.

Female Mallard.


On 30th we had my mother with us and together we visited the horse stables near by. Cause there is horses, that normally means that there could be some birds too. I found few Yellowhammers, Linnets, big numbers of singing Green Finches, some Siskins and calling Grea-spotted Woodpecker.
On our way to pizzeria I noticed lone Starling with some Fieldfares and also lone male Chaffinch was feeding on short grass.

Distant Starling.

Chaffinch male. 

Funny looking Blue-billed Mallard was in our pond.

Pizza was good and I´m sure that we will visit there again.
Funny male mallard in our pond near by. That is all.. Maybe some proper birding later.