25. toukokuuta 2019

Terek Sandpiper 22.5.2019

On 21st Antti Mikala found Terek Sandpiper from Laajalahti, Espoo. I was working when the info came and next morning (22nd) while I was driving Vilma to daycare I got info that the bird is still there.
I dropped Vilma and went straight to Espoo to twitch this very rare wader. There is around ten records from capital area in 2000s, so good species.
When I arrived there was few people in the tower and we all enjoyed nice views of the bird, which was feeding near the tower. I saw my first Terek Sandpiper back in 2013, so it was nice to catch up with this bird. I also had one Broad-billed Sandpiper there with many Redshanks, lone Ruff and Wood Sandpipers. Here is few photos of the bird.

Terek Sandpiper.

Terek Sandpiper.

Terek Sandpiper.

on 23rd I had nice migration of Barnacles from work and I counted over thousand birds in short period of time and the highlight of the day was Golden Oriole, which I flushed from the ground. Did not expect that at all. On 24th I had my first Osprey of the year, finally.. Funny how some species so common can be so hard to see. Also two Caspian Terns and over a thousand Barnacles again.
Here is photo of the Broad-billed Sand.

Very distant bird, but Broad-billed Sandpiper.

More birding next week. We are heading to my friends wedding this weekend and Monday I promised to my friend that I can show some birds to his son, who is interested about birds.


20. toukokuuta 2019

Pied Avocet with friends 17.5.2019

On 17th I took Vilma and together we went to Kurkimäki (area near by) to visit a little children´s festival called Kurkijamit. There was a famous duo from our everyday children´s TV-show called Pikkukakkonen. We met my friend Tyron there and he had his daughter Ella with him. Together we watched the show and girls played together. During the time in the park I had info that a local Pied Avocet was hanging on Kallvik beach, only few kilometers from the park we were. Cause we both wanted to see the bird, it was easy to lure the girls there and tick the bird at the same time.
We arrived to the Kallvik and there was already loads of twitched around. Avocet is pretty common rarity in Finland, but somehow it is really rare in Helsinki. I checked the Tiira-system later and there is only even records in 2000´s from here. Bird was feeding actively when we arrived and after little nap it continued eating and moved along the shore in a small area. Here is few pictures of this beautiful wader. I was also lucky cause Tyron had stroller for Ella and we borrowed those to get the stroller tick for me. Vilma was kind enough to sit there for that little moment.

Underwater food market. 

Bird walked on the beach too. Bad picture but beautiful bird and it had some rings too! 

Pied Avocet. 

What a stunner. 

Kallvik beach. 

Kallvik peninsula, where the beach lays is a great place for birds. Last winter I got the King Eider from there and there is good sightings reasonably often.
This bird was actually first seen couple of days ago in Kouvola, about 130km Northeast from Helsinki and later same day bird continued and was relocated from Espoo. Color rings on its legs maybe reveal something later and I heard that there is few ringing projects with this species in Europe.


16. toukokuuta 2019

Green-winged Teal 15.5.2019

I have been working my ass off lately so no much birding in past week or so. On 11th I twitched a female European Stonechat from Viikki. Bird was showing nicely for a moment and then I ride to work with my bicycle.
Yesterday, on 14th I had nice light morph Arctic Skua from work and same time I added Blue Throat and Common Whitethroat to my year list. Nice stuff and clearly some kind of migration going.
Today on 15th I was at home ready for some shopping I promised to Sanni when I noticed an alarm of Green-winged Teal in Vanhankaupunginlahti. I told to Sanni that Green-winged Teal is a rare bird and there is only a handful of records from Helsinki.
In an hour we were walking that famous wooden path towards Lammassaari where the bird was seen. Lots of birds during the walk and got Common Rosefinch to my list with Eurasian Reed Warbler before we arrived to the tower.

Common Rosefinch through my telescope. 

There was only one duck lying near the tower and that was the Green-winged Teal. Crazy how easy it is some times. Bird was sleeping, but showed clearly that vertical stripe and no markings of horizontal stripe, which often can be seen in hybrid birds. Head markings were really good for Green-winged and overall bird looked nice and pure yank.
I only got pictures of sleeping bird, but it is better than nothing, right!

Green-winged Teal.

Green-winged Teal.

I must thank Sanni and Julius for company and patience. This was only my second record of this species in Finland and fifth or sixth for Helsinki, so still good rarity here.


9. toukokuuta 2019

Citrine Wagtail with Julius. 8.5.2019

It was time for some Lammasaari birding again and together with Julius we headed there just around midday. I parked and we walked first into a grove which was full of songbirds. Wood Warblers were noisy and at least three males singing around the area. Robins, Song Thrushes, Redwings and Willow Warblers with Chaffinches made the most of the noise. Julius was sleeping so I had time to enjoy this concert. We continued towards Pornaistenniemi tower and near that I had pair of Wigeon and pair of Gadwall, smart looking birds both.

Wood Warbler.

It was super windy and I had no hope for any singing reed warbler during our walk towards the wooden path to the Lammasaari and I was right, really nothing but Reed Buntings and White Wagtails. From one lookout I had small flock of Little Gulls hunting insects with some terns. Finally arrived to Lammassaari tower and noticed that less birds than yesterday. Ruffs were gone, only few Ringed Plovers, big flock of Barnacle Geese and loads of gulls, terns and Grey Herons. Soon noticed a pair of Whinchats and lone Yellow Wagtail feeding in the meadow, but nothing really interesting. Some people stopped in the tower and we had nice chats about birds ans stuff. At some point two European Roe Deers ran from the Lemmenlehto woods. I was trying some raptor watch, but six Cranes was the best I got. Other birds worth to mention were four Rooks, few Caspian Terns and two Little Gulls.

Roe Deers, male and female.

Whinchat hiding. 

Distant Little Gulls.

Finally after 2,5 hours Julius woke up and we left toward my car. We were walking on the path when I noticed a guy watching something really carefully. I asked if he had something interesting and he really had! Male Citrine Wagtail was standing in the reeds and with patience I found it and saw it nicely. Male birds are always cool to see cause the bright yellow color. This was definitely my birds of the day. We continued and during the walk we got Common Moorhen to my year list and showy Wood Warbler from the same grove where we started our trip.

Common Moorhen.

Citrine Wagtail.

One of my favorite birds. 

Great three hours and after all biding we picked Vilma from daycare and went to get something for Sanni, cause Mother´s day is just around the corner.


7. toukokuuta 2019

Birding with Julius. 7.5.2019

Finally got time for some birding after being sick and joining my friends stag party at my summerhouse.
From Hartola I collected some nice species to my year list and at least Great Bittern, Black Kite and a Hobby are worth to mention.

Black-throated Diver.

Today I went to Lammassaari and Vanhankaupunginlahti area with Julius and got big pile of new species for this year. Blackcap was singing near the parking lot, Sedge Warblers had arrived to the reedbeds and from the reeds I also heard some Reedling calls, which are always pleasure to record. Yellow Wagtail, Lesser Whitethroat, Whinchat and all three Swallow species before I got the to Lammassaari (Sand Martin, House Martin and Barn Swallow).

Leer Whitethroat. 

Common Starling.

From the lower tower which is reachable with stroller I got Ruffs, Caspian Terns, migrating Honey Buzzard, Common and Arctic Terns, some Ringed Plovers, Redshanks, Stock Doves etc. Great time until a big group of noisy kids came to the tower and Julius woke up, obviously... I walked back, but I guess all was seen for the day. Even the Great Reedwarbler, which has been there already a week or so was quiet. Willow Warblers were singing, maybe one or two Chiffchaffs, Tits, Great-spotted Woodpecker and loads of Reed Buntings. Even though our time was relatively short, I had great time with big numbers of birds.

Flock of Barnacle Geese. 

Julius in the house.

Distant Caspian Terns. 

More tomorrow.


Red-breasted Geese in Viikki 2.5.2019

On second of May just before my night shift I twitched four Red-breasted Geese in a big flock of Barnacle Geese. Red-breasted is a good rarity in Finland and mostly seen in flocks of migrating Barnacles. This was my third of fourth record of this species in Finland and always a pleasure to see these.
Here is few poor pictures of the birds from the distance.

Not too easy to find from the flock.

Three of four Red-breasted Geese. 

It was raining all the time and wind was quite harsh, so picture are like this..


1. toukokuuta 2019

Walking with Julius. 29.4.2019

On 29th I had time to go and walk with my boy again, so we took stroller and we headed to check if the Ring Ouzel would show up again on same site only few hundreds meters from our house.
I was twitching the thrush evening before and saw it only briefly, so wanted to get more this time.
There was also few other guys searching the bird, and like many times, I found the bird only minutes after we arrived. It was a male bird with nice pure white half moon shaped crescent. I took many pictures, but mostly what I got was bird in tall grass feeding and only part of the bird showing in the photo.

Ring Ouzel male.

Smart looking bird. 

This was the mot common set-up, bird in tall grass. 

I didn´t want to go near the bird, cause I knew that after I sent an alarm message, there is always people who are interested to twitch and it would be shame if you scare the bird away.
We continued and near the little woods in the middle of the field we found my first Pied Flycatcher for the year. Male bird was looking a birdhouse and even gave us a short song. Also cracking Starling feeding in the grass near by.

Pied Fly male. 

Common Starling.

Common Starling. 

Son after this Julius was sleeping and I continued towards Viikki fields and Vanhankaupunginlahti. During my walk I had big numbers of Linnets everywhere, all common species of Thrushes besides Mistle Thrush, Grey-headed Woodpecker calling, many Great-spotted Woodpeckers and lone Common Buzzard.
I checked the bay, but nothing really interesting. Good numbers of waders, but cause I only had binoculars, it was hard to reach and see what species there actually was. Still I found Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Greater Curlew, both species of Ringed Plovers, Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper.
From Hakala I had Goshawk, Showeler and other common stuff. I almost left, but the alarm of forthcoming Black Kite made me stay, but it turned a bit and went little bit too north for us. Shame, cause it was updated nice after first found from Espoo, then seen from Kumpula, but not from Hakala.
Soon Julius also woke and we had to carry on. I took some photos of nice looking second year Common Gull near our house and we ended our walk after two and a half hours.

Common Gull. 

Great day with 6 new year ticks. Next week I have many days off, so maybe then I have next change to go out and find new birds.