When we were still in Crete an unexpected rarity alarm came to my phone. Red-headed Bunting was reported from Salo, only 120km from Helsinki, where I live. It was only real mega rarity during my time in Greece, but somehow this was special. Days passed and the bird was always found again from that same small area where it was found.
On 25th on flight landed at 2am and after taxi ride back home I took my car, picked my uncle Jände and together we started at 4am from Helsinki to Salo.
In 90 minutes arrived to the site and there was already some people looking for the Bunting. Some familiar faces like Olavi Kemppainen and Pekka Komi were there. We got info that bird was singing just minutes before we came, so thank god it was still there.
Like a minute later I also heard the song and soon we found the bird sitting on a small branch just above the ground.
I got some pictures and short video from that situation. Shame that later the bird did not show that well anymore, so after 30 minutes we decided to leave.
Here is few pictures of this amazingly beautiful and rare bird. I can only imagine how the finder felt when he watched this bird. Bright yellow and reddish brown color combination.. Wow. Also singing Marsh Warbler, many Sedge Warblers and loads of Pheasants around.
|Singing Red-headed Bunting.
|What a beauty. Those colors area really impressive.
First lifer for the year if Finnish rarities committee accepts this as a genuine vagrant. It is clear that there is almost zero cage birds in Europe and those day are over when people carried thousands of Red-headed Buntings from the East. Also this species is so close to Black-headed Bunting and that species is always category-A stuff in Finland.
My opinion, very likely real A-cat rarity which can overshoot the migration and that way end up here by accident. Anyway, third record for Finland! Both birds back in the days are Cat-D.