16. helmikuuta 2020

Snowy Owl. 16.2.2020

I was spending normal Sunday morning with my family when I noticed an alarm message of Snowy Owl from our alarm system. I knew that yesterday someone had seen this species in Kouvola area, but I still was surprised that it was found again.
Sanni was super, like she normally is and let me go and I was driving only 30minutes after the bird was found.
It was one of the longest hour and forty minutes in my life and when I arrived to the road where the bird was seen I was sure that this can´t be the right place. It looked like shopped forest and some small cliffs, but that was all, until I arrived to the right place where was small field. I was still driving when I saw the Owl from the car and dude, it was huge! I continued and parked where the other twitchers were and started to look the bird.
It was sitting on a branch the whole 25 minutes I spend there and most of the time it looked our group and then trimmed his/hers feathers. It was a good thing cause when birds take care of the feathers, normally they are in good condition.

There are few different opinions of the age and sex of the bird.
I think that the bird was a female, maybe third calendar year bird, and this is only based on lack of dark areas in feathers, huge size and feeling. Few people were talking about little bit older male, but not really a old enough to get pure white outfit. I have troubles to believe that, but like in many things, I´m not an expert.
We kept nice distance to the bird so everyone could see the bird and it won´t disappear too soon.

After 25 minutes I left and drove straight to home and we took our kids with their cousins to activity park in Ruoholahti and we had good time there. Vilma and Julius were so tired and took maybe 10 minutes to get them to bed after supper.
Here is few pictures of the bird.

Snowy Owl.

What a beast. It was a size of a small eagle. 

Bird this rare attracts people. You can see a small white dot in a tree, that was the bird. 

So, one of my dream come true birds today, amazing feeling. I didn´t really expect this coming. I tried to twitch this species once from Kokkola, but no success and now like 5 years later I finally got it. Normally twitching does not give me that kind of euphoria feeling, but today it came, like big time. Wow.
First, but hopefully not the last lifer for the year.


15. helmikuuta 2020

Cycling around. 15.2.2020

Today I had time to go out and I took my bicycle and made about 7km tour around Vanhankaupunginlahti and close by places.
I started just after sunrise and my first stop was in Majavakallio where I took a look of the Vanhankaupunginlahti water area. Before that I had Great-grey Shrike at Viikki fields.  Most of the bay was frozen and only few birds around. Celebrity White-tailed Eagles around and one bird was sitting on a nest. There is now breeding attempt in Vanhankaupunginlahti and I hope all goes well. Place is in small island where normally we have tens of Grey Heron nests, so let´s see what happens.
Grey-headed Woodpecker took of from a tree when I arrived to the place and I had time to watch it in flight when it headed towards Lammassaari.

Island where White-tailed Eagles planned to nest.

Lone Eagle at the nest behind the Mute Swan flock.

I continued towards Fastholma where I knew a feeder and some nice records like White-backed Woodpecker, Nuthatch etc.
I met Aki Aintila and his better half? and they told that place was quite empty. I still wanted to take a look and when I arrived the first bird I saw in the feeder was male White-backed Woodpecker! Finally got even decent photos of this species. Also got single Willow Tit, many Great-and Blue Tits, Blackbirds, Great-spotted Woodpecker and some others.
I walked around and at some point I heard Black Woodpecker calling. I tried to locate the bird but call was going other way and I turned around quite soon. Black Woodpecker is always nice to have, so I was glad.
Quite soon I decided to leave and I went around the bay back to Viikki side. I checked Keinumäki feeder, but not much else than Tits and lone Siskin. After that I went through the fields and there I had pack of 12 Roe Deer and two Goshawks, one old and one first winter bird.
Quite soon after fields I went back home. I only checked a stream near by if any Dipper would show up, but no luck with that.
Here is few photos from the morning.

Coal Tit from Keinumäki.

Whooper Swans from Purolahti.

Roe Deer from Viikki fields.

Male White-backed Woodpecker. Ringed by Tatu Hokkanen. 

Nice birds, but really small numbers others than the most common ones. Four species of Woodpeckers is always nice and can´t really complain what I saw today.
More stuff hopefully soon.


9. helmikuuta 2020

Birding with my kids. 8.2.2020

This weekend, like many other weekends I had kids and Sanni was working. I had to figure out some activities and we decided to go to Seurasaara, the place where I used to visit very often few yeas back.
We parked our car before 11 a clock and right away I got few Mergansers, loads of Mallards, lone 3cy Greater Black-backed Gull, few Common Gulls and pair of Goldeneyes near the bridge to the island.
We had also some nuts for Squirrels and bids and Vilma was super excited about giving those to the animals.
We stopped in every feeder and we gave nuts to birds and Squirrels, and we had nice close by looks of many birds like Coal Tit, Jay, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Goshawk and big flock of 30 Siskins.
Also Squirrel was very common and we had at least 15 animals around the island.
From one feeder I found Robin, which is always nice species during the winter months and I was really surprised that I heard few calls from Winter Wren from same place. I saw the bird quickly, but no photos. Always nice to see in February.

We also stopped at the picnic place and I bought us sausages to barbecue. Nice to get some warm food during the long walk. It is almost 4km from bridge to the south tip and back. With stroller and one four year old it is even longer.
Here is few pics from the day.

Terrible photo, but when you have grey day and bird is under the tree, this is what you get.. Robin.


Female Merganser.

Great Tit.

Vilma and Julius.

Sometimes you need to rest. Vilma was brave and walked the whole island. 

Nice little walk and I guess I could see more birds without the kids, but it is what it is, right? I got Common Gull, Wren, Robin and Goldeneye to my year list and that really shows how many times I have been out with my binoculars... Depressing.

Moe later, I hope.