30. maaliskuuta 2020

Sunny Viikki birding. 29.3.2020

Yesterday I went to check the Viikki fields and Vanhankaupunginlahti bay with my bicycle. It was nice crispy weather with one degrees and clear sky. First I went though fields and my first stop was in Hakalanniemi tower. Fields were empty, just a handful of Geese and lots of Lapwings. Skylarks were singing and it felt a bit like spring.
I saw that there is just one guy in the tower so good to go. Cause this Covid-19 virus is running in Helsinki area you must be careful with that.
It was nice to noticed that the guy was Aleksi Mikola. Together we scanned the sky and the water area, but nothing really interesting came up. Common Snipe, some Eurasian Teals, flock of Smews, White-tailed Eagle etc. Nice morning anyway.
Soon more and more people started to visit the tower and we decided to leave. We checked a field near by before Aleksi left and I found two White Wagtails from there. Nice spring birds! It was nice to have some company, even for a short period of time.

Whooper Swans and Canada Geese in Vanhankaupunginlahti.

Fields were surprisingly empty.

My trusted companion, Kona Unit. 

Soon after that I went back to the fields and stayed there about two hours. At some point I got alarm message of Redkite heading east from Kirkkonummi. Wind was blowing from North and I was quite sure that if the bird continues same route, it can be seen from the spot I was standing.
I also talked with my uncle Jände and he came little later. I was freezing after that two hours and because there was no sign of the Kite we left. Best birds during my watch were Lapland Longspur, flock of 48 Lapwings, Common Buzzard and two Meadow Pipits...

Distant Common Buzzard. 

I came home and after some food I took my kids and we went to play outside. We walked around the Viikki area and kids had good time. During the time we were out I had Great-spotted Woodpecker, Robin, Stock Does, Woodpigeons, big flock of Linnets etc.

European Robin.

House Sparrow having a sand bath. 

Nice day with few new species for the year. Next week should be little bit warmer, so maybe more and more birds will arrive.
More later.


23. maaliskuuta 2020

Sunny day at Viikki and lots of dipped birds.. 22.3.2020

I had nice bike ride around the Viikki and Vanhankaupunginlahti today. I started from Taka-Viikki where I tried to see Dipper, but no luck and then I headed to the fields. I had 13 Snow Buntings, Wood lark, Great-grey Shrike, loads of Geese and many singing Skylarks.

Distant flock of Snow Buntings. 

Same birds in flight. 

Yellowhammer was singing its heart out. 

From the Fields I ride to Fastholma where I watched the feeder for some time. Two Bramblings, Great-spotted Woodpecker and singing Robin were something to mention.
After Fastholma I slowly went back to home. I stopped few times, for example at Majavakallio where I checked the White-tailed Eagle nest and Grey Heron colony. Six Smews at the bay.

Grey Heron.

White-tailed Eagle and Crows.

Robin was singing in Fastholma.

Male Brambling.

Female Brambling.

Later I got an alarm message of Red Kite heading East from Kirkkonummi. I took Vilma and we tried to see the bird from Viikki fields. No luck, but few Snow Buntings, Rook and few flocks of migrating Geese were nice.
After this we went back home to pick up Julius and we drove to Vihti where we tried to twitch a local celebrity Western Capercaillie. Again I had no luck today, but kids had fun in the park and I saw a lone Common Buzzard.. We spend an hour there and checked few places near by, but no bird.

So, three targets, zero success.. I guess it will pay back some day, but I must say that I was a little bit pissed today. Maybe next time.


8. maaliskuuta 2020

Few birds from the weekend. 8.3.2020

This weekend has been running around the capital area to some birthday parties with my family and just relaxing at home when possible.
On Saturday we had Sanni´s god daughter´s birthday in Espoo and most of the afternoon was spent there. Today we visited in Pakila, where we had our friends son´s party. Lots of cake and stuff this weekend! I had first Woodpigeon of the year while driving back home from there!

Later today I had my mother visiting us and we decided to take the kids outside. We had good time in playground and we also visited Viikki staples to see some horses. Vilma was so excited about those! Julius was sitting in a stroller and he just wanted to play some ball. I was hoping to see some spring birds, but nothing really in the area... Loads of Crows, pair of Ravens, Jackdaws, House Sparrows, Green Finches etc.
Sun was shining and it was really nice spring weather.

First Coltsfoot (tussilago farfara) for the year.

Jackdaw with only a little white collar.

This bird had much more and it was the "blondie" of the flock. Great looking bird. 

Rather odd looking male Mallard with almost bluish peak.

One of many Hooded Crows.

What a weather. 

We also gave some bread to the Mallards and kids had fun.

Hopefully more birds next week!


3. maaliskuuta 2020

Rest of the February and first few days of March.

February passed and nothing really happened to me birdvicely after the amazing Snowy Owl at 16th.
I have been working and cause I´m cycling I have always change to see something when I go to work or back to home. On 17th I got Reed Bunting from Vanhankaupunginlahti, 18th I twitched my earliest ever Northern Lapwing from Viikki and from work I noticed an mobile Hawfinch, so nice species without any real birding.

Lapwing in Viikki.

On 19th both of my bikes were stolen... So I had small break of cycling. That didn´t slow me down and I found Eurasian Nuthatch from Meilahti and same day I saw three Canada Geese in Pikkuhuopalahti. Especially Nuthatch was super cool. I left work and I was walking towards buss stop and I heard the call and then bird moved quickly around me quite close and disappeared behind the buildings.
On 23rd I was driving with my family and I found a flock of big birds flying above Marjaniemi. I stopped in traffic lights and checked the flock with binoculars and all the birds were Grey Herons, 18 of them in same flock!

On 25th I took this picture of White-tailed Eagle with my mobile phone while I waited a buss.
White-tailed Eagle and Hooded Crow.

On 27th I had special night with Vilma and we had her first Ice Hockey game. Helsinki IFK was playing against Assat from Pori and we had good time! Thanks to my coworker Jenni for the tickets!
I also had flock of Tufted Ducks and lone Greater Scaup female in Westend, Espoo that same day!

Moment before the game started. Home team HIFK with red jerseys.

On 28th I finally got my new bike Kona Unit and I was able to cycle again. During the ride back home I visited Viikki fields and the same flood which had the Lapwing earlier was totally frozen! Crazy looking sight when people were ice skating there that day. I also had three Greylag Geese in next field and few calls of Bearded Reedlings before the fields from the reed bed.

Nice sunny weather gave us some minus degrees and this little lake was frozen. 

The last day of February (29th) I had White-throated Dipper in Malmi from my car, so good luck with this species this time.
First of March gave a a small flock of  Long-tailed Tits at my backyard and yesterday I had Spotted Nutcracker in Laakso and Stock Dove in Arabianranta.

On second of March I counted 33 Canada Geese and three Greylags from Viikki. 

So nice variety of different birds even when you just keep you eyes and ears open. Next weekend I hope I could visit Porvoo where two Azure Tits are hanging in one place. They were found last weekend.