31. toukokuuta 2020

Quality time with my family. 31.5.2020

Sanni was working again today, so I took kids and we met my mother in Etelä-Haaga where she lives. We were in one playground and kids were running around. While they played I had time to check the local birds. Pied Flycatchers, Spotted Flycatcher, Goldfinches, Great-spotted Woodpecker calls etc. and this smart looking male Common Chaffinch.

Singing male Chaffinch. 

Same bird on the ground. 

Time was running and soon we had to go back home for lunch. Julius still needs a nap and during his sleep my sister and her boyfriend Eino came to visit us. We stayed in our backyard and had nice coffee. At some point I noticed an River Warbler in Vartioharju, not too far from our house. It was one of those "easy" ones missing from my stroller list so together with Sanni and kids we went to twitch later afternoon.

We arrived the place around 4.45 pm and instantly I heard the bird singing somewhere near by. One other guy stopped and asked if I hear the bird and I told him that it was singing like minute before they came. Pair of Eurasian Teals in the stream and at least three Wood Warblers and one Chiffchaff were singing.

Eurasian Teal couple. 

Because we did not hear anything else I moved a bit with Julius and we went to look where the girls went. They were picking some flowers near by and that same moment a totally different guy came and told that he played tape at the River Warbler place, so it was possibly him I heard moments earlier... Great! We were talking about the bird when I suddenly heard the real bird singing somewhere near, but from different direction. Damn, it was one of those moments...

We all heard the bird well and I got a poor record of the song in this video. I recommend to use headphones, so you can hear it.

In the video that other guy says "se kuuluu tänne hyvin" which means that they can hear it very well. Shame that bird like this is impossible to photo.
While we walked back to our car I first head Marsh Warbler singing and soon I saw the bird quickly, before Julius was running towards it and it took off... From our car I also heard Blyth´s Reed Warbler, so our trip there was really a success! River Warbler was my stroller tick number #249!

Next week I must spend my days at work and possibly not much birding coming. But who knows if something rare appear.

Today Sweden got new species on their list when Oriental Plover was found from near Gothenburg! Only two records from Europe before this bird and those are from Finland (2003) and Norway (2017). Congrats to the finder Mikael Nilson and I hope my friend David Anderson who is in Oland at the moment will see this bird later.


30. toukokuuta 2020

Short visit to Kirkkonummi. 29.5.2020

On 29th, Friday I had just enough time before to visit Saltfjärden, one of many great places in Kirkkonummi with my uncle. We decided to be there around noon, cause normally raptors are giving their best after morning.
Shame that pretty soon after we arrived we were able to see that it was very slow day and we had to scan the empty sky.
During our two hour 20 minutes we had three Honey Buzzards, two local Hobby, two to four different White-tailed Eagles, lone Common Kestrel, single Osprey and one local Marsh Sandpiper.
Marsh Sand was flying near the bird tower and it landed behind the reeds. We were standing in the parking lot, where you have about the same view than from the tower.

Distant Osprey. 

Satfjärden parking lot. You can see the tower in the middle of the picture, quite far a way.

That day someone saw three Marsh Sandpipers and two of them were displaying near the tower!

Later we visited a craft beer brewery in Espoo and picked up some goodies for the weekend. After that I noticed that I have over an hour time before I have to be at work, so I went to Lehtisaari to search local Long-eared Owl brood, but no luck. I found Great-spotted Woodpecker nest, Adult Goldfinch was feeding the young bird and local Barnacle Geese... So nothing special.

Evil looking stare. 

Barnacle Goose. 

Great visit and one new bird to my year list (Marsh Sand). Thanks for the company Jände.
Spring is slowly ending and summer is here. Last few days the temperature has reached to over 20 degrees celsius.

Still some birds migrating, but at this point almost all the breeding birds are already in Finland. Arctic Warbler is maybe the latest arrival and we have to wait it another week or two.
I will try to find some birds also next week, but working from eight to four will make it pretty difficult. Thank god my summer vacation starts in three weeks, so at least lots of summer housing and stuff like that coming.


28. toukokuuta 2020

Last two day in Vanhankaupunginlahti area 26-27.5.2020

This week I have been doing a evening shifts at work, so that gave me an opportunity to go our before that.
Last two days I have spend several hours around my local area and tried to catch my bird number 200 for this year. I made one night trip to Pornaistenniemi and Viikki after my shift and I got Great Bittern, Great Reed warbler and Blyth´s Reed Warbler to my list! 

On 26th I went to Lammassaari and I hoped to see Common Rosefinch and stuff. When I parked my car I already heard one male singing, so that was easy. I walked to the log path and there was more and more Rosefinches singing and some females just feeding in the trees.
Female Rosefinch.

Male Rosefinch.

I walked the path and most of the singing birds were Sedge Warblers and those were also quite easy to photograph.

Sedge warbler.

And another.

I arrived to Lammassaari and notcied and Ichterine Warbler singing near the path. This species is one of my all time favorites and I never get bored to listen or see those. I found the bird singing high up and photos are not good, but in video you can hear the song very well. 

Ichterine Warbler.

And again.

Funny angle made this bird look a bit weird.

Nothing special in Lammassaari and when I walked back I heard another two Ichterines singing near my car. Good walk and one new bird. 
That same day I got info of Greenish Warbler in other side of the bay, so I decided to twitch it along the way to work. Bird was singing nicely and there was few birders looking for it. 

On 27th I took my bike and ride to Purolahti tower first, but besides Red-backed Shrike nothing really interesting there. Loads of Rosefinches, some Yellow Wagtails, Little ringed Plovers etc. Soon I went to Hakala tower where I had nice two hours with Petri Lankila. Flock of Broad-billed Sandpipers were the best sighting and Temminck´s Stints, two Little Gulls, male Northern Pintail were nice too. No raptors migrating or anything else.. Felt like summer already.

Male Garganey.

White-tailed Eagle just before it catches a fish.

After I left the tower I checked the fields near by, but not too much birds. Some Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Goldfinches and stuff.
Two new species to my year list and the list is now 201! Broad-billed Sandpiper was the number 200. Quite many easy species still waiting for me, so I´m not going to quit now. 
More later this week. 


25. toukokuuta 2020

Long weekend in summerhouse. 21.5-25.5.2020

We had very pleasant weekend in summerhouse. Good company, some fresh brew, birds, family and so on.
We arrived last Thursday, but before that I was able to twitch White Stork to my Helsinki year list. We were waiting Sanni from work with kid when info came about two Storks quite near by. I drove there cause we had like half an hour before we had to be in Oulunkylä where Sanni is working. I arrived to the site in Haltiala and already from the car I saw the storks flying. I parked and took some pictures and birds came more and more closer all the time. I was lucky, case birds took off and continued their journey to somewhere else.

This is actually different bird what we had in Espoo earlier same week. 

White Stork.

Kids are ready to go! 

Later we arrived to Loviisa and we met my father and his family there. Sauna was great.
On Friday we visited Porvoo for day trip and kids liked it very much. We also had some pizza in the park and that was the best thing that day for Julius. After groceries we headed back to summerhouse and I had migrating Great White Egret from our yard! Sauna was great again.

Blackbird nest.

Tree Sparrow in Porvoo.

Camberwell Beauty (Nymphalis Antiopa)

Vilma in Porvoo.

Saturday I made little walk during Julius daily nap and I was able to watch some local bird without any interference. I had nice variety of birds including at least seven Great Spotted Woodpeckers, loads of Treecreepers, Tree Pipits, Hobby, two Wrynecks, about ten Pied Flycatchers, Ichterine Warbler, many Goldcrests and so on. It was a really nice walk and took little bit over an hour of my time.

We had this little bonfire on Friday

Green Hairstreak (Callophrys Rubi)

Female Pied Flycatcher.

Quite young White-tailed Eagle.

Caspian Tern from our shore. 

Pair of Crested Grebe from our shore.

Viviparous Lizard (Zootoca Vivipara)

Today we had some cleaning and stuff before we left. I was able to see two Skua species migrating, and I was quite sure that they were Pomarine Skuas, but little bit too far away to ID without hesitation.

Lesser Whitethroat collecting nesting material.

Common Sandpiper were common and I had at least three birds every day.

Here is also two drone pictures from the weekend. Sunset was amazing.


Panorama view.

After we got back home I got info about Montagu´s Harrier in Haltiala. Bird seemed to be very local and staying in small area so I gave it a try with my kids.
Took forever to get everybody to the car and at some point I received an message which told that the bird left.

For some reason I decided to try anyway, cause sometimes birds can come back, but because it was gone I started from Paloheinä and I stopped there briefly. Short watch gave me Honey Buzzard, but nothing else until I got message again and this time the bird was really back!

Quickly we drove to the place where it was seen and I saw two birders and I asked them if they had seen it. They told me that bird just passed my car and went in other direction!
I turned my car and drove like 300 meter when I found the bird quite near the road.

Quick top, camera, photos, done. Then Stroller from the back, Vilma out, to the stroller and yes! Stroller tick!
I gave both kids a little reward.

Amazing looking bird. 

Bird was second calendar year male. 

What an ending for the great weekend. Montagu´s Harrier was my stroller tick number 248,so magical 250 is just behind the corner.

Thanks to my family, and my father, Sari and Matias for company this weekend, it was great fun.
This upcoming week I have many mornings off, so maybe that means more birding. Let´s see.


21. toukokuuta 2020

Quality birds in capital area. 19.5.2020

On 19th of May I had nice combination of work and birding. I visited at my other working site and after that I had time to stop at Maari birdtower in Laajalahti, Espoo.
Sun was shining, Garden Warbler was singing and when I was walking towards the tower from parking lot I noticed an male Lesser-spotted Woodpecker basically one meter from me.. My camera was inside my bag of course and during that time I got it out the bird moved and all I got was distant photos.Great start..

Male Lesser-spotted Woodpecker.

Soon I was in the tower and Pasi Pirinen was there, so it was nice to have some company. I checked the meadow and bay first and I got Temminck´s Stint to my year list. Not much birds around, but maybe Four Little Gulls, 14 Temmink´s Stints, male Garganey, calling Water Rail and passing Hobby are birds worth to mention. Jari Laitasalo came to the tower at some point and it was very nice to see him after long time.

Male Garganey.

One of fourteen Temminck´s Stints

Beautiful weather. 
We were talking about possible raptors or anything good when Jari noticed an alamr of two migrating White Storks heading our direction. Birds were seen by Mika Ohtonen from Lauttasaari. We checked the sky and I was quite sure that we missed the birds when Jari shouted that there they are! Storks were so low that they passed the tower maybe 30m above us and then began to take heights above the bay. I managed to take some pretty good pictures, but later I noticed that I had ISO 1600, so nothing sharp with that number... What a shame.

White Stork.

And another one. 

Both in same picture. 

What a moment. Rarely you got an opportunity to see White Storks so close in Finland. Normally you can find them flying high and far away. Storks migrated towards North after they passed Laajalahti.
I had an meeting later after noon so I had to leave at some point. Before that we noticed an very odd looking Eurasian Teal. Maybe very old female showing some male feature, or aberrant colored male? Who knows, but here it is. Also a superb looking male Ruff landed near the tower!

Odd looking Eurasian Teal.

Male Ruff. 

After my meeting with my boss and applying to apprenticeship I had time to visit Meri-Rastila and place which holds not one, but two Firecrest in Helsinki. I saw one Firecrest in Espoo earlier this year, but those little birds are interesting, so I wanted to see those again.
I arrived to the site and first I walked in wrong place, it started to rain and I was just thinking that what a great visit this was, until I heard one bird singing close by. I met my other old friend Petri Pietiläinen there and together we tried to have even a documentary photo, cause there was no light and birds were high up in the tree.. I managed to see two birds, but only one gave me few pictures. Here is a male which was singing actively despite the weather.


Very hard to take proper photos in these conditions. 

At some point birds stated to groom him self.


He game me "the face". 

Orange crest showing nicely here. 

Thanks for the company Petri.
After this I had to pick up my kids and we went home. I had great day with three new year ticks etc.
This weekend we area in summerhouse again, so next posts from there.