29. kesäkuuta 2020

Few days in Hartola 22.6-26.6.2020

After Loviisa we had only one night at home and next day we started our second trip towards Hartola. On our way we stopped at Vääksy, where Sanni´s mother is living and because Covid-19 we visited her place first time since the virus started to spread. Kids were so happy to see their grandmother and we went to swim near by. Very pleasant few hours there were a variety of different delicacies on the table, of course.


White Wagtail. 

From Vääksy we drove about an hour to Hartola and when we arrived my mother was there waiting for us. I have many good childhood memories from this place and always a pleasure to arrived there.

My first Common Clubtail. Gomphus Vulgatissimus.

Calm lake and sunset. 

Black-throated Diver in our lake, light was a bit harsh for any good photos.. 

Next few days we had great time, food, swimming and fun. I also twitched Common Quail from Sysmä, quite near by. Other nice birds during the time there were two singing Eurasian Nightjahrs, Hazel Grouse which I got with stroller! and colony of Sand Martins close to our place.

Red-eyed Damselfly couple, Erythromma Najas.

Vilma and Julius. 

Broad-bodied Chaser, Libellula Depressa.

Sand Martin colony. 

I counted 36 bird from this site. 

Very hard to photo these fast birds... 

Vilma fishing from our platform.

Normally I don´t see any good birds there, but for butterflies this place is good. This year it seems that there i not too much of those too, but still I was able to see some good species. I even got a lifer when Oak Eggar moth, Lasiocampa Quercus went trough our yard. I tried to follow it, but no chance.. Also Poplar Admiral, Limenitis Populi was seen only in flight. Here is few pictures.

Amanda´s Bluet, Polyommatu Amandus.

Large Wall Brown, Lasiommatta Maera.

Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais Urticae.

Apamea Sordens. 

Old World Swallowtail, Papilio Machaon.

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Boloria Selene. 

Ringlet, Aphantopus Hyperantus. 

Wood White, Leptidea Sinapis. 

After four nights we left towards home, but we stayed there only one night, cause Loviisa was calling again. More of that later.
We had amazing week and I still have two weeks left of my summer vacation.


27. kesäkuuta 2020

Midsummer in Loviisa 18.6-21.6.2020

Last weekend we had very pleasant visit to our summerhouse in Loviisa. That place is so near our home (less than hour from door to door), so we have visited there quite a lot lately.
This weekend was mostly enjoying the weather, food and time with the family. I always keep my eyes open for birds and other flying creatures like dragonflies and butterflies, but this time nothing special around.
Small colony of Little Gulls near our beach and daily some birds passed our yard, but no pictures this time.. Those bastards are quick and they always surprised me when I saw them. Anyway around 15 birds in the area.
Garden Warblers were still singing, Pied Flycatcher had busy time with chicks and male carried food constantly. Also some Spotted Flycatchers around with two singing Rose finches and Black Woodpecker.

Passing Grey Heron.

One of three local male Pied Flycatchers from our backyard. 

From the dragonflies Black-tailed Skimmer were very common and I had tens of those during the weekend. Also some Four-spotted Chasers and many Variable Damselflies around. I also had one or two bigger ones, but no ID for those.

Male Black-tailed Skimmer, orthetrum cancellatum.

Female Black-tailed Skimmer. 

Female Four-spotted Chaser, libellula quadrimaculata.

Variable Damselfl, coenagrion pulchellum. couple mating. 

Butterflies were totally gone and I had probably one Small Tortoiseshell, one large skipper and and one moth from the light.

Small Clouded Brindle, apamea unanimis.

Large Skipper, ochlodes sylvanus.

Finally this fun little bug, which I found from my baby boys diaper!

Snakefly species, raphidioptera sp. 

What a great weekend and from Loviisa we went back home for one night and then continued to the next summerhouse, but more of that later.


17. kesäkuuta 2020

Last weekend. 12.6-14.6.2020

It is already Wednesday and my blog is waiting me to write something.. So busy at work and then with kids later every day.
Anyway last Friday I had early release from work and I went to look Common Kingfisher from Pitkäkoski in Helsinki. There was a record from that same day, and I was full of child-like optimism for finding that bird again!
Place was so beautiful, but full of people and small boats in the river.. That didn't make my task any easier.
Common cuckoo was singing, I found Marsh Warbler and other common birds.
I walked along the river, but no luck with the kingfisher, of course. At some point I found few Banded Demoiselle dragonflies and one bigger dragonfly, but it went too quickly for Id.
Along the river was also beautiful old forest area and from there I had at least two singing Wrens, many Robins, few calls of Crossbills and many other singing birds. Three Common Sandpipers along the river too. Here is few pics from there.

Forest floor was super green that day.


Pitkäkoski area.
Male Banded Demoiselle.

Female Banded Demoiselle. 

On Sunday I had nice beach visit with my kids and family of my friend Tyron. Kids were playing and I was watching Julius not to drowning himself into the water...
Earlier same day came an alarm of Booted Warbler from Vuosaari, where we already were.

With kids I made possibly one of the most painful twitch ever.. Both were cranky and wanted to run everywhere. For few minutes I got everything steady and luckily I saw the bird briefly in tall vegetation. It gave me about 6 seconds to see it, but it was enough! I might have a picture of the bird, see later.

Anyway all the important features were seen by me and at least one other birder, so I was happy.
Later bird was singing nicely and many people saw it better than me.

Possibly the Booted Warbler. Great photo... 

Vuosaari Hill.
Especially for Julius this was the highlight of the trip! 

Booted Warbler is very rare in Helsinki and this was only ninth record since 1990 and my seconds after bird in Malmi last year.

This week is soon over and my summer holiday finally starts tomorrow! Almost a month off makes me super happy. We are also going to two different summerhouses in one week, which is great fun too.
I will write posts from both places, so more birds and possibly more butterflies etc. coming soon.

Happy midsummer folks and stay safe!


10. kesäkuuta 2020

Summerhouse and Lesser Grey Shrike7.6-9.6-2020

Last weekend we had short trip to our summerhouse in Loviisa. Lots of things to do after the small storm . I cut the crass and later we got few visitors. Kids were playing and swimming. We had nice meal, I had little time to watch around and fly my drone.
Bird of the day was definitely Red-footed Falcon, which I found during my drone flight. Second calendar year male hunted some insects and soon continued South East from our yard. Shame that my drone was in 100m altitude, so I had kind of hands full there. I even got lifer when I found two Hairy Hawker dragonflies near our cottage! Here is some pictures from the day. When we arrive back home on Sunday I twitched Ortolan Bunting quite near my house.

South East side from our summerhouse. 

At least one Great Bittern has been in this reed bed the whole spring and it was calling constantly during the day.

Hairy Hawker, Brachytron Pratense.

Family of Mute Swans.

Peacock Butterfly, Aglais Io.

Barn Swallow.

Variable Bluet. Coenagrion Pulchellum.

Camberwell Beauty. Nymphalis Antiopa.

On 9th I was normally working and I noticed Lesser Grey Shrike in our alarm system. Great news was that my  co-worker Peetri was the founder of the bird! Finally I was released at four a clock and bird was still there. I picked up my kids and together we drove to Saltfjarden in Kirkkonummi where the bird was seen.

Last update was almost two hours before we arrived, but when I parked my car some friendly birder came and told me that bird is still there.
I took my telescope and I found the bird quickly. Then Vilma to the stroller and there it was, my stroller tick number 250! Damn I was happy, still are!

Kids wanted to walk to the bird tower so we had nice adventure and besides birds we also watched cows, dragonflies, butterflies and all kind of interesting flowers. Near the tower we met my old pal Pekka Komi. He is my mothers old class mate and we always stop talking about stuff.

Yellow Wagtail.

Vilma and Julius in Saltfjarden.

Yellow Wagtail, Lesser Grey Shrike and Pekka.

Lesser Grey Shrike is really good looking bird. 

Soon we walked back and it was time to have something to eat. At the parking lot we met my friend Matias Castrén and few other birders who saw the bird very well too. This was my fifth Lesser Grey Shrike in Finland.

Lesser Grey Shrike.

Large beetle on the menu. 

Kids wanted to have burgers, so we went to Hesburger in Kirkkonummi and after that it was so late that we just drove back home.

What a great ending for the day with my kids. Getting 250 species with strollers and kids have been one of the most amazing things I have experienced ever during my 20+ years in the field of bird watching. We have been in so many different places and it has give me so much joy that I really recommend to do try it if it is possible.