23. toukokuuta 2021

Family trip to Lammassaari 23.5.2021

 This afternoon we made trip to Lammassaari with Sanni´s family. It was good for me cause the whole day there was a Greater-spotted Eagle hanging around the area and I´d like to see the bird. Loads of people around the Vanhankaupunginlahti area an almost impossible to find parking space. 

It was already around three a clock when we arrived to the first lookout place of the wood path to Lammassaari where I saw the Eagle. The star bird was sitting on a branch about 300m from our location. I showed the eagle to everyone and we continued. Kids waited the snacks and stuff already so we had to run! Just before we entered to the island I saw the Eagle flying and about 20 Crows harassing it. Here is few pictures of that situation.

Greater-spotted Eagle.

Greater-spotted Eagle.

Greater-spotted Eagle. Wing feathers were in bad shape. 

Greater-spotted Eagle.

Maybe hanging at the dump or place like that makes your feather look like that?

Greater-spotted Eagle.

What a great bird, most probably 2nd calendar year bird. 

We had great two hours in the island, kids were playing and  adults were just relaxing. I had Osprey, first for the year and I followed a Blackcap male and hoped to get some pictures. I got few. Also first Fours-potted Chaser for the year. 

Male Blackcap collected some nesting materials.

Four-spotted Chaser. 

Thanks for the company all! Great trip.


Isosaari island 22.5.2021

 Yesterday I was a part of group which visited Isosaari island. Place is quite new for public and it has been restricted military zone before they ended their action there. 

Island still holds some areas only for military staff and old cannons around the island. Peetri Joki picked me up from Maunula and our bot left at 4am from Hakaniemi. It took 35 minutes to reach the island and after short walk we arrived to our watching point. I was hoping for mass migration, but this was not the day, again. Velvet Scoters, Black Guillemots and other common stuff around and small flocks of all kinds of wildfowl headed towards East. Big surprise was Black Grouse which passed our watching point and landed somewhere near. Migration was rather slow, here is some numbers our group counted during the day. These numbers are only migrating birds. Also there is no Barnacle Goose or Common Scoter numbers.

  • Brent Goose 140 
  • Greater Scaups 121 
  • Velvet Scoter 132 
  • Red-throated Diver 9 
  • Black-throated Diver 47 
  • Diver sp. 356 
  • Honey Buzzard 7 
  • Hobby 3 
  • Grey Plover 390 
  • Red knot 9 
  • Large wader sp. 1670 
  • Arctic Skua 16 
  • Razorbill 22 
  • Common Guillemot 2

Early morning was super beautiful.

Part of our group.

Flock of Black-throated Divers.

Early morning Velvet Scoter. 

Brent Goose flock.

Later we also walked around the island. Ahti found singing Red-breasted Flycatcher and I twitched it with Peetri later. Also we had tens of Common Rosefinches, Lesser Whitethroats, some Wood Warblers, Yellow Wagtails, Marsh Warler, Garden Warblers, Black Woodpecker, two Ruddy Turnstones, two Blue Throats, some Rock Pipits and almost the last bird we saw in the island, Black Redstart. Here is few pictures.

Honey Buzzard.

Ruddy Turnstone.

Rock Pipit.

Rock Pipit.

Common Rosefinch.

Black Grouse.

Black Woodpecker, female.

Black Redstart.

Willow Warbler and Blue Throat.

Blue Throat.

Wood Warbler.

What an amazing trip we had. I gathered 20 new species to my year list and Black Grouse was new Helsinki area tick for me! 

Big thanks to Mikko Salonen who arranged this whole visit. Great job! Also thanks Peetri and the orhers for the company, we had great time! 

Very rare birds in Finland at the moment, but so far away! Caspian Plover in Tuuri, which is about 4 hours from Helsinki. This week produced also White-tailed Lapwing from Lapua, Cattle Egret from Ii, Gull-billed Tern from Helsinki (took off after five minutes....) Greater Sandplover from Alavus and Booted Eagle from Pamio! What a set of rarities. Let´s hope that even one will urn up from Helsinki area, cause I have one week vacation starting tomorrow! 


16. toukokuuta 2021

Quality birding in Uusimaa county 15.5.2021

 Earlier this week I made two nice trips to Vanhankaupunginlahti and got loads of new species to my year list. Both times my kids were with me. On 13th evening I twitched Pied Avocet from same place, here is a poor record shot. Distant bird from the tower. There is about one record in Helsinki area every year, but more in places like Hanko or Kirkkonummi. 

Record shot of a Pied Avocet.

14th I had nice walk around our local area with my kids, we saw Linnets, Hobbys and some other common birds.


Red Squirrel.

Partially leucistic Blackbird. Funny looking freak of nature. 

Yesterday 15th, I had half day trip planned with my uncle Jände. We met at Emäsalo, in Porvoo and I was hoping the migrtion day of the lifetime, of course. Place is good for sea watching. Well, today was not the day I was hoping, but at least we had few Black-throated and Red-throated Divers, two Arctic Skuas, Caspian Tern and some Common Scoters. In one hour we were pretty sure that it is better leave now and find other places to see birds. 

At least the weather was nice. 


Common Eiders.

We dropped my car to Porvoo and then continued with Jände´s car to lake Kanteleenjärvi in Pukkila. There was record of two Black terns earlier this week, but we didn´t saw anything like that. First we drove around the lake and at one point Jände stopped and said something about possible Montagu´s Harrier flying near by. We jumped out of the car and indeed there it was, a adult male Montagu´s Harrier! 

Adult male Monty. Nice scarcity here in Finland. 

Other birds worth to mention from this spot were male Garganey, three Marsh Harriers and my first Whinchat for the year. 

Male Pheasant near the lake. 

Kanteleenjärvi lake. 

Very nice visit. Next we drove back to Porvoo and from there we moved to Vantaa to twitch a local Lesser-spotted Eagle. Bird was hiding and we had to wait about 40 minutes before it took of and showed it self to us. During the wait we had migrating White Stork, which is always a nice bird to see in Finland. When the Eagle took off, quickly became clear that it is not Lesser-spotted. Bird looked pretty good for juvenile 2cy Greater-spotted Eagle. I´m not any kind of expert of raptors, but even I noticed this. Later Dick Forsman said that it is possibly a hybrid, but there is no photos good enough to confirm this. 

Here is my set.

White Stork.

White Stork.

Possible Greater-spotted Eagle.

From above.


And again.

Very bad light for photographing. 

What ever it is, it is interesting bird. Pretty soon it started to take some height and continued it journey towards South. 

When I came home the same bird was found from Vanhankaupunginlahti and later it continued East. It was also seen from Vuosaari. 

What a great day with great species. Thanks Jände for the company and Jari, it was nice to see you again in Vantaa! 

At the evening we got unexpected message into our alarm system. New species for Finland! White-throated Robin aka White-throated Irania was found from Kemiönsaari, only 2 hour drive from Helsinki! I made some plans if the bird would be relocated from the site, but no luck this morning (16th)... Only finder and her daughter saw the bird, I think. Dream come true kind of species! 

Til next time. 


8. toukokuuta 2021

Birds of the week 7.5.2021

 Not much to tell again.. Working on weekdays and having family time on weekends. I was able to see this beautiful Firecrest in Haaga, Helsinki last Sunday (2nd of May). Bid has been there since late April found by Ahti Ihonen and lots of people have sen it during this time. This is one of those species which is expanding its range towards Finland and more and more birds are found every year. I guess it is already scarce breeder in Estonia. 

Record shot of the Firecrest.

During my day at work I was visiting Kumpula, Helsinki on 6th of May and I was found Wryneck and Pied Flycatcher from there! Very nice summer birds! 

Few pictures of Fieldfare from my balcony. Evening light made it look awesome.

Warm evening light.

Cold evening light.

Today (7th) morning was a real nightmare... I was working already and got call from Sanni that our son Julius had massive epileptic seizure and paramedics were on their way to our home. I arrived to the place just to see how paramedic carried my unconscious 2 year old boy to the ambulance.. It was maybe the worst feeling I´ve ever had during my 34 years of life. Never been so out of my mind. I went back to work just put back my gear and headed back home with my daughter Vilma. During the day I spend time with my son at the hospital and he is better now. That was scary. 

Sanni spent this night there with Julius, so I had evening with Vilma. I had to get something else to my mind so I planned a visit to Vanhankaupunginlahti for us and trick was that we had nice snacks with us. Vilma is not really interested about birds and she is more like dancing, singing kind of girl, but when you have good plan even she could join you a place like that. Later a movie and popcorn. 

We walked to the Lammassaari and back and we had nice set of new bird for me this year. From first place I can mention Barn Swallow and Slavonian Grebe. From the wood path to the Lammassaari I had two Bearded Reedlings, more Swallows and a Willow Warbler.

Distant Slavonian Grebe. 

View from Pornaistenniemi bird tower.

From Lammassaari tower we had Little ringed Plover, loads of Smews, Common Terns, Common Sandpipers, lone Green Sandpiper, Northern Showelers, lone Northern Wheatear and much else. I was hoping more waders, but an´t be lucky every time... (Just like I would ever be). 

Here i few pictures from the trip. God times and the most important thing, Vilma had good time.

Small flock of Barnacle Geese.

Male Little ringed Plover.

I guess this was great ending for a day like this. Vilma was very worried about Julius and she got something else to think about during the visit in Lammassaari. 

Have kids, it´s fun they said. 


2. toukokuuta 2021

Ring Ouzel From Viikki 1.5.2021

 Today I was spending time with my kids at home and because both of them are little bit sick we were staying inside. I went to corona-test with Julius two days ago and we got negative test result. Sanni was working and during the day I followed the alarms of the rare birds from my phone. Later afternoon I got message of Rin Ouzel from Viikki, the area where I used to live like moth ago. Sanni came back home and I left to twitch this beautiful northern species. 

I was lucky when I came to the site case there was a couple who showed the bird for me. I had only binoculars and camera with me, so I was really pleased that those people showed the bird for me with their telescope. I took some photos, but bird was staying in distance, until it took off and landed on a tree about 100m from the original place. 

Here are my records shots of the bird. 

Ring Ouzel. Female of 2cy male.

There is goes.