30. huhtikuuta 2022

Ring Ouzel 29.4.2022

 Finally weekend! I ended my day at the office around three pm and I went to pick up kids. This time we headed to Malmi to have some groceries for Mayday and of course some balloons. Julius picked Pirate ship ballon and Vilma took Hello Kitty balloon. Sanni was waiting there and we had sushi. 

After shopping I dropped my family to home and I drove my self to Viikki to see Ring Ouzel, which had been there all day. Bird was easy to see, thanks to other birders and I stayed about an hour there helping people to see the bird. Ring Ouzel is scarce migrant in our capital area and couple of individuals every year. 

Here is poor record shot and a video Here 

Male Ring Ouzel.

Male House Sparrow is awesome looking bird. 

Also Common Tern to my year list from that trip.


29. huhtikuuta 2022

Ferruginous Duck. 28.4.2022

 Yesterday after day at work I started to rive towards Salo, and lake Omeno at there. During the day I got messages of Ferruginous Duck from that place and it was a new species for in in Finland. 

Finally clock was 15 to four and I left. In an hour I arrived and short walk to the site. Bird was hiding and it was seen about an hour before I arrived. People told that there is a flock of Common Pochards behind the reeds and the bird was seen with those. 

So we all waited and waited. At least four local Red-throated Divers, Tufted Ducks, White-tailed Eagle, Marsh Harrier and around 20 Common Pochards before my target bird came and showed it´s typical features like white eye, white under tail,  mahogany-brown head and darker back. Very handsome male bird it was! 

Here is a very poor record shot of the bird. distance was some hundred meters, so nothing good even this time. 

Ferruginous Duck.

Here is a link to my video of the bird --> Ferruginous Duck

Anyway bird was my species number #350 in Finland! Nice number and 50 more to go to my target. Some easy birds still missing. 


28. huhtikuuta 2022

Slow day at Vanhankaupunginlahti 22.4.2022

 I had finally a day off during the weekdays, so I dropped kids to daycare and headed to Vanhankapunginlahti. Sun was shining and weather was beautiful. I first stopped at Keinumäki tower, and I met few people there. We got message of Black Kite, but it´s route went little bit too North, so no luck with that... We had One migrating Black-throated Diver, but nothing else too exiting. 

Next and final stop was at Hakala tower. I spend almost six hours there, but the migration never really started that day. Two Black Kites were informed from Espoo flying East, but both went from North side too.. I had two migrating Rough-legged Buzzards, some local migrants like Greenshank, Common Ringed Plover, Showeler, three Great-white Egrets and that was basically it. Hunting Osprey gave us some good show, at least three different Marsh Harriers around. Basic spring species. 

Here is few photos from the day.

Rough-legged Buzzard with some Hooded Crows.

Female Marsh Harrier.


Another Rough-legged Buzzard. 

I was almost at the car when I heard Lesser-spotted Woodpecker calling near by and I found a pair chasing each others, so maybe they are breeding this year near by there. Female had ring, but my photo was not good enough to get the info from it. 

Male Lesser-spotted Woodpecker sleeping.


Good day, but I was expecting more. Maybe later.. 


A day with my daughter 21.4.2022

 I had amazing day with my little girl Vilma at 21st of April. We had to drive to Porvoo for Vilma´s passport, so we dropped Julius to daycare and we started our drive. Official business was handled in 25 minute and I told Vilma that i´d like to visit a bird watching tower near by at "Ruskis". IT was ok for her if she could watch some cartoons from my phone.. 

There was already some people at the tower when we arrived and I knew Markku and Biti Ojala, but others were not familiar for me. 

It was still very cold and lots of ice around the bay, but I was able to finds some ducks like Tufted Ducks, Wigeons and lots of Teals. Also few Smew around. Distant White-tailed Eagle, few calls of Great Bitterns were nice. At some point I noticed a small snipe feeding pretty openly and when I watched it with telescope I was watching a Jack´s Snipe! Normally these little waders are hiding very effectively, so this was a bit surprise. Maybe it had just arrived and needed some food quickly. I got some video of the bird. 

White Wagtail in Porvoo.

After Ruskis we stopped at MC Donald´s and then we drove to Kulosaari, and more specifically to Furuvik to twitch long staying male King Eider! 

When we arrived there was handful of birders looking the bird, but it was gone. I let Vilma play at the sandy beach and I watched the sea. Finally after half an hour watching I found the bird from very far away behind of the doc. not really the way I wanted to see the bird, but at least something.

Vilma at the beach. King Eider about behind her, about 300m from the shore.

We had ice cream break at Jollas and during the eating I heard my first Common Chiffchaff from other side of the road we were standing. 

Next stop was Vanhankaupunginlahti where we visited Lammassaari log path. We stopped in every watching site and Vilma was very hapy to see lots of Frogs singing around the path. I was very happy when a guy next to me told that there was a Black-tailed Godwit at the meadow. It had to arrive at that moment, cause we scanned the area many times and suddenly the bird was there. Anyway, great bird and pretty scarce here in Helsinki area. Vilma got lifer from that bird too.

Singing Frog.

Always nice to see these dudes. Sign of spring. 

Black-tailed Gotwit.

After this we had to drive back home and pick up Julius from daycare. Awesome time with Vilma and she is already so big! School starts this year, so lots of new things fro both of us! 


Lifer 19.4.2022

 I was working when I noticed a message of Black-necked Grebe from Munkkiniemi, Helsinki! One of those species I have waited pretty long time to get to my list. I left after half past three and drove straight to the place where the bird was seen. 

I always have my telescope and binoculars at my car. I walked from the parking lot and I met few people who said that the bird was still there. Great! I met small group watching the bird but it was very far a way. I continued and finally found a bigger group and they told me where to watch. Bird was sleeping most of the time, but finally showed those awesome looking ear-feathers. 

Many people visited the site and it was nice to see Matias Castrén after a long time. Also some Great-crested Grebes and first Caspian Tern for the year. 

Here is a poor record shot of the bird.. 

Poor poor shot of the Black-necked Grebe.


14. huhtikuuta 2022

Rainy day at the Viikki area. 14.4.2022

 Rare treat to have day off during the weekdays. I rove my kids to daycare and my self to Viikki. Starting point was old sewage water treatment plant, which gave me Common Gallinule to my year list. Weather was grey and I knew that rain will hit any moment, but I did not care. 

Next stop was Gardenia fields where I saw big flock of White Wagtails, Common Snipes and Black-headed Gulls. Also few Mallards in that area. My longer stops started from Hakala tower where I spend about an hour. I collected almost all the basic ducks, including Pintail, Common Teal, Garganey, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Wigeon and nice flock of eight Smews. Calling Greater Curlew was also a new bird for the year, but never saw that one, only heard this time. Hundreds of small thrushes around and along Redwings and Song Thrushes I had four Mistle Thrushes too. Fieldfares and Blackbirds all over the place. I was actually hoping for a early Ring Ouzel, but not today. 

One of my favorite birds, White Wagtail.

From Hakala I moved to Purolahti and more birds were added to my list. Common Redshanks called constantly and I counted six birds from the small lake. Osprey picked up some food from small open water area and best bird for the day was long staying Rock Pipit near the tower with couple of Meadow Pipits. 

I had nice hour and a half and then I wanted to continue. Not much migration or any movement, just same birds. Ilpo Mutikainen visited the tower and it was nice to have some company, thanks for that.

Rock Pipit with the snack.

Rock Pipit is scarce visitor to Viikki area. 

Roe Deer from Purolahti tower.


Common Redshank.

I walked to Viikki fields, but nothing really exiting there. About hundred Common Snipes, six Greater White-fronted Goose, flock of 13 Snow Buntings, weird Common Teal with white back and head. Bird was very hard to photograph, but here is distant shot. 

Meadow Pipit.

Greater White-fronted Goose.

White-backed Common Teal.

Just before I was leaving I found this very tame Snow Bunting which gave me nice show. What a bird!

Snow Bunting.

A bit closer. 

And again.

Such a great looking bird. 

It was feeding the whole time I stood there. Did not care about me at all.

 Because everything was so nice, I also accidentally dipped my foot into the water... Snow and ice were too soft and my foot was there half way to my knee. It was time to go back home. 

Happy Easter folks, I will work the holidays, but after that more birding. 


4. huhtikuuta 2022

very cold spring birding with Tyron. 3.4.2022

 Yesterday I met Tyron at the Kallahti car park. I was there first and while waiting him I saw my first Common Kestrel of the year and small flock of Grey Herons flying around. 

After he arrived we walked around the cape Kallahti. Lots of Long-tailed Ducks, some Common Eiders, Cormorants, Common, Black-headed and Herring Gulls, Goosanders, one Red-breasted Merganser, Stock Doves, Bean Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese and other common stuff. Female Black Woodpecker was showing nicely and let us tae some photos of her self. 

Our main target was pair of Bewick´s Swans. These birds have been around the area almost a month soon and this time we saw them easily, but not on photographic distance.. Anyway new bird for Tyron and always a good species here in Helsinki. 

Female Black Woodpecker.

Distant Bewick´s Swan.

After Kallahti we drove to Mellunmäki where most likely the same Great Grey Owl is spending time and sunbathing all day long. It was very easy to find, cause about 40 photographers around the area. Bird was sitting on a branch and looked pretty bored. We spend 20 minutes and then we left. I dropped Tyron back to Kallahti and I was already going back home when I got message of Grey Wagtail from Viikki sewage pools. I was about 5 min drive away, so easy decision to take next exit and drive there.

"I see you" 

King of the taiga forests. 

"nah, this is boring." 

When I arrived bird was hiding somewhere, but in 20 minutes somebody found it walking at the most far end of the pool. I had troubles to find it, but finally it showed properly. Very poor record shot here.

Female Grey Wagtail. 

Great day with good company, nice birds and sunny winter weather. I really hope that spring will start soon. Birds are not moving and it has been notable minus degrees numbers almost daily.. Not cool dude.


Looking for Barn Owl in Pori 23.3.2022

 Last December Antti J. Lind photographed a Barn Owl somewhere in Satakunta area, Western Finland. 22nd of Mach we got info that the area where the owl was found is now figured out, or Antti just told to someone, I don´t know. Anyway, this bird with these information was only second or third twitchable bird ever in Finland. 

Next day I contacted Tommi Laurinsalo and Risto Suksi and with Otso Salmi we four started to drive towards Pori later after my day at work. We arrived to Luvia first were we had nice luck with Red-breasted Goose. The moment we came out of the car the bird passed us and disappeared behind the small woods. I managed to get some poor record shots of the bird! Also six Pink-footed Goose around, many Bean Goose flocks and some Greater white-fronted Goose in the area. 

Short stop to have some food for the evening and we arrived to the site. Huge group of people was standing there waiting for the sunset and possible bird flying just after that. It was nice to see some old friends and talking about the bird and all the rare birds generally was fun. 

We waited and waited, it was a cold night, but no sign of the bird... Someone saw light colored owl flying and disappearing into the darkness, but that was all. Long drive back, but it was a fun trip. 

Here is few photos from the trip. 

Couple of Pink-footed Goose in the picture. 

Red-breasted Goose flying! 

Distant flock of Black Grouses. 11 in total in the area. 

On 27th I shortly visited Viikki fields with Julius. Lapland Longspur was the highlight of the trip. Also lots of Skylarks, Canada Geese, some Barnacle Geese and Greylags too. Stock Dove was new for the year. All went well before Julius got mad about something and stated to play with mud. It was "all over the place" kind of situation and we left... 


London with my friends. 10.3-13.3.2022

 We had our long waited trip to London with my best friends! My pal Otto had two shows  during the weekend and it was good reason to go to my first gig abroad with him. Simo, Aarno, Antti, Oula, Ville and few others with us. 

We arrived on 10th with Simo and Antti before other came day after. Walking around Chelsea area, having beer in the park, food at the pub, football, some birds too, cause the weather was super nice and sunny. We also visited Harrods and some other tourist places of course. 

Exiting Carrion Crow.

First winter Back-headed Gull.

Local Squirrel. 

Ringed Parakeet.

Coot with the nest.

Egyptian Goose.

On Friday our group was together and we had short visit to Spital Fields and pub of course before diner with Otto. Fron there we took Übers to the Electric Brixton where the gig was. Amazing night with 2000 people, good music and friends. Back at the hotel way too late, or too early at 6.30 am. 

Wild night.

We had our private balcony at the venue. 

I had only three hour sleep and we had quick breakfast before touring the Big Ben and those areas. Later afternoon a football game at the Millwall stadium the Den. Great atmosphere, crazy fans and pretty good game against Middlesborough FC from the Middlands. 0-0 was the final result. We also visited Wembley Park and some outlet area after the game. 

Big Ben under renovation.

Antti, Aarno and flags.

Millwall stadium.

Next show at the evening, but this time I was way too tired to stay up all night, so me and Aarno headed back to hotel around 3am. Sleeping was nice. 

Sunday was slow, nothing really exiting. On our way to Heathrow we visited Westfields shopping mall, biggest I´ve ever seen.. Some shopping for the kids and to the airport. 

Not too many "wild" birds this trip. Garganey was surprisingly common, loads of different gulls, lone Wagtail, Robins, Common Buzzard, Tufted Ducks, two Common Pochards, Showeler male, lots of Goldfinches, Ringed Parakeets, Carrion Crows and something like that. In Hyde Park I had Black Swan, Wood Duck, Red-breasted Geese, Mandarin Duck, about ten Egyptian Geese and tens of Moorhens. 



 Most of the time this month was boring, very snowy and I worked a lot. Only few highlights and I can mention Long-eared Owl from Espoo on 20th while I was drinking beer with my friend and Great Gray Owl from Mellunmäki, Helsinki on 23rd also that morning I had Grey Heron flying over Maunula when I was heading to work. 

We had very harsh winter this year and about average 60cm snow all over the Helsinki. Here is my single highlight shots from February.

Great Gray Owl sleeping.