25. toukokuuta 2022

Terek Sandpiper 22.5.2022

 Like I mentioned in my last post I was hoping to revisit the Terek Sandpiper at Laajalahti, Espoo and I really did it that same night. 

I got message of the bird later that night and I checked that I have two hours of daylight left. I drove to the site and kids fellow birders showed me the right direction where to point my telescope and there it was. Very very distant, but still in good light I was able to see the bill and yellow legs. Suddenly the bird took off and after couple of minutes I found it much closer feeding and calling. Finally some records shots were possible to take. Here is few. And video HERE 

Lone Slavonian Grebe from the site. Distance about 300m

Terek Sandpiper.

A bit closer.

Always a pleasure to see this species. 

Terek Sandpiper is very rare visitor here in capital area and funny thing is that I saw my second ever in Finland from this same tower and the date was exactly the same 22nd of May back in 2017! It seems that this species really have only short window when they pass the southern Finland. Only few pairs breeding here every year around Oulu area I guess. This was my third Terek Sand I saw in Finland. Still waiting my first from Helsinki side. 

More birding coming soon. Still some plans to visit Estonia, but very rainy forecast fro the weekend. Maybe a day trip here in Finland. My summer vacation started today (25th) 


22. toukokuuta 2022

Almost a great day. 22.5.2022

 Started today at 9 am with my kids. Our target was Terek Sandpiped in Espoo. When we arrived there was lots of people around and wind was pretty hard, so no optimal conditions for looking the small wader. Anyway no luck with the sandpiper, so we continued to look if the Firecrests are still singing near by. 

Kids were playing and I pent nice half an hour there with Pekka Komi and Tomi Muukkonen. Thanks for the company guys!  Firecrest were singing almost all the time and couple of times it came very close to us. This is still very scarce bird here, but more and more singing birds every year especially in southern Finland. 

Here is few pictures.

Male Great-spotted Woodpecker. 


And again.

This would be a great picture with flowers in the back and everything, but the bird... 


Pretty tame bird. 

Sing us a song. 

After we left I took kids to playground and Vilma had her gymnastics practice. I had nice time with Julius and pretty soon we went back home for some lunch. Later I got info about the Terek Sand, that it is still there... Great. Anyway even better new arrived when a message of singing Arctic Warbler from Pornaistenniemi, Vanhankaupunginlahti! I told Sanni that I must go and in 10 minutes I was at the site. No twitchers around, so I was first I guess. There was loads of Wood Warblers singing and one of those birds were singing a bit oddly, and that was the bird which fooled the finder this time. Shame, but it happens. 

Here is a picture of the bird. Also singing Ichterine Warbler around with loads of Spotted- and PIed Flycatchers. 

Evil Wood Warbler who fooled people. 

Juvenile Fieldfare.

Possibly trying the Terek Sandpiper this evening, but if not, more birding next week. My summer vacation starts on Wednesday, so trip to Estonia before me and kids are heading to Mallorca with my  mother. Two target species there, but more of that later. 


21. toukokuuta 2022

Mornin in Vuosaari 21.5.2022

 I was super tired after yesterday, cause we spent half of the night in hospital with Vilma and I slept like three hours. This morning I got my self from bed before 6 am and I headed to Kallvik to check if there is any migration going on. 

From the parking lot I heard and saw small flock of Common Crossbills. I walked to the shore and I met Mikko Salonen and Kimmo Heiskanen there with some other birders. We had nice two hours before we had to admit that there was no migration going.. Distant Grey Plovers and Dunlins were nice, but without lone Bearded Reedling there was pretty boring set of birds around. 

I went to take some photos of the Reedling before I drove to Vuosaari hill for some "raptor watch".

Male Bearded Reedling.

This bird in a loner in a small area of reeds. 

Look how short those wings are! 

I had windy and sunny two hours at the hill and best birds were two migrating Arctic Skuas. Lots of Common Whitethroats, Skylarks, Northern Wheatears etc. land birds around. Raptors were in a different place I guess, cause I had only one White-tailed Eagle during the time I stayed there...

Northern Wheatear male. 

Common Skylark.


More birding later.


20. toukokuuta 2022

Collared Flycatcher in Maari, Espoo. 18.5.2022

 I was hanging with my kidsand at the Maunula playground when I got a message of female Collared Flycatcher from Maari, Espoo. This species is surprisingly rare here in the capital area, so I wanted to twitch! I showed the message to Sanni and she said go. I was running (didn´t really run, but walked pretty fast) to my car and in 15 minutes I was in the place where the bird was seen. About twenty people around and they told me where to watch. My first thought was "Can´t be anything else than COlared female, cause the overall color was so grey and something like collar continued to the neck area. White area on the wing looked odd for Pied Fly.." I talked with some twitchers and we were sure about the identification. 

I managed to take few grabby pics of the bird. I also found Ichterine Warler from the same site and flock of six Great-white Egrets at the bay. Great birding! 

On my way back to the car I heard my first Common Rosefinch for the year. Summer is here.. 

Lapwing near my car. Male bird I guess because of the long crest. 

Female Collared Flycatcher.

This one was not easy bird to photograph. 

Light was from the back the whole time, but something here.

Great birding and cool species. More birding coming this weekend. Our Isosaari trip was cancelled today, so I guess I take my stuff to Kallvik and after that to Vuosaari hill. 


Steppe Eagle in Helsinki 17.5.2022

 I was working and trying to do something important like adding new workers into our system when I noticed a message of "rare eagle" from Talosaari, which is in eastern part of Helsinki. In an hour the identification of the bird was secured as a Steppe Eagle! Found originally by my friend Risto Lammin-Soila! 

I was nervous and I had to make an excuse to leave.  I drove straight to the place and the Eagle was standing there at the meadow and eating dead Swan. I took my telescope and took some pictures and videos of it. The bird moved only twice during the time I stood there, so pretty son I packed my stuff and drove to daycare to pick up my kids. 

Sanni was still working, so we made another visit with the juveniles and I even got the Eagle to my stroller list! Number 264 was very welcome. Both of the kids saw the bird too, so if they start counting species some day I can tel them that they have very rare beast on their list. 

Here is few pictures of the bird and from the site. Also couple of videos Here and Here

Other birds worth to mention from the place were Temminck´s Stints, singing Mistle Thrush and Wood Warbler etc. 

First picture of the bird. Dead Swan next to eagle.

Bird moved only a bit during my stay. Here is walked around the meadow and searched somethin.

Steppe Eagle.

When I was back with kids, the bird stood at the tree the whole time. 

Loads of birders visited the site during the birds one and a half day visit. 

Great bird and only seventh record for Helsinki in last 70 years and 72nd in Finland. This was only my second Steppe Eagle in Finland after the first in Turku back in 2017.

Thanks to my kids for company!


12. toukokuuta 2022

Birding with kids. 9.5.2022

 Because of the public sector strike our daycare was a bit mess, so I asked if I can have evening shift at work, so I can watch my kids before Sanni ends her own day at work. We made plans for the trip to Lammassaari in Vanhankaupunginlahti and we were on our way surprisingly early. Normally with my kids it takes about two hours to get some clothes on... 

Anyway we arrived to the place and first stop was in Pornaistenniemi. Lots of songbirds around and I found a flock where I had Spotted Flycatcher, Wood Warbler, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat and lots of Willow Warblers. Few Chiffchaffs were singing and first Sedge Warbler of the year was heard. 

Spotted Flycatcher.

Male Blackcap.

Male Chaffinch. 

Soon we were on logpath to Lammassaari and we stopped in every lookout place. Kids had my old camera and they were playing and I tried to find some good birds. 

On last stop before the island I was looking some Yellow Wagtails, Wood Sandpipers etc. when I heard a familiar call. Citrine Wagtail was flying above us (I was there with another birder) and we both yelled "look at that" or something like that. The bird landed quite near of us and we got nice photos of it. Adult male, with some marking on the yellow head. It seems that this species varies a bit how bright the yellow head is. Also my first Common Swift for the year from there! 

Common Swift.

Citrine Wagtail.

A bit closer.

Bird was looking us few times.

Bird was constantly searching food.

I think the most beautiful Wagtail in Finland. What do you think?

Lucky shot of Sand Martin. 

Kids were happy with karelian pies and juice so we spend about 45 minutes at the place before we moved into Lammassaari. 

In the island we visited the tower, but nothing really interesting from there. Somebody sent a message of migrating Spotted Eagle species, but I wasn´t able to see that from there. When we were walking back kids found some worms and I found pretty photogenic Wood Warbler and I spend ten minutes with it. 

Starling from Lammassaari tower.

Beautiful Wood Warbler.

And again.

Nothing new during the walk back, so we were soon back at the parking lot and inside the car. Pizza dinner after the trip! After food I dropped kids to Sanni and lef to work. 

Amazing visit and so much fun with kids. Sometimes they are real pain in the ass, but most of the time we have great fun. 


Visit to Summerhouse 7.5.2022

 Shortly before I write about our trip to Loviisa, I visited Vanhankaupunginlahti on 5th and got nice set of new species to my year list. I did not have my camera with me, so no photos from that trip, but I stayed at Pornaistenniemi tower for hour and a half. Ruffs, lone Spotted Redshank, three species of Hirundinidae including always nice Sand Martin in a big flock with Barn Swallows and House Martins. Best species were Citrine Wagtail, a male bird which showed me few seconds before disappearing behind the photographing hide. 

On 7th I went to Loviisa with my dad and his wife Sari to make some arrangements for the summer. We put both piers on place and water system on too. During the work I had short breaks to see some birds and definitely this visit was worth to make when adult male Montagu´s Harrier migrated along the coastline and turned a bit towards inland. Shame that it was a bit too far for any pics, but it was easy to identify even from the distance. 

Here is few photos from the trip. 

Common Tern.

Common Cranes.

Ready for the summer.

Great-crested Grebe. 

Great fun with my dad. 


1. toukokuuta 2022

Suomenoja with Julius 30.4.2022

 Yesterday I took Julius with me and we visited a Suomenoja pools, where is one of the largest Black-headed Gull colony in whole Uusimaa county. Also very important breeding site for Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Showeler, Gadwall and Common Gallinule. 

Area is pretty small and took us about 45 minutes to walk around the pools. Julius wanted to visit all the birding towers and I concentrated to get few images for the blog. We did not see anything special, but Horned Grebe was new species to my year list. I noticed that there was only few small passerine, and normally at this time there should be loads of songbirds around... Long and cold flow from North has been really bad for migrants. 

Anyway, here is few pictures of our visit. 

Common Coot.

Horned Grebe.

Horned Grebe couple.


Julius watching Goldeneyes.

Julius and bird watching tower.

Northern Showeler male. What a bill it has! 

Black-headed Gull carried nesting materials.

Common Pochard female. 

Male Tufted Duck.

Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais Urticae.

Later we ate at MC Donalds and Julius fell asleep in the car, so I took my time at Haltiala and watched about an hour the fields. Migrating Whimbler, small flock of Golden Plovers, 15 Common Cranes and some kind of small raptor, but nothing else. Local Skylarks and Meadow Pipits were singing constantly and couple of Northern Wheatears around. 

Haltiala fields. Julius was sleeping in the car.

Great trip, with my little boy.