13 November, 2005

Phonescoped Eurasian Pygmy Owl

Short birding trip today in Ikaalinen with my older son Petro. When we came back from the Kurinlahti observation tower, this sympathic individual waited us near the trail. It's always nice to see owls, especially because you don't see them every day. This photo is phonescoped i.e. I took this photo with my cell phone camera through my spotting scope.

14 October, 2005

Pale Common Buzzard at Saaremaa, Estonia

I was today at Sõrve, Saaremaa with my birding friends Jyri Reinikka & Rainer Häggblom. The weather was nice and lots of birds around; Bar-tailed Godwits (Limosa limosa), Grey Plovers (Pluvialis squatarola), Red Knots (Calidris canuta), Woodlarks (Lullula arborea), Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros) and many, many others. Also couple of late butterflies, Red Admirals (Vanessa atalanta), were still in flight. But during this morning the buzzards stole the show. Between 08:20 - 10:30 we saw 5 Rough-legged Buzzards (Buteo lagopus) and 71 Common Buzzards (Buteo buteo). One of them was really interesting, it was so called "Börringe-type" Common Buzzard i.e. a very pale individual. This was first time ever I saw this kind of buzzard.

Later I found a photo of possibly the very same individual from Antero Lindholm's and Annika Forsten's webpage. If you're interested in these pale buzzards, take a look at their page, there's more photos of them.

(Photo © Annika Forsten)

24 February, 2005

White-tailed Eagle

Today I saw a White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) once again. So it startles inland birder each and every time. In the coast you would get bored(?) at them, but here in Häme these eagles are not daily tidbits. This observation has, by the way, a certain by-plot; I called to my friend Tom and told him about White-tailed Eagles that were seen in lake Rauttunselkä in Valkeakoski. Tom had never seen White-tailed Eagle in his life and in fact he probably had thrown in the towel, as 2/3 of his life he had waited to see one - in vain... I teased him a bit and said that I'll go now to Viidennumero to watch White-tailed Eagle - and so it happened! This incident provoked him, so he decided to give one more try - and finally he saw that king of birds. :-) If you understand finnish, you can read his whole story here.

18 February, 2005

Fool owls...

...made me frustrated once again. I did the second fruitless owl trip this year, I had planned to listen hooting of Eurasian Eagle Owls (Bubo bubo) and Tawny Owls (Strix aluco). Locations were supposed to be 100% sure, as just one evening before other birdwatchers had heard there 3 Eurasian Eagle Owls and 1 Tawny Owl. But today they were all mute, although the weather was exactly the same. Well, luckily the starry sky was beautiful and I managed to see couple of shooting stars.

But the logic of owls is totally incomprehensible, at least what comes to hooting times...

13 February, 2005

Glaucous Gull

TodayI found spontaneously a Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus) from icy lake Vanajanselkä, right close to a shore. These small rarities are always nice to find without twitching them, self-found rarity "tastes" much better than twitched.

This particular visitor from Arctic Ocean stayed in Heinunranta, Kalvola, only a moment and flew then northwest. On a way to home I saw the same bird again in Viidennumero at Valkeakoski.

(The gull on the photo is not the same individual but another Glaucous Gull that I saw in Viidennumero in 1994. Sorry for the poor quality, it's heavily cropped from the scanned slide.)