03 April, 2008

Big flock of Lapwings, Cranes, Marsh Harrier...

Three new species for this year today; first a migrating male Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) in the morning, seen from my office window. During work hours I saw also a Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) hunting Common Pigeons (Columba livia) - it's always cool to see Goshawk in action!

In the evening I took my boys Petro and Roni with me and we did a 2,5 hours trip to southern fields of Valkeakoski. In Kannistonvainio there was a big surprise waiting for us - a flock of 290 Northern Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus) ! That's the biggest flock I've ever seen in southern parts of Pirkanmaa county - very nice, indeed. While counting the Lapwings, a European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) started to sing behind us, first for this spring.

From Kannistonvainio we continued to Saarioispuoli and Kuurila, where we hiked around the fields, trying to find passerines, but did not succeed, it was already too late, only one Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) was found from the bushes. Fortunately a flock of four Eurasian Cranes (Grus grus) came from north and landed in front of us. By the way, Whooper Swans (Cygnus cygnus) are now very common, you can see them almost everywhere; feeding in the fields, resting on the ice, swimming in open water.

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