25 April, 2008

Evening trip with boys

This evening was already quite warm, +15 degrees Celcius and almost no wind at all. This time we headed east, to lake Tykölänjärvi. It was a good choice, there were lots of birds, just for example 52 Common Porchards (Aythya ferina), 56 Eurasian Wigeons (Anas penelope), 62 Common Goldeneyes (Bucephala clangula), 126 Eurasian Coots (Fulica atra), 2 Eurasian Bitterns (Botaurus stellaris) and many others. New species for me this year were 5 Red-necked Grebes (Podiceps grisegena) and a singing Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes). We saw most of the birds very well and my boys were very exited, not only because of birds but because they found also lots of interesting insects.

From Tykölänjärvi we continued to another bird lake, called Vähäjärvi. There had been some interesting species in the morning, but now the lake was quite empty. Most interesting observation was an old birder - I soon identified him as Pentti Linkola, a 76 years old environmental evangelist and one of the most famous Finnish birders ever. It's a shame that he left before us, I would have liked to have a chat with him. Well, he lives not too far from here, so perhaps I should go to meet him later in the spring.

After we left Vähäjärvi, we found still one little bit better species; a male Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe), once so common, but nowadays quite few in numbers due to changes in rural environment. For me this was second this spring (I saw one in Tampere yesterday), but for my boys it was their first for the spring.

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