Birding with my kids today - we spent the whole afternoon watching birds and enjoying the good weather. Our first target was the bird observation tower of lake Kortejärvi in Urjala. It's very nice place with good facilities; parking place, toilets, information canopy and a perfect large tower itself.
I could have spent there all day, but when you go birding with kids, they set the time limits per location - here it was 45 minutes. During that time we saw a lots of interesting birds; for example 123 Taiga Bean Geese (Anser fabalis), 2 White-tailed Eagles (Haliaetus albicilla), 10 Smews (Mergus albellus), 2 Northern Pintails (Anas acuta), 8 Eurasian Cranes (Grus grus), 2 Reed Buntings (Emberiza schoeniclus), 4 Common Teals (Anas crecca), Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus), Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) and many others.
After Kortejärvi we drove to Kylmäkoski and Viiala. In Kylmäkoski we saw a Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) - a very handsome male. In Viiala, after boys ate their snacks, we decided to check the waterfowls of Sitonsaari. It was a good choice, there were lots of birds around; about 250 Eurasian Coots (Fulica atra), 8 Smews (Mergus albellus), about 25 Eurasian Wigeons (Anas penelope), Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) again and 24 Common Pochards (Aythya ferina) - just to mention few of them.
The most visible bird today was the Whooper Swan (Gygnus cygnus) - in total we saw at least 155 of them in 10 places.
So, 8 new species for 2008 today and many nice experiences. Compared to yesterday, this day was almost perfect!