05 September, 2009

Pallid Harrier

Yesterday evening I received a call from my birding friend Ville Työppönen. He had found a Pallid Harrier from Kylmäkoski! So close - but so wrong time, as I had to do some bat research same evening in Pirkkala. So I had no chance to go twitching. This morning was also fully booked, because I had promised to take my older son to wall climbing course in Tampere. Oh well, my bad luck again...

Or so I thought. But Lady Luck was on my side this time. At 11 a.m. I received a rare bird alert; the hawk was still there! It took still several hours before I was able to push the pedal and drive to Kylmäkoski. My son younger Roni was with me, he was very excited to see this bird as well.

When we arrived to large fields of Kurisjärvi, we found out immediately that there's lot's of birds of prey in the area. First one was old male Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus), then Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus). Suddenly I noticed that there's was a bigger hawk gliding near the Kestrel, It was far, but it looked very promising, definately a Harrier, but was it Hen Harrier or Pallid... could not say it's 100% sure yet, but the bird looked so interesting that we started to follow it. We jumped back in the car and drove about 1 kilometer. And there it was, pretty close to us, in good light, a juvenile Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)!

Lifer! Yes! For both me and Roni. It took "only" 27 years to see this bird...

Later we saw also Common Buzzards (Buteo buteo), another Hen Harrier, Marsh Harriers (Circus aeruginosus) and more Kestrels. In addition to those, nice flock of about 40 Yellow Wagtails (Motacilla flava) and some 200 Eurasian Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Kurisjärvi - Käyrälä fields are just now really worth visiting!

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