31 January, 2010

A better winter birding day

On 24th of January I made an urban birding trip with my younger son Roni. Our first target was Koukkujärvi dump in Nokia. Disgusting smell, especially in the area of organic waste - but lots of birds. 1500 Western Jackdaws (Corvus monedula), 50 Common Magpies (Pica pica), 30 Hooded Crows (Corvus cornix) and 6 Common Ravens (Corvus corax) were the most visible ones. Also lot's of smaller ones - a very nice mixed flock of 120 European Greenfinches (Carduelis chloris), 20 Common Redpolls (Carduelis flammea), 1 Arctic Redpoll (Carduelis hornemanni), 4 Twites (Carduelis flavirostris) and 4 Eurasian Tree Sparrows (Passer montanus). Both Twite and Arctic Redpoll were lifers for Roni, so the boy was very happy! In addition to previous, there was also lonely Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major).

From Nokia we drove to Tampere and tried to find White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) from Pärrinkoski rapids, but unfortunately the rapids were totally frozen, no open water at all, so no room for Dippers. Shame... Small hightlight was still the fresh footprints of the European Otter (Lutra lutra), although we did not see the animal.

After that we drove to city center of Tampere, where the Tammerkoski flows so fast that there's always some open water. Lot's of Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) , two Goosanders (Mergus merganser), 1 female Long-tailed Duck aka Oldsquaw (Clangula hyemalis), 1 male Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) and 1 elegant male Smew (Mergus albellus).

IMHO, Long-tailed Duck is a very dull name for that beautiful arctic duck, I prefer much more the old American name Oldsquaw!

At this point it was already afternoon, so it was time get back to home. Roni was very happy and so was daddy!

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