05 April, 2010
Birding in fog and rain by mountain bike
They both have downsides and advantages. In fog, the visibility is really poor and the tiny water particles cover all surfaces. But the birds are active and you can still find them relatively easy. In light rain, the visibility is usually better, but the on the other hand, the birds don't move a lot and all your gears and clothing get wet fast.
Still, with proper clothing and gears, birding in in fog or rain is not too difficult - on the contrary, it can be really enjoyable. Migratory birds that usually just fly over your area, may drop down and stay sedentary until weather gets better for migration. Many rarities have been also found during these "bad" weather conditions.
As our car broke down on Saturday, I have used my mountain bike for transportation while birding. It was cool to use bike for birding after long winter, and I will continue to use it also after the car is fixed, even though it diminishes the area that I can check during limited birding hours. While cycling, you will see and especially hear much more birds than while driving by car.
So, what I saw during these days? Lot's of European Robins (Erithacus rubecula), some Mistle Thrushes (Turdus viscivorus) and Song Thrushes (Turdus philomela), flocks of 50 and 30 Fieldfares (Turdus pilaris), 20 Bohemian Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus), Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea), Common Cranes (Grus grus), Whooper Swans (Cygnus cygnus), Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), hundreds of Chaffinches (Fringilla coelebes), Black-headed Gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), Northern Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus), European Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) and many more.
Easter holiday is now over, back to work tomorrow... I hope the car will get fixed soon, as I'd love to make birding trips flood areas of Akaa and Kylmäkoski when the migration of Taiga Bean Geese start - and that will be soon!