14 March, 2011

Milkyway, Moon and owls

Last saturday evening I went birding at 23:00. I tried to get my sons with me, but this time they prefered 007's "The spy who loved me" movie. So I went alone and headed to forests east of Valkeakoski.

What a night it was, almost perfect indeed. Sky was clear and I could see the Milkyway above my head and the Moonshine was reflecting from the snow in silent taiga forest. Well, not totally silent - as this is the best time of year to listen for owls.

The first owl I heard was a very distant one, so I wasn't 100% sure of the species - it was either a Ural Owl or Eagle Owl. A bit later I heard a Red Fox calling and then two Tengmalm's Owls (aka Boreal Owl) and one Tawny Owl. Very nice !

I drove ahead, saw one European Hare, heard a possible distant Long-Eared Owl and finally a very active and loud Tawny Owl right next to the road. Shame that my boys didn't come with me. When I told them about my trip in Sunday morning, they required me to take them to owl trip next weekend. Let's hope that the weather is still fine then!

P.S. Four days later I tried with my son Roni to hear Eagle Owls and Eurasian Pygmy Owls right after sunset, when they are supposed to hoot. But not this evening, just dogs barking here and there... Perhaps too cold, who knows... Gotta try again when the weather gets warmer.

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