16 February, 2016

Eurasian Eagle Owl and Hazel Grouse

Taiga forest near my home

Short walk, couple of kilometers, in nearby coniferous forests in perfect spring-winter weather; clear sky, temperature about -2° C. The forests are still rather quiet, most birds are still in towns and villages.
And no Crosbills, they are somewhere else this winter... Only Eurasian Bullfinches were calling every now and then, otherwise the forest was silent. Actually, why I decided to have a walk in this forest today was not just because of fine weather, but because Jote Ahola saw there Grey-headed Woodpecker and Three-toed Woodpecker yesterday. Grey-headed is still missing from my year list, so it would be nice to see it.

This time I chose a new track, that I had not walked ever before. And it was a good choice, as after couple of hundred meters walk, I saw an Eurasian Eagle Owl taking off from the spruce, flying between trees and disappearing. It all happened so fast, that I didn't get a photo of it, shame... Still it was really cool to see that owl, and it became #50 in my year list 2016!

Eurasian Bullfinches, the most common birds in forests today

I stomped around the forests, no woodpeckers, just Bullfinches... Suddenly I saw a small grouse flying across the track. Here in the forests of southern Finland a small grouse is always Hazel Grouse, nowadays.
Some forty / fifty years ago we had still Willow Grouse in these latitudes, but nowadays it lives much further north. I tried to get a photo of the Hazel Grouse (or Hazelhen - somehow I prefer this old name better), but it resisted to show himself to me even though it replied to me all the time when I whistled to it. They are all individuals, some of them come very close to see who is whistling, some stay in hide, some fly far away.

So, no Grey-headed Woodpecker yet, but Eurasian Eagle Owl was a pleasure to see. What next, who knows, maybe I'm going some evening to an owl trip, or going to watch the White-tailed Eagles...

No comments:

Post a Comment