25 June, 2016

Happy Midsummer! Spring migration continues, autumn migration has started

European Goldfinch is getting more common every year.
24th of June, Midsummer here in Nordic countries, towns area deserted, people are more or less drunk, many of them in summer cottages. Before I opened the sparkling wine, I did a 30 km birding trip by bike, to Sääksmäki and back.

Most of the birds have got their nestlings in flight, so did the European Goldfinches, I saw three broods with adult birds. It's getting more common every year, perhaps it's one the results of global warming here.

"I'm singing in the rain... the Common Whitethroat"

Common Whitethroats were still singing actively as well as all the Thrushes and Yellowhammers. Rainshowers stopped my biking few times, but the rain did not stop birds singing. I was listening all the sounds and songs, identified all the birds I heard and saw, but nothing special today, just the ordinary breeding birds of this region.

Northern Lapwing guarding his offspring

There were lot's Northern Lapwings in the fields, adults with their offspring. A flock of 8 Black-headed Gulls was migrating south, sign of the autumn... At the same time we are still waiting for the last birds to arrive here, like the last Corncrakes and some rare Lanceolated Warblers.

Midsummer bonfire was burning in the village of Mattila, flag of Finland in every flag pole. It was very peaceful everywhere, people were barbecuing, only few cars on the road.

In Sääksmäki I turned back to home, took just another route. I stopped at Rapola, to drink some water. When I tried to continue cycling, I suddenly found myself lying on the ground with my bike. At first I didn't even realize what the heck happened, then I saw a stone on the grass and noticed that my front wheel had turned around. I had hold the handlebars only with my left hand and tried to turn my camera bag behind my back with my right hand. The front wheel had hit the stone and turned around in a second... Nothing too serious happened, some scratches in my legs and right hand is a bit aching, that's all. But the front wheel brakes got stuck. Damn! The brake cable guide was warped and the cable did not move at all. I could cycle mainly on downhills, well, also in flat, but it was really heavy to cycle, but no chance to cycle uphills...

So, I was heading home, but slowly... I stopped at Rapolanlahti for watching the Little Gulls hunting insects over the lake.

Four Little Gulls were catching insects over the bay of Rapolanlahti

Little Gull is my favorite gull, it's the smallest gull of the World, with a length of 25–30 cm (9.8–11.8 in) and wingspan of 61–78 cm (24–31 in). Underwings are black and it has a funny nasal "keck" sound. Very sympathetic small bird, in my opinion.

In the fields of Rapolanharju there was also a local Raven family, two adults and with 5 juveniles.  A bit later, in Vuohilahti fields I saw a Mountain Hare and a lonely Common Crane.

Common Crane in Vuohilahti fields.
Only few kilometers to home... I made a phone call and asked my older son to bring me some tools. He came soon and I got the front wheel rotating pretty well. The front brake did not work though, so I know what I do tomorrow...

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