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Wonder wondering the Wonders of Nature on the shore of the Mare Karelia and elsewhere

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Old Thursday 10th January 2019, 17:42   #1
Warixenjalka
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Wonder wondering the Wonders of Nature on the shore of the Mare Karelia and elsewhere

I decide to keep some kind of "Birding diary" at this year. Well... I try anyway.

Firstly I have to think what Title I give this. "Another great day at South-East Finland". Hmm... I have a feeling that I have seen something similar somewhere...
What about "Targets for this year"? No - That sounds too familiar also...
"Almost globalish big year while working normally" Nah - Must seen that too somewhere...
"My birding day(s)"? Boooring...

OK, I stop bored you to death now, because obviously you already know what the Title is. (And wondering, "How on earth he ended up that title?")

I'm not gonna write here every day - even this is "a diary" - I update this if I have been birding or seen nice birds or some other interesting wildlife - and I have a time, and right feeling, etc...

After saying that, I really hope that this will not be the last post for this Thread.
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Last lifer: Grey Partridge #423, WP ticks: 314, Finnish ticks: 255, Eco ticks: 193 (Ural Owl) , Yard tics (alltime): 100 (Eurasian Eagle Owl), Photo ticks: 380 (Grey Partridge)
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Old Friday 11th January 2019, 08:36   #2
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No, don't let this be the last post. I visited Finland in the 60s, loved it and would like to return, so keep posting and inspire me to come back to the wonderful land of forests and lakes.
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Old Friday 11th January 2019, 18:05   #3
Warixenjalka
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Even this diary is about 2019, I have to start from last year.

In our local Birding Club has long been the tradition to arrange in the Winter garden race and count how many of different species one yard can be seen during winter months (in December to February) - Of course playfully. Currently is the fourth time that I'm the main organizer of ”competition”. I collect once a week all observations and put them on excel-table. On 27th December I was reading competitors e-mails and updating the table, when one observation hit me like a lightning: Siberian Tit! What a h...?!? I had never seen that species and in our province (Kymenlaakso) it is very rarely seen. And now it was regular visitor in that competitors garden. Garden what was only 30 km from my home.

Last fall Siberian Tits had extensive migration to the South, but in South-Eastern Finland they had managed to avoid the sharp eyes of birdwatchers. This was first in our area. I immediately wrote to the participant and asked if it would be possible for to come and see the Tit and would he let me inform sighting forward. He promised to discuss this with his family. In addition, he told me that the bird had been feeding regularly on several times of day since December 21st.

At the next day this wonderful guy send a message to our clubs e-mail list: You are all welcome to watch Siberian Tit at Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th December between 10 am and 15 pm. Yippee!!!

Me, one friend of mine and three other birders were on that site just 10 am at Saturday morning. The star guest didn’t wait long for showing himself, it was on garden right away. Sometimes it went on a seed feeder, but it was most fond of fat. At times it was lost among the trees, but soon returned to our joy. At its closest point, it was just a few meters from my stand. What an delightful sight it was, so exotic looking when compered to other Tits, with his warm brown back and rusty flanks. By the way – there were also tenths of Great, Blue, Coal, Willow and Crested Tits – absolutely amazing site. I had never before seen six species of Tits in a same place.

Viewing was organized very well and the son of the family sold viewers coffee, tea, pastries and bird boxes from his “kiosk”. We were there about an hour and on that time there was a dozen viewers. I heard later that there had been birdwatchers by evenly throughout the weekend. Before leaving, I asked is there an opportunity to come to see the bird at the next year, for example on New Year's Day. 1st day of a year tics are important, as you might know. That jolly good fellow promised to inform the continuation…
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Old Tuesday 15th January 2019, 18:07   #4
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At Monday 31st I got info that Siberian Tit is twichable at January 1st and also next weekend. I decided to go there at New Years Day. But firstly on that day, I went my traditional New Years Day’s Eco-trip. Last year I did it by bike, because the roads were then dry(ish), snowless and the temperature was plus side (Celsius scale). But at this year, though the temperature was on plus side, there was quite enough snow and also at first, wet snow blasting from sky full. In the afternoon it turned into rain.

In spite of the bad weather, I walked the loop I had planned, almost 10 km. When I finally - after 3,5 hours - got home I was soaking wet and I had 12 year ticks under my vest (8 less than a year earlier) and two mammals – Red Squirrel and American Mink. Far and away the best bird was Tawny Owl. I hadn’t seen this species for years – I’ve only heard it annually. Actually, Tawny wasn’t on my planned route. I heard strange noise, first I thought it was some 2-stroke motorcycle or the like, but when I went little bit closer I realise that the terrible racket caused by Jays. Then I know that there must be some predator, I leave the path and went to find a place where the noise was heard. Then I saw between the trees about 100 meters away, the Jays jump nervously on spruce branches. Because of the weather, my binoculars had gone to misty and I barely separated the dark figure on the tree branch. I couldn’t tell was it Tawny or was it Ural Owl. I take a dozen of crappy photos from it and I leave it to continue its day dreams. At home I check the photos and make sure that it was an Tawny indeed.

After change my clothes and quick snack, I collect few co-birders and drove to SibTit site – just before darkening sky. Weather was still miserable. First bird on site was Chaffinch (year tick), and then 5 species of Tits (3 year ticks more) but the Star kept us waiting. After 15 or 20 minutes it came and what an miserable sight it was – in its all wet feathers. I didn’t get nearly as good photos as couple of days before, but I was very happy. And so were my friends too – After all it was a lifer for both of them.

A pretty good start for the year anyway…
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Last lifer: Grey Partridge #423, WP ticks: 314, Finnish ticks: 255, Eco ticks: 193 (Ural Owl) , Yard tics (alltime): 100 (Eurasian Eagle Owl), Photo ticks: 380 (Grey Partridge)
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