Wonder wondering the Wonders of Nature on the shore of the Mare Karelia and elsewhere (1 Viewer)

Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
Yes, the French has specialized for Ortolan Buntings, but Passerine hunting happens all over "Mediterranean countries". I think the worst are Malta, Cypros, Egypt and Lebanon.
In Finland, Passerines are hardly hunted, with the exception of Corvids, which have always been persecuted. :C Finnish hunters shoot mostly Ducks (including rare species like Garganey and Common Pochard), Grouses and other "gamebirds" and some assholes also Raptors. There has been a lot of talk here recently about the excessive number of Barnacle geese and that they should be allowed to start hunting. I hope that the EU will never authorize such activities. There are also options for attracting geese away from unwanted places.
So let us not be innocent here either, though we would gladly point the finger at the Mediterranean countries... :-C
 
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Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
End of June

But now for a little happier topics...

In the end of June we studied plants - mostly. Of course we saw lots of other stuff too. Especially I have tried to photographed the dragonflies and other insects. I hadn't keep listing insects ever, but I'm almost sure that Large Red Damsel, Small Pincertail and Tipula maxima (I don't know it's English name - are there any?) which is biggest Cranefly in Finland (maybe whole of Europe). Also here are Beautiful Demoiselle and Four-spotted Chaser.
 

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Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
In the end of June my lists shows that in Birds year ticks are 223 - so only 11 new ticks in June, but quality overcame quantity by far - Two lifers: Lanceolated Warbler and Arctic Warbler - Both only heard, but still quite nice. :king:
Other new ticks in end of June were Grey Wagtail and Sand Martin (this take unusually long to get).
Only 2 new eco ticks - but it's very understandable cos I haven't been home much. For same reason only one new yard tick.
On mammals, it's going much better: 21. European Badger was also lifer :eek!:(believe or not) Sadly there was no time to take photo.

These photos are taken in Pori or Ulvila. The chick is Willow Warblers (I think) and it couldn't fly yet, so maybe something had chase it out of the nest too soon? Butterfly is Comma and the plant is Heath Spotted-orchid.
 

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3Italianbirders

Well-known member
Italy
Yes, the French has specialized for Ortolan Buntings, but Passerine hunting happens all over "Mediterranean countries". I think the worst are Malta, Cypros, Egypt and Lebanon.

Passerines are hunted (and poached) in Italy, too, mostly in the northern provinces of Lombardy, with cruel illegal methods such as glue traps, nets and other medieval contraptions. They are sold (illegally) to restaurants to make a local dish called "polenta e osei" (polenta with birds). But not Ortolans as far as I know.

So let us not be innocent here either, though we would gladly point the finger at the Mediterranean countries... :-C

On the other hand, in central Italy, in Tuscany, Umbria and the Marches, they shoot at ANYTHING that moves (my mother's dog was shot twice), including protected species such as the Bald Ibises from the Waldrappen reintroduction project. Sometimes they are caught, most often not. :C
 

Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
But now for a little happier topics...

In the end of June we studied plants - mostly. Of course we saw lots of other stuff too. Especially I have tried to photographed the dragonflies and other insects. I hadn't keep listing insects ever, but I'm almost sure that Large Red Damsel, Small Pincertail and Tipula maxima (I don't know it's English name - are there any?) which is biggest Cranefly in Finland (maybe whole of Europe). Also here are Beautiful Demoiselle and Four-spotted Chaser.

I noticed that I have missed a sentence in this post: "I hadn't keep listing insects ever, but I'm almost sure that Large Red Damsel, Small Pincertail and Tipula maxima (I don't know it's English name - are there any?) which is biggest Cranefly in Finland (maybe whole of Europe)"... should go on like ...I've never seen before.

Maybe it makes more sense now. 3:)
 

Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
July part 1/5

July started nicely with one (bird) lifer (and couple insect lifer). In our studies we started insect weeks.

About 50 km to South from school was found Pied Bushchat - third in Finland and first in mainland. I went to the site for a first time on Sunday 5th July with a wife in my company. So I only had half an hour to see the bird, and it didn’t show up during that time... :smoke:
On the next morning our school started 10 am, so I had a good time to go site before school. I was on site at 6 am. No Bushchat. I had three hours to wait before I had to drive back to school, so I waited. After half an hour I got company from other birder. We waited and watched the fields where bird had been previous days. After an other half an hour one more birder join us. Then, about 15 minutes later the last guy to come found the bird about a couple of hundred meters from the edge of the field. Wo-hoo! Mission complished. B :)
Bird was so far that I decided to stay and soon the bird came little closer (photo is from that place). It was still too far for good photos. Then the bird surprised us and flew right next to us in Willow bush. But it was so well hidden that I couldn't get any more photos. After half an hour I decided to leave the site. After all, most primary thing was done.

Insect lifers were cute little Forest Cockroach and Black Hairstreak, from which the teacher was also a little excited. In last two photos are handsome Bee Beetle and Common Sandpiper, who cared for his chicks by the river flowing past our apartement.
 

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Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
July part 2/5

Our second Insect week started. In addition to insects, we saw also insectivores. We surprised a Honey Buzzard by the road digging a wasp nest. Frightened, it flew to a branch of a nearby tree, where I was able to grab a few pictures of it.
In the second pic is Silver-washed Fritillary and flies on thistle flowers.
Then couple pics from Dragonflies: Common Spreadwing and Large Redeye. In the last pic is some Hymenoptera, maybe Ichneumonidae sp?

Meanwhile, at home, we had received a family extension: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-L51Yd6-xI 3:)
 

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Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
July part 3/5

Couple more Dragonflies: Yellow-spotted Whiteface and Dark Whiteface.
In the third pic this Raft Spider on left corner was bigger than right corners Viviparous Lizard. :eek!: No need to guess which one would win the duel...
On Thistle flower (again) Lesser Marbled Fritillary and flies.
And 'cos this is The Bird Forum one bird too.
 

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Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
July part 4/5

...and more insects: I haven't never before seen so much Butterflies than one day in Kullaa. There was hundreds and hundreds Blues everywhere. Mostly they were Silver-studded Blues (here with Flower Longhorn Beetles) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSlbJhJLroc
Also there was a lot of Dragonflies hunting the butterflies and other smaller insects. The biggest was this Brown Hawker. I have to wait a long time before it landed on pine branch for a few seconds.
On one flower I found nice Common Scorpionfly.
Then there was Viviparous Lizard and peculiar weeping Polypore. |>|

On last day of Insect weeks we had an exam on butterflies and dragonflies. I made one mistake. :king:

On the last pic is a mandatory bird.
 

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Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
July part 5/5

Last week of July we became acquainted with the mysterious life of bats. Sorry, not much pictures of those. But we saw (and heard by detector) Daubenton's and Northern Bats. I photoed bat poop and couple of dead bats, but I don't wanna put those pics here, so you have to settle for photos of insects and... surprisingly for birds. Actually, I got couple of new year ticks from Pori: Terek Sandpiper and Citrine Wagtail were on same water pits. CW's had even nested there succesfully. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY-hiQedKDI
I just love the color of female Moustached Darter. Male isn't bad looking neither. In the last pic is Scarce Copper - beautiful small butterfly also.
 

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Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
August 1/4

I try to keep stories as short as possible so that I can get to the present day faster. (And I've already forgotten most things what happened a month and a half ago...) :-O

I knew that allmost in middle of city of Hamina were been several days Black-tailed Gotwit in a flock of Barnacles, but cos I had it already on my year list I wasn't keen to drive over 20 km just to see it. But then at first Sunday of August I went to see a friend in Hamina and decided to go see the BtG as well. It's a quite rare bird in here anyway. Of course it was raining and the bird wasn't so tame as I had thought, but I manage to take some documents: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf2vXl6TSQs&list=PLQ9t8zFqZv05hGY4MUDeaghfMEWz1FNoa&index=70

The most memorable study trip of the first week of August was to the western Finnish ridge area, a few pictures of which are below:

1. Sand Pink - this beautiful flower grows only in few small areas in Finland and this was a first time I saw it.
2. & 3. Rattle Grasshopper - Lifer to me also. I tried to took several photos from flying hopper but photo no: 3 remained my best achievement. :king:
4. Some Cerceris-species - It dragged along that bigger fly when couple of smaller flies followed them. I don't know is it cos they wanted to keep on eye the Cerceris or are they tried to get some bite from that prey?
5. Wood Tiger Beetle - Lifer also
 

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Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
August 2/4

Photo 1. Short-winged Conehead - this funny looking cricket was found from seaside reeds.

Photo 2. Common Stinkhorn + couple of Blow Flies - This mushroom had an filthy scientific name...:eek!: (...and it makes the name of the flies appear in a whole new light) :smoke:

Photo 3. Black-tailed Skimmer

Photo 4. Viviparous Lizard - Again! You can say, but this specimen was so beautifully shiny black. :king:

Photo 5. Black Stork - I spent relaxing weekend at my hometown, when I got info about a Black Stork coming east from Helsinki. I thought that it would be the same way as so many times before that the stork would not be seen in Kymenlaakso. Couple hours later came message that the Stork is in Pyhtaa's airspace! I grab my binos and scope and run to the garden. I watched western sky about half an hour - and nothing. "Shit! It was gone too far." I thought.
One of my birding pal from Pyhtaa saw it from his garden and send me an message that it seemed to have dropped the height well just near the Kotka's boundary. So I grabbed the last straw; I packed the optics - and the puppy - in the car and drove to the base of a nearby hill. We hung on the hill and look! A miracle had happened. The stork was immediately visible in the northern sky as I raised my binoculars to my eyes. :eek!:B :):king: This photo is my best of this Lifer.
 

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Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
August 3/4

Photo 1. This little Common Frog was so beautifully colored that I wanted to show it to you.

Photo 2. Slow Worm was a year tick for me.

Photo 3. These 3 Cranes (2 ad + 1 1cy) circled above my head and took heights. It's time they are leaving us... :-C

Photo 4. Privet Hawk-Moth caterpillar

Photo 5. At Monday August 17th the male Pallid Harrier (year tick) soared over me and disappearing behind the trees so quickly that I hadn't time to get a photo of it. So here is photo of Rook from same day. Rook is rare vagrant in most of Finland, but in Pori area they are permanent and I see them most of school days.
 

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Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
August 4/4

The 19th of August we had a Plant studying and we were at Pori's Reposaari. Of course I couldn't keep my eyes on the plants all the time. On that day the wind was moderate so the Hobby could lean against the wind and stayed almost still in the sky for a long time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fafieb0728U

Also in Reposaari was this local Brent Goose. It has been in area for couple of months now, which is unusual. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuTruZScVvY

Last week of August we had an distant school and I was in my hometown. On Friday I went boating with a friend. We hardly noticed any migration. The invigorating exception was the abundance of birds of prey - White-tailed Eagle, Hen Harrier, 6 Sprawks, 6 Ospreys, 3 Kestrels (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClR3SnaxIXM), 4 Hobbyes and one Merlin, which was a year tick for me. My friend saw priefly Peregrin, but I missed that. :C Other nice sights were Great White Egret, 2 Turnstones, 3 Temminck's Stints, 8 Dunlins and one strange looking (and behaving) Black Guillemot (photo).
 

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Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
At the beginning of September, moss and lichen weeks began in my studies. I didn’t know much about these before, and now - even though I got through the test - I feel like I just scratched the surface. There are many beautiful species in these groups, but often you had to go really close to see well.

To be honest, I still think that animals are much more interesting, and many times I found myself following and photographing e.g. insect bustle.

Photo #1 – Fox Moths caterpillar with a few parasitic pupa attached
Photo #2 – This female Brown Hairstreak flew in our garden and seemed like she had seen better days… But lifer is always a lifer.
Photo #3 & 4 - Another lifer - I found Blue-winged Locust from old sandpit. It’s quite rare in Finland and it seemed that I was first one who founded it from Hamina’s area. In nearby counties had few places where it occurs. I wonder if this species is also spreading further North with climate change.
Photo #5 – With all those insects and mosses, I haven’t forgotten birds nether. From Yyteri, Pori I saw my first Sanderlings in Finland. (Before I have seen it only in Spain.) In the beach were 3 Sanderlings, few Little Stints and much more Ringed Plovers, Dunlins, Red Knotts, Ruffs and Bar-tailed Godwits.
At the next day when driving home from Pori, I stopped in Loviisa to collect real (whole world) lifer: Grey Phalarope. Winter plumage bird was so far that I couldn’t get even shitty photo.
 

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Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
September

At September 14th I went to twitch Lesser Grey Shrike to Kouvola. I had seen it two times before (2016 & 2019) in Kotka and much closer. Anyway – I leave this crappy pic here… 3:)

Last weekend of September I joined first Bird rally of this year - “ILO-rallye”. The capital letters come from the names of the municipalities where the competition takes place. I = Iitti, L = Lapinjarvi and O = Orimattila. Our club members competed in Iitti area and other two Birding club members in their own areas. So, this competition isn’t exactly fair, cos the environment of municipalities are little different. But hey – It’s all about fun – right? :smoke:
12 teams took part in the rally, three of which competed in Iitti area, four teams in Lapinjarvi and five in Orimattila. The first and second place went to the teams of Lapinjarvi (98 and 94 species), but our team was third (87 species). :king:
During the rally, a lot of birds of prey were seen, but little Arctic migrants, with the exception of geese. In the morning the pigeons and small birds had a plenty of migration, but the migration froze quickly as the day warmed up. The day was almost clear and even over 20 C-degrees warm. A total of 125 species were observed during the rally (118 in the previous year).
The morning started nicely when we heard five Pygmy Owls, one Ural Owl and one Tawny Owl (Year tick for me. It’s quite shocking and pathetic that it takes this long to get it). Other year ticks for me were Lapland Bunting and Peregrine. And early in the morning when driving to Iitti, we saw Racoon Dog, which was also year tick for me. When scoping Lake Pyhajarvi’s waterfawls White-tailed Eagle landed nearby to the top of Spruce. Great moment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf9pT_kjmL4
 

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Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
October

At first half of October we still had a school. On those days I saw several species which were unknown to me before. Mainly mushrooms, but also some insects. On photos are beautiful small Flat-footed Fly sp. (Polyporivora pictus) and Stemonitis slime fungus (which looks quite like Sea Anemones had climbing on dry land) with Wolf's Milk.

Oct. 10th I visited first time on island of Sappi near Pori's coast. There has been a Desert Whitethroat for several days and finally I had a time to go twitch it. Full boat birders arrived on the island and start looking DW from area where it supposed to be. After 15 minutes we got information that on other side of island was a Mountain Accentor left in the net of ringers. :eek!: You hardly ever see bunch of birders, no matter how old, to move so fast.
Tsi-tsing! That days lifer number one had been taken over. :king:
From ringers we got actually right notes for DW and it turned out we had been in just the right place, but we hadn’t looked enough at our feet. The bird was really fearless and stayed at the foot of the bushes on the edge of the ground even if it had passed a meter. Next try was more successful: Tsi-tsing! Days second lifer had been taken over! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpZMPKsoeYw
Have to say: It was quite nice day... B :)

On the halfway of the month we started a distance school and I was back in Kymenlaakso. I did couple of eco trips by bike, but just manage to get two more eco ticks and both of them from own garden: Spotted Nutcracker and Rough-legged Buzz. The female Blackcap photo is from one of those cycling trips.

Vahterpaa is a a cape that extends far south into the Gulf of Finland and located east of Lovisa. One of my friends has been there for years watching seabirds and this time I left with him. Our main target was Black-legged Kittiwake. We ain't lucky for that one but the day was nice, place beautiful and we saw a lots of other things, like the Long-tailed Duck (on photo) and Long-tailed Tits.

Oct. 30th My friend asked me to join his owl ringing night. We didn't get any in net, but heard distant Tawny and - lucky me - one Tengmalm's Owl (year tick) appeared to in nearby tree.

On the last day of October I still manage to saw one species that I had looking for a many times: Capercaillie male. Unfortunately he was too quick for my camera.
 

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Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
November part 1

The month started with bird counting with my friend (he has done these countings since 80’s). Cos the weather was nice (by November standards) I cycled to Pyhtaa, where we did the counting. This counting route goes between roads, so we also use the bikes on counting. We started from my friend’s backyard, from which was seen a shallow bay surrounded by reeds. (He has over 200 garden ticks) The route initially toured the countryside and then dived into the woods (not real forest sadly – more like a wood fields), next to the old landfill and quarry, back to the human settlement.

Here’s the list what we saw with number of individuals:
Barnacle 230
Canada Goose 325
Mute Swan 369
Whooper’s 31
Wigeon 420
Mallard 350
Tufted Duck 110
Goldeneye 94
Smew 54
Goosander 21
Red-breasted Merganser 1 – this was also eco tick for me
Pheasant 2
Hazel Grouse 1 – heard only
Feral Pigeon 1
Coot 90
Herring Gull 25
Greater Black-backed Gull 1
White-tailed Eagle 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker 5
Grey-headed Woody 1 – eco tick too
Black Woody 2
Northern Great Grey Shrike 1
Jay 4
Magpie 4
Jackdaw c50
Hooded Crow c40
Raven 3
Coal Tit 2
Crested Tit 1
Blue Tit c50
Great Tit c60
Long-tailed Tit 4
Goldcrest 7
Nuthatch 1
Treecreeper 3
Blackbird 3
Black Redstart 1 – eco tick and not just for this year but first overall
Waxwing 12
Dunnock 1
Tree Sparrow c40
Bullfinch 6
Linnet 2
Redpoll 20
Red Crossbill 6
Yellowhammer 50
Total score of species: 45

Couple of days later I was another biking trip and I found this peculiar looking Canada Geese: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mia98vAozJ0
What you think, is one of its parents a Barnacle or Greylag? Or is it just leukistic?

On 5th we went to the Vahterpaa again with our main target Kittiwake and maybe some other arctic bird.
- By the way, at my friends backyard, we manage to see Jack Snipe, year tick for me.
Wind was blowing 13 – 15 m/s but we had nice sheltered place on cliffs where is a good almost 180 degrees view to North, East and even South. Days best species was Peregrine which I found sitting on one stormy rock middle of the sea. Soon it took off and disappeared to South-West. Even stranger was female Hen Harrier that struggled against gusts of wind above the waves in middle of loft of Little and Common Gulls.
On the way home we stopped on one dam. Someone has seen there a Kingfisher and Black Redstart earlier on that day. We could found only a Dipper and young GBbG.

Saturdays I usually go to play floorball to Hamina. This Saturday (7th Nov.) I left home so early that I had a half an hour time to spend on bird watching tower in Hamina before our games would start. The birds of Lupinlahti seemed to be the same as I had expected to see at this time of year. Nothing special. Or was there?
After 20 minutes observing very pale looking – almost white – bird was pecking on water surface about 800 metres from tower on border of reeds. Momentarily it disappeared behind reeds. I looked it throw my scope and wondered could it be? No – It’s not possible… Yes, it must be… This cannot happen to me! I usually never find anything nice… No way, it must be a young Little Gull or… Can the “P”-bird be here this late? 3:)
I had to call a friend. First friend didn’t answer the phone. Second did. He confirmed my thoughts that the Red-necked P’s are all gone, but what about Greys?
On that point I made an alert about a possible Phalarope-species. I tried phonescoping but the results were sad. Nobody couldn’t tell anything from those picks. It occurred to me to call one Haminan birderfriend, if he happened to be nearby then he could surely confirm my observation. He happened to be just couple of miles away but by bike, so it took a few moments him to get there. And when he arrived, the bird was missing. I haven’t seen it left so it had to be somewhere behind reeds. At this point I was already totally late from my ball games. :smoke:
Then first birder who got my alert arrived to the tower. My cycling paw decided to go to the other side of the bay if a bird could be seen from there. Soon after that mystery bird appeared and a little closer than before. It still looked like a Phalarope. Then another two birders (other one was known nickname: “The Walking bird book”) came to the scene. Now we all watched throw our scopes and “Walking bird book” confirmed that it sure was the Grey Phalarope! I made another alert, this time for secure Grey P.
Suddenly GP took off and flew towards us, passing us a hundred meters away and continuing East towards the bottom of the bay. I manage to take couple of seconds video from birds tail feathers. |>| And then more crew began to gather on the tower, also my friend I had caught on the phone had driven 70 km from Kouvola to watch the bird.
We waited on tower about half an hour, then me and Kouvolan buddy decided to go look for the bird wherever it had flown. Sadly, the places the bay was seen were few. We found small marina and spend there maybe another half an hour. No GP, but my friend thought he heard Kingfisher. Which was nice too, but…
When we had visited yet another place we decided to give up. I was driving back to the tower, when I got call from there. On tower it looked like GP had flown towards the marina where we had been before. I turned car around and there we went. There was another couple too in same reason. We use our binos, scopes, ears, you name it, but nothing. OK, the Kingfisher we saw this time – maybe there was even two. We almost leave there but decided to look again on the other side of marina. We were watching on bay when a bright loud voice was heard almost beside us. We turned to the sound and in there the bird flew away from us. Luckily it landed about 150 metres away from marina and we could watch it properly – and my friend got his lifer. I made an alert again and soon the crowds came. Unfortunately, the GP didn’t stay a long and only about ten people had time to saw it. Fortunately, one of those was my biking friend. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6id4LIVevoo
Afterwards, I heard that several people were also there the next day looking for a bird, but it was no longer found.
I feel so lucky that I had found it. Even it wasn’t lifer or even year tick for me. Self-discovered is always self-discovered. B :)
 

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rosbifs

Well-known tool
France
Some great birds there! I'm depressed that can't really get out birding with this 'lockdown' and little is passing but I'm happy that you are lucky enough to 'bird'.

I missed the great Siberian Accentor influx, not many got to southern France and by the time I got back to England to visit parents the easy ones had gone!! One day...
 

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