August 2003

August – Quite lazy birding

In the beginning of August I was birding mostly because of finding new month ticks. But it was very quiet in Siikalahti. A couple of moulting male Gadwalls were swimming close the hide in some days. While photographing them I got also good photos of young Slavonian Grebe. Slavonian Grebes had still very very small youngster too. In first days I got also one ridiculous year tick when I finally saw first Grey Heron for the year in Siikalahti.

4th day when I was completing my works in Health Centre beeper told that there was a Great Spotted Eagle already second day in Savonlinna. I called to Antti and Hanna that now we have to rush, but Hanna was with Marko Vauhkonen too busy with plant-counts in Siikalahti, so only I and Antti left. In an hour we were there in Nätki rubbish tip where were some Ravens and Lesser Black-backed Gulls but not any Eagle. There were also some local birders searching for it. After two hours we were so hungry that we had to go for shopping. After shopping we went back to rubbish tip and Antti climbed over a little soil-hill and there he could see the bird inside a closed rubbish tip area. The Eagle was sitting over a small hill there. I started to digiscope directly but soon the bird flew to the other side of area close to our car. We ran after it and we found it sitting only less than ten meters from our car. Antti said: “Why we are not in my car now?” Anyway we could walk about 40 metres from the bird and we let our cameras sing! When photographed pretty much we realized that we hadn’t watched the bird that way at all yet! Just then came one local birder which scared the bird flying again. This guy couldn’t see the bird even it was less than ten meters from him. When flying the bird showed its wings better and we could say it’s not Great Spotted but 2 cy Lesser Spotted Eagle. Now the Eagle sat down to a tree about 60 meters from us and we could get some different kind of photographs. Then I called to Hanna that she must come to watch the bird, it was so amazing! And Hanna and Marko decided to come. About in half an hour, when Hanna and Marko were pretty close already, the Eagle flew again but now little further. It flew behind the trees and to the other side of railroad but we managed to find it soon sitting on a pine-tree. And it sat there until Hanna and Marko came and they could see the bird very well before it started to come dark.

In mid August (Antti had already left to Vaasa) it was very boring: no birds and weather was very rainy. We weren’t birding a lot; we were relaxing after hard summer. I went to Siikalahti couple of times but it was always raining and no good birds – nothing even to photograph.

16th of August beeper told there was Tawny Pipit in Lappeenranta Askola. And we had to go to get this (one of the easiest bird which was still lacking) for life ticks. And I’m always going to twitch if it’s less than 100 km to go and now it was 99 km. We don’t have a car so I called for Hanna’s sister Elissa who took Hanna’s fathers car and came to get us. And in half an hour we were on our way to Lappeenranta. When in Askola I noticed I had got new message about the bird staying on a small hill close the water area near the bird tower. I called to Paavo Rantanen (who had put the message) and he told the bird had flew to the other side of the water area. After small talk we decided to walk there even it was a factory area which is normally not aloud to go. But when you can have a lifer you don’t mind that much. Soon we heard a familiar voice from the sky (I have heard Tawny Pipits in Estonia and Lithuania). The call was something between House Sparrow and Pipits. We couldn’t see the bird at all. Later I saw a big pale pipit flying shortly in front of us but it disappeared amazingly and we couldn’t find it anymore. There came more twitchers but nobody found the bird anymore. Later we checked the voice from CD and it was exactly similar. I got also some pictures of young Grey Heron and Linnet.

Next day we went with Elissa and Hannas little brother Miika to get Hanna from Siikalahti. I was photographing a lizard on the track when it happened. My telescope felt! The scope went broken, not badly but bad enough that it had to send to Germany to Zeiss factory. I went really mad; I knew how long it can take! I have still my ocular there more than three months already! I couldn’t be without scope for that long time! I do have my old small Kowa but I would have to forget digiscoping. Next day I sent my scope to M-Opto and with a letter if they just had a telescope that they could loan for me until I can get my own scope back from Germany.

Like before M-Opto was doing everything very quickly. Next day Helena Elfvengren called me that my scope was already on the way to Germany but she said she was sorry but they hadn’t god a scope for me. But in next week she called me again and told they had got a scope for me, and in very next day I got it! I was so happy! Thank you M-Opto again! Now I don’t have to be the rest of the year inside as a maniac.