August 2017

August started well when I saw a migrating Nuthatch in Siikalahti. In the afternoon we went to ring some more Barnacle Geese and managed to get 3 adults and 5 youngsters ringed.

On the 3rdd of August the only better bird in Siikalahti was a Dunlin but in the afternoon we visited Saari Pohjanranta where we found a Great White Egret! Also a Little Ringed Plover was seen.

On the 4th to 6th of August I was in Lake Saimaa with my friends. Not many birds were seen but we really had great time even though the weather could have been better.

I was birding every day at least during my lunch-hour but the next bird to mention was a twitched Red-breasted Flycatcher that Matti Lötjönen found on the11th day in Kangaskylä. Only better bird in Siikalahti was a White-tailed Eagle. When it was warmer moments which were quite rare this summer, we went to see butterflies to Siikalahti. We managed to get pictures of Lesser Purple Emperor and Map Butterflies.

On the 12th day I saw a flock of 19 Cormorants, 4 White-tailed Eagles, 10 Grey Herons and again a new Great White Egret in Siikalahti. Also the same Great White Egret was still in Pohjanranta.

On the 13th of August I had to go twitching as there was a possible Southern Grey Shrike (actually a Steppe Grey Shrike but the taxonomy is a mess) in Asikkala. On the way I saw a couple of Wood Larks in Rautjärvi Lamminkylä and then picked up Sampsa Cairenius and Pekka Punnonen in Joutseno and Lappeenranta. The bird was still there but unfortunately it was once again just a homeyeri -type of Great Grey Shrike. Also a young normal Great Grey Shrike was seen there.

On the way back we stopped in Lappeenranta Askola where we saw 31 Ringed Plovers, 21 Golden Plovers, 4 Temminck Stints, 5 Dunlins and an Oystercatcher.

On the 15th day again a new-looking Great White Egret was found in Siikalahti, an adult bird this time. On the 16th a Parrot Crossbill was seen and heard flying around Kangaskylä and on the 17th I saw a Nutcracker.

On the 18th we visited Pohjanranta in the evening and found 3 young Black-tailed Godwits. Unfortunately these birds were too far to see well, but they looked long-billed. On the next days there started to be more islandica-Black-tailed Godwits in Finland than ever.

On the 19th day one of the Great White Egrets was seen again in Sikalahti and 13 Cormorants and 34 Golden Plovers were migrating. In a bigger flock of plovers I saw also an adult Knot. Another flock of 7 bigger waders were too distant but they were probably Knots too.

In the afternoon we ran a half-marathon with my friend Juha Honkanen in Joutseno. It was a hard route and not a competition; we just did it for fun… On the way I saw a Merlin.

On the 20th day there were 2 Great White Egrets in Siikalahti, another one was once again a new bird! 20 Grey Herons, 3 White-tailed Eagles, a female Hen Harrier, a Ringed Plover, a Little Ringed Plover and a Spotted Redshank were seen or heard.

On the 21st of August 2 Great White Egrets were again seen but they weren’t the best birds of my lunch-hour – I saw exactly what I had been hoping to see in this rainy weather – a flock of 21 Grey Plovers and 12 Bar-tailed Gotwits were migrating over the bay. Also a Lapwing and a Temminck Stint were seen.

On the 23rd day I saw a couple of Pochards and a Grey-headed Woodpecker. And once again I found a new-looking, completely yellow-billed Great White Egret! I had just got my first self-found Great White in spring and now this was already my 6th! In the evening we got a young female Goshawk to take care. It had flight to window and had also bacteria-infection. So we had now a Goshawk and also a young Swallow at home. This Swallow had lost most of its flight-feathers.

On the 24th day we headed to Savonlinna with Miika Soikkeli. After sme searching we found what we had been looking for – a male eclipse Mandarin Duck. We also saw a couple of Nutcrackers there while searching for the duck.

On the 25th day one Great White Egret was seen again in Siikalahti and in the afternoon I heard a Red-breasted Flycatcher calling in Moskuunniemi.

On the weekend the 26th and 27th of August we were in Helsinki where on Saturday was BirdFair. On the way we dropped our Swallow and Goshawk to Pyhtää bird-hospital. I was birding on both days and saw some waders like 3 Spotted Redshanks, a Temminck Stint and 2 Dunlins in Helsinki Viikki and islandica Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Little Stints, 2 Temminck Stints, a Dunlin, 2 Spotted Redshanks, 50 Ruffs, 2 Great White Egrets, 3 Caspian Terns, a Reed Warbler and 4 Bearded Reedlings in Espoo Laajalahti. I also visited Espoo Finno but saw only 2 Moorhens.

On the 28th I still saw a Cuckoo in Siikalahti and on the next day there was still a Great White Egret. In the evening I heard a Three-toed Woodpecker calling in Eskola while I was jogging.

On the last day of August I went twitching to Joutseno where Jarmo Pirhonen had found a Rock Pipit. It had been raining and when I found the wet bird I couldn’t identify it. But luckily I saw the pictures that “Jamppa” had taken and it was easy to see it was the same bird. It was a new species in South Karelia for me! On the way back I saw 2 Cuckoos flying across the road in Korvenkylä.

J.A.