Ticks to my father and Midsummer time

On the 10th of June my father arrived to us for the weekend. He was one of many who had started to collect 100 bird-species in a year which had been a BirdLife Finland project for beginners for some years. Even though he had started +70 years old, he had managed to get more species every year. Now he was coming to do some serious birding with us for the first time. It was time to break old records…

Train arrived late as usual so we were in a hurry to go to eat to Karpalo restaurant. Then we had to hurry to drop our car to service which was going to take for an hour. So we had time to walk around Moskuunniemi with my father. We heard many common birds that we could study, for example a Blyth’s Reed Warbler and we also saw a Honey Buzzard.

After some relaxing in our home we headed to evening trip which we started with Nuthatches. They had left their nest but we found them from the forest nearby. Then we headed to Sinkkosennurkka to check a White-backed Woodpecker nest. A couple of young birds were calling from the nest and at least one of them was looking out for a while but adults were seen only briefly in flight. We also heard a Black Woodpecker drumming further. Then after we had checked that Red-breasted Flycatchers were still at home, we continued to Siikalahti tower from where we saw a Gadwall and then on dam-road we heard a couple of Reed Warblers but they were too far to hear for my father.

On Saturday the 11th day we started at 6 a.m. with a Golden Oriole and an Icterine Warbler in Likolampi. Then we headed to Melkoniemi forests where we hoped to find some Greenish Warblers or Red-flanked Bluetails. But they weren’t found. But we found a familiar Siberian Jay, an adult and a young Goshawk and several families of Common Crossbills and then heard a Crested Tit, a Wood Warbler and a distant Red-breasted Flycatcher. We also ringed 8 nestlings of Pygmy Owl from our nestbox.

During the day we visited Hanna’s parents in Tarvalampi but also ringed some tits and Kestrels there. Then we still went to check that Red-throated Divers were once again on their breeding pond.

In the evening we left to Saari. There we saw a Long-eared Owl and heard a few Great Snipes, a Nightjar, a Water Rail, a Spotted Crake, Bitterns, Corn Crakes, Blyth’s Reed Warblers, a Marsh Warbler and a couple of Grasshopper Warblers which one was also ringed. It was already morning when we still stopped in dam-road where another Marsh Warbler was heard.

We slept long and during the day we headed to Rautjärvi Kokkolanjoki where after some searching we found a Grey Wagtail that was alarming a lot. It probably had a young bird next to the track. Later we saw another young birds flying higher up on the stream.

In the afternoon we went to eat to “Assa” and then my father left to Kirkkonummi by train. In a couple of days we had managed to find 113 species that 102 species my father had managed to see or hear. Not bad from 75-years old quite beginner birder. My father had now 146 species this year so he has the new record already and still work to do to break at least 150 or maybe 160 species.

In the evening I went jogging and heard fledlings of Grey Woodpecker.

During the week Hanna went to photograph bird in different places every time the weather was ok. I was only visiting some places on my lunch-hour. Barnacle Geese started to bring their youngsters to beaches, Red-breasted Flycatchers were still feeding their nestlings, some Greenshanks, Spotted Redshanks, Green and Wood Sandpiper and a Ruff were already migrating south and some young White-backed Woodpeckers were seen and Golden Orioles were singing here and there.

On the 15th day I visited Lappeenranta and in Toikansuo I heard an Ortolan Bunting and saw a couple or Redshanks and a few Little Ringed Plovers. In Joutseno Kotasaari I heard a Great Reed Warbler and in Konnunsuo 3 Ortolan Buntings.

We started weekend with SSP-ringing ad caught a Robin, Sedge Warbler, 2 Common Whitethroats, 2 Garden Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher, a Chaffinch and 3 Common Rosefinches. Then in the afternoon we visited Saari but saw only a Short-eared Owl and heard a few Water Rails. We also ringed a few young Lapwings.

On Sunday the 19th pf June we visited Melkoniemi forests again and now saw a family of 5 Siberian Jays – amazing that they are still breeding! We also saw a family of Hazel Hens and checked that Pygmy Owls were soon ready to leave their nest. In Tarvaslampi we found a Wryneck breeding in one nestbox.

On the 21st day in the afternoon we found a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker nest in Siikalahti and as it had been raining quite a lot it was good to see that Red-breasted Flycatchers were still doing well. On the 23rd we were photographing Long-tailed Tit families and Striped Bugs in Siikalahti. We also saw another Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and the nesting bird too. Icterine Warblers were still singing. In the evening we headed to check best places nearby and heard a Great Snipe, a Nightjat, some Corn Crakes and saw a couple of Long- and Short-eared Owls. In Siikalahti we still heard a couple of Spotted Crakes and a Golden Oriole. Only real nightsingers we heard were just Thrush Nightingales and Blyth’s Reed Warblers.

On the 25th we woke up in Papinlahti as we had been sleeping on our carpets. In SSp we got a Blackbird, a Redwing, 3 Sedge Warblers, 2+1c Common Whitethroats, Blue and a Great Tit, 1+2c Common Rosefinches and a Reed Bunting. Other birds seen or heard were a Long-eared Owl, a Red-backed Shrike, a Linnet and a Yellow Wagtail. In the I we saw 3 Stock Doves in Tetrisuo.

On the 26th we heard a young Pygmy Owl and saw an adult and young Long.eared Owls in Papinlahti. Then we made a night-trip to places between Särkisalmi and Saati but heard only Thrush Nightingales, Blyth’s Reed Warblers, a couple of Corn Crakes, one Marsh Warbler and Nightjar and again saw adult Long-eared Owls and heard some youngs.

On the 27th day we visited Siikalahti and managed to run and catch a young Crane which of course was ringed. Red-breasted Flycatchers were still there and also a White-backed Woodpecker was seen.

The last days of June were very hot so I wasn’t birding much. Hanna still went out every morning to photograph and managed to get some nice pictures.

J.A.