Beginning of June photographing

On the 1st of June after work I drove to Saari Pohjanranta to twitch a couple of Marsh Sandpipers. Other birds were all the same that I had seen on the previous day. I also made a stop in Akonpohja where I heard a singing Marsh Warbler.

On the 2nd day it was raining – I think last time it had been raining it had actually been snowing. So I visited again the wader places in Saari but saw only a Golden Plover in Akanvaara Tetrisuo.

On the 4th day we headed to Savonlinna Punkaharju to Lake Saimaa shore to ring a nestling of a Ural Owl that was in a nest-box close to Tapani Nisula’s cottage. The mama owl was shy so the ringing was easy. But the youngster was so big that it didn’t want to go back to the nest anymore. It had been seen practicing its wings already on the previous day so it was ready to go.

Then Tapani had a surprise for us and together with him and his cottage-neighbors Laura and Harri Helenius we left by boat to Saimaa to see Saimaa Seals that Tapani knew very well as he has been monitoring them for years.

Soon we were checking places where seals used to be but three first places were empty. But then we finally found a nice Saimaa Seal on a rock. It was a little bit wary, so we didn’t try to get close. Also another one was swimming nearby. But then the third pale seal was very curious-looking and we managed to get really good pictures. Here also was another young seal swimming too but it was diving all the time. On the island next to us there was a Red-breasted Flycatcher singing so the atmosphere was really nice!

We crossed bigger open water and saw an Oystercatcher on one rock and then found one more Saimaa Seal on a rock behind some reeds. Then we still drove to see some landscapes before headed back. It had been really nice trip in good company and very nice weather – thanks to Tapani, Laura and Harri!

On the 5th of June we had SSP-ringing again but the result was weak: only 2+1c Sedge Warblers, 1 Lesser and 3+1c Common Whitethroats and 1c Great Tit were caught. We also heard a calling Red-backed Shrike and a singing Golden Oriole.

Karoliina Hämäläinen and Laura Oinas had come from Joensuu to Parikkala to ring birds and their dream was to catch a Golden Oriole. They had been searching for an oriole for whole night but they hadn’t even heard a single bird. So I told them which place I thought might be the best and asked if they can catch an Oriole I could go to see and photograph it. And they really made it and caught an amazing male Golden Oriole! I had less than a kilometer by car to go to see the bird and it really was beautiful. Congratulation to Karoliina and Laura and thanks for calling me to take some pictures.

In the afternoon we still made a trip to Saari and saw 18 Rock Doves, 2 male Gadwalls and a Grey-headed Woodpecker in Akonpohja, a Tundra Bean Goose in Jyrkilä, a couple of Gadwalls in Suurenjärvenliete, a Short and a Long-eared Owl in Ollukka and a Linnet in Tarassiinlahti.

On the 6th day we went to photograph White-backed Woodpeckers and Nuthatches to their nests. We also heard one more Golden Oriole.

And on the 7th day we photographed a Red-breasted Flycatcher that was feeding nestlings. Hanna was on summer-holiday so she had more time for photographing. So in the evening she still went to Saari to photograph Short-eared Owl and managed to get some pictures. And I must say that we of course do all photographing so that we are not disturbing bird at all.

On the 8th day Hanna was photographing Sedge Warblers when she suddenly noticed a Spotted Crake on the reeds. Amazingly this crake came so close that Hanna managed to get good pictures! During my lunch-hour I went to photograph Nuthatches again. In the evening we visited Siikalahti and saw a Common Redshank that left towards south – it is autumn already…


J.A.