New self-found tick

On the 1st of August a couple of Nutcrackers were found in Kangaskylä as an expected year-tick. On the next day I saw 3 Grey Herons and a too big flock of 125 Hooded Crows. In the evening I got a message that a Purple Heron had been found in Virolahti. It was late but anyway I decided to go! I managed to get there when there was still a little bit light but the bird was gone. But everything that I found about the bird made me think if it had been a Purple Heron at all – usually they are not with Grey Herons and well visible. So it was not a surprise when I got a message that there were bad pictures about the bird where it looked an aberrant Grey Heron. On the way back we twitched a Lanceolated Warbler in Joutseno Kuurmanpohja, it was still singing very shortly.

Next days were quiet but on the 7th day I visited Siikalahti a couple of times and saw a Gadwall, a Smew, a Reed Warbler, a Red-breasted Flycatcher, a Black Woodpecker and so on.

On the 9th of August we left to Saari with Hanna. We drove straight to Akanvaara Tetrisuo and we had driven only 500 meters along the field-road when I noticed a pale bird on the top of a bush along the road. I stopped and looked at it with binoculars and it was a Lesser Grey Shrike – a new self-found tick for me! We watched the bird for about 15 minutes while it stayed on the top of same bush. Once it caught a bumble bee and ate it, but then it suddenly flew high to the sky and landed some hundreds of meters away to the other side of the road to a pea-field. We went to check the field but the bird was never found again eve though a couple of twitchers tried for several hours. We still saw some warblers there but the shrike was gone.

We checked the other places too in Saari and saw 2 Red-backed Shrikes in Pohjasuo, 4 Lapwings, 3 Ruffs and 2 Curlews in Pohjanranta, a Goshawk in Kanavalampi and 2 Grey Herons in Rautalahti.
In the evening I went to buy gas to Svetogorsk and on the was I checked that a Bar-headed Goose was still in Vuoksi. On the way back from Russia I saw a Black Redstart landing to a car that was in front of me!

On the 10th day I biked to Siikalahti early in the morning with Harri Partanen. During the morning we saw a Blyth’s Reed, a Great Reed and a Reed Warbler, an Icterine Warbler, a Thrush Nightingale and at least one Rustic Bunting. Golden Orioles were still active, 6 Temminck Stints, 204 Common Scoters in 2 flocks, a Velvet Scoter, a Spotted Redshank, 2 Water Rails, 2 Smews, a Bittern, 5 Grey Herons and a White-backed Woodpecker were also found.

J.A.