A Return To Mökki

We haven't really spent any time at mökki since Lyra was born, save for one brief evening BBQ visit, so we decided to head out there for the weekend.

The weather forecast was dismal for Saturday, but we chanced it anyway, and aside from a couple of showers the rain held off pretty well.

We started Saturday out at Lohja dump, hoping to build on the success of my previous Caspian Gull, as well as maybe digging a Yellow Browed Warbler out of the scrub.
The bushes were empty save for a few dunnocks.

The small band of gulls on the waste buildings held nothing of note, so we moved on down to the trash pile.

15 minutes looking through the gulls here was looking like a bust, until just as we were about to move on, a striking juv Caspian gull appeared from the ether below us.
A few snaps by Hanna and then the bird was gone, back into the abyss from which it came.

Spot the difference

A yet fresh, young looking bird, just a few moulted mantle/scapular feathers, though things are quite worn i…

Hen Party

Half the weekend was taken up with the happy event of attending the wedding of some friends.

This, luckily, provided the chance to see a nearby Eagle Owl. Not sure if that's a good or bad omen for the happy couple.

On Sunday I managed to get out for a few hours, after re-hydration, and headed down to Saltfjarden.
I probably left it a bit late, but there was a decent haul of juv Hen Harriers around, providing good views in the vicinity of the car park. Alas, it was only Hens, and I didn't manage to connect with any of the Pallids in the area.

Plenty of waders were on the move too, with Curlew, Ruff and Golden Plover in good numbers.

Golden Plovers - nice to get up close to these beauties.
Raptors on the move included several White Tailed Eagle, Goshawk, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard.
It's around this time of year I become more appreciative of the odd Osprey. Having enjoyed them in numbers all Summer, they're now noticeably infrequent. Occasionally I try and nab phonescoped…

Baltic Gulls And Other Tales Of Woe

I was reduced to more dump birding this weekend. Awful, awful stuff. A trip up to Hämeenkyrö, to harvest the orchard, meant I would again get to pop into Tampere dump.There had been a few Caspian gulls over the past couple of weeks, and it's prime season for birds on the move, so I was hopeful of seeing or finding a few of my ownI failed miserably of course, simply down to the sheer numbers of birds present. I've never managed to visit this dump in September before, so had no idea of the scale of numbers present.Just one bird had been seen over the past week, so was a needle in a haystack, but also I failed to note any new individuals, so unlucky all round. I did rather enjoy the pristine juv Baltic Gulls present in numbers. Crisp, monochrome little things. It probably didn't help that these were here to distract me.

They have a lot of character at this age. Petite and elegant.

Adults were also abundant, attractive as ever.

It always surpises me how few sub-adult Baltic gulls…