Shiver Me Timbers

January, as it so often does, sees Winter tighten it's grip on the landscape as temperatures plummet.

Thursday saw 20+ cm of snow fall overnight, followed by a temperature drop to -11°C with a forecast -20 on the horizon.

Mid-week I managed to nip out for a bit more year ticking, nabbing Black Bellied Dipper at the usual local spot.

He was a bit on the skulky side, but will likely be there for the whole winter. 
On Saturday I headed into the city. A Parrot Crossbill had been frequenting the seafront and was overdue a visit.
This area has a great track record for the more unusual crossers overwintering, probably due to the fact that, with just 5 pines and a few larch trees present, it makes it a little easier to find them than in the vast forrests of the countryside. 
This cracking female Two Barred was a handy number a couple of years back.

I showed up at Cafe Carusel and the bird was present and handy with two female common Crossbill. 

It really is that easy sometimes. A hot cup …

Winter Yearticking

Yesterday we headed down for second helpings of the Shorelarks, this time with Hanna and Lyra in tow.

Took a little while to refind them, as there had been a slight compacting of the snow, exposing more stubble for them to hide in.

Eventually a Great Grey Shrike flushed them, and we enjoyed good views.

Due for a visit with the grandparents, we made our way to Espoo, stopping off at Suurpelto for Rough Legged Buzzard. 
This 2CY bird was giving itself up as it hunted around the fields. Absolute stunner.

What a bird.

It was then time for some Hawk Owl action. A quick spin down to the coast and this rather grumpy looking bird gave itself up.

"I will destroy you and all that you love, human!"