Winter Is Coming

There was a distinct chill in the breeze on Saturday morning, but the weather looked good for raptor migration so I made my way to Saltfjarden for late morning.

Big Sky at Saltfjarden

There had been a couple of Pallid Harriers in the area the previous evening, so I was hoping to connect with some of these.

A few Hen Harriers were the past I saw in terms of that family.

But accipters were moving in numbers and I counted around 40+ Goshawk of various ages around the Saltfjarden, Jarso area.

A few White Tailed Eagles, hobby and Honey Buzzards were also moving, with one Rough Legged Buzzard to top things off.

Crane staging numbers were pretty good too. I love the sound of these dinosaurs.

The fields at the car park held a few Red Throated pipits calling. Typical for this time of year.

Sunday I started out walking with Kuura at Suomenoja. 

This was pretty productive with good numbers of warblers present in the scrub, highlights of which were Lesser Whitethroat and Blyth's Reed Warbler. A cracking juv Red Breasted Flycatcher was also thrilling away here.

I then moved on to Haltiala where a Hawk Owl had been present for a week or two, as well as a few Great Snipe.

As I arrived the Hawk Owl dropped from a lampost in front of me, grabbed a vole, and took off across the river. Spectacular flight views, but not prolonged as I had hoped for.

I then moved around to the snipe fields, where several birders were already systematically walking them.  No joy here, but as I moved back to the Owl site, I spotted a birder shouting at the snipers in the field.

Assuming he had eyes on a Snipe I pulled in and made my way over. It turned out he had eyes on an Aquila eagle of some variety, and we tried in earnest to get the other birders attention whilst we tried to ID the bird.

We watched it for around ten minutes, and it kept it's distance. It's primaries were also in a mess, but my money would be on an adult type Greater Spotted Eagle.

As I was chatting with this (French) birder, the Hawk Owl popped back up and proceeded to give spectacular views, the way the best bird in the universe should. Awesome.

Hawk Owl - The undisputed best bird in the universe

I spent the evening on patch, arriving just in time for a patch tick Golden Eagle to go over
A nice flock of 9 juv Little Stint were on the mud, along with good numbers of Ruff, a few Grey Plover and 1 Wood Sandpiper.

Other raptors included White Tailed Eagles and a single Rough Legged Buzzard.
At least 3 Red Throated Pipits were flying back and forth in front of the tower. 
An enjoyable weekend with a real change in the air.


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