Wood For The Trees

I didn't have a lot of time on my hands this weekend, so I had to make do with some brief stops for birds I knew to be around.

Saturday I nipped down to Porkkala, hoping to connect with a Great Grey Owl seen in the morning. It had gone by the time I wandered down, but this gorgeous female Three-toed Woodpecker was giving herself up in the car park.

A few White-Tailed Eagles and Goshawks were floating around Saltfjarden, and a pair of Grey-headed Woodpecker were whistling near the golf course.
On Sunday I took the opportunity to see an over-wintering Woodlark in Vantaa, close to Viiki. 

Unfortunately when I showed up it was being pushed around by a few of the "Big lens, No bins" brigade. Two in particular were completely useless, telling me how calm the bird was after they had flushed it. I left the site, taking the dogs to a local dog-park, and returning when things had calmed down.

A bit of patience, and the bird would walk to you. 

And a cracking bird it was too. I don't often see Woodlark like this. They're not uncommon, but their sandy, pine habitat is generally lacking in a variety of birds, so I tend to see them only as they bubble over on migration.

Woodlark - that convergent supercilium.

Woodlark - a clean, crisp little lark.

Woodlark - dumpy and stocky

Woodlark - a species which should, by rights, be turning up in Ireland in Winter too. Learn that call, learn that gizz, and check those fields. 


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