Long Halloween

A four day weekend just after Halloween meant a long weekend out at Mökki.

However the weather for most of this was less than inspiring.

I spent a small amount of time, on both Thursday and Friday, at Lohja dump, but with pretty miserable conditions my only reward was a single male Goshawk, a couple of Arctic Redpolls and some very damp gulls, although, as always in a Finnish Dump, there were interesting looking beasts.

Luckily the season of the Nutcracker is upon us, and I spent a very pleasant hour or so at the nearby feeding station, where my offering of a couple of kilos of peanuts was gratefully devoured by the attending Crested tits, Willow tits and Nutcrackers.

I adore these birds. Watching from the car really allows you to absorb their behavior with each other. 

They are exceptionally complex and intelligent birds, constantly communicating with each other with an amazing array of calls and song.

Their general tactic is to rapidly fill their crop with nuts, before vacating the feeder for the next individual to take it's turn. The fully stocked bird then flys off into the woods to store the nuts in its various larder locations, before returning to repeat the process.

One bird decided to stash nuts in the ditch right below the feeders, allowing me to observe the storage behavior. They don't make a massive effort, simply placing a single nut into some soil or under thick leaf litter. It's easy to see how they propagate the spread of their natural hazel nut food with this behavior.

Apart from the birds at the feeder, there were also good numbers of Black Woodpecker on the move, with multiple birds encountered flying at height as I drove around Lohja. 
Sunday was a nicer day weather-wise, and it's mornings like this which keep us coming back to mökki time and again.

 Skies like this are worth waking early for.

A day flying bat species, identified by a bat expert contact of ours as one of the Myotis complex was a nice Halloween surprise, adding to the Halloween vibe with us seeing one of the largest Toads I had ever encountered the night before.

After a brief feeding session, this guy went to roost under the eaves of the cabin itself. Hopefully he is ok and finds a good place to hibernate.

I love the visible texture of that fur.

"I am vengeance. I am the night."


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