Tarastenjärvi Cach 2 - The Return

My weekend has started out pretty well I have to say.
Yesterday produced two decent birds whilst walking Kuura, a Greenish Warbler calling away near our house on the mid-day dog walk, followed by a calling Yellow-Browed Warbler on the evening dog walk near the In-law's house in Espoo.
Always great to hear that first spee-oo-eeet of the autumn!
We then made our way up to Hämeenkyrö for our last long weekend of the year at the northern mökki (getting cold after all).
I was looking forward to nipping down to Tarastenjärvi, as I have never visited so late in the season before.
It's a big change, it has to be said.
Most obviously, the demographics have changed. The majority of gulls are now adult or sub-adult Herring Gulls.
Baltic Gulls are down to just a few stragglers with just 3-5 seen.
The birds were also more spread out, with many roosting at various sites on the hill, many others feeding on a huge trash pile at the back of the dump and relatively few feeding at the trash bins at the …

Finding A First

The days are getting colder. A noticeable chill in the wind at the weekend heralds the need to change from baseball cap to wool hat.
The birds must have sensed it too, with noticeable movements of things like Brambling, and my first Rough-Legged Buzzard of the autumn.

Some time at Saltfjarden produced more excellent views of the tame Red-Backed Shrike, as well as a few other individuals now present.

The patterns when seen up close are spectacular.

Evidence of a murderous nature here.

Sunday was fairly quiet on the raptor front, with just a Merlin and a Hen Harrier, along with this Goshawk to show for my trouble at Saltfjarden.

Pallid At Last

It has been a relatively poor Autumn for Pallid Harriers so far and I had been getting somewhat antsy that I may have my first Autumn here without seeing one.
I had made a couple of attempts to connect with an adult male at Myrans in Siuntio, but it's incredibly wide ranging and unreliable and despite looking through half a dozen each of Hen Harrier and Marsh Harrier, I failed every time.

Marsh Harrier - chocolate goodness.
I switched from Myrans to the ever reliable Saltfjarden when one showed up there, and it didn't disappoint.

Bluethroat - with showery conditions I expected some migrants to have dropped. Scanning the fields, I instantly picked up a passerine sat up on reeds. A quick scope revealed a beautiful first year male Bluethroat. Absolute class.
 Bluethroat - that tail!

Yellow Wagtail
Good numbers of Yellow wags and Tree Pipits were moving over, and several Red-Throated Pipits calling regularly from the fields. I love this time of year, when such species, which you would lo…