This Is The May

It's been a pretty good Spring, despite things being a bit on the late side.

The temperatures jumped massively, from single digits into the 20s in a relatively short intervals.

The Bramblings which had been inundating us with song around the house disappeared overnight.

The typical migrants you expect for late April and May begin to fall in numbers, starting with Pied Flycatcher. 

Pied Flycatcher - Garden Tickage

This was followed up quickly with Wood Warblers, a singing Wryneck, and nesting Grey-Headed Woodpecker.

Grey-Headed Woodpecker - what a stunner.

Local patching has also been worthwhile, finding decent scarce like a pair of Garganey and Bewick's Swan.

Whimbrel - a species I now usually see as a flyover Viz-Mig. Finding them on the deck is reasonably unusual.

Tundra Bean Geese - late Spring mean many of these were still around well into May.

Bewick's Swan - I originally picked this bird up at distance in flight around Mossarna, which was pleasing. It later have itself up at Kauhala.

Great White Egret numbers built up at most wetlands. Amazing to see how this species has skyrocketed in numbers here. I now expect to see them at any given wetland along the south coast.

Garganey - scarce in Finland. Nice to find a pair of my own on a regular patch.

A family trip down to Porkkala allowed me to find my first proper rare of the year, a male Steller's Eider (which was my first Self found male).

Pathetic attempt at Steller's record video

This bird was soon followed up with a self found male Pallid Harrier whilst I was ticking off a patch tick Citrine Wagtail. 

Pallid Harrier - male - is there a better bird to find?

Pallid Harrier - this was my first view of the bird as it sped past and over me. A quick bins view of those primaries was enough to get the heart racing. Does not matter how many of these I see here now. They're still the business.

Pallid Harrier - Gotta Love The Pallids

Citrine Wagtail - a nice little patch tick at Saltfjarden. That intensity of colour. Just sheer class. Always great to refamiliarize yourself with that call every Spring.

Citrine Wagtail - listen to that call

A visit to Laajalahti at the end of May was well timed, with Marsh Warblers and Red-Backed Shrikes fresh in and in surprisingly good numbers. 

Other good birds included Broad-Billed Sandpiper, another Citrine Wagtail, Great White Egret, and, unusual for Finland, a pair of Shelduck.

Great White Egret 

Red-Backed Shrike 

Red-Backed Shrike - a hard bird to beat. I find their song and calls incredible. The song is surprisingly acro/Sylvia Warbler like, whilst this call, somehow reminds me of a gull barking.

Meanwhile, back down. At Saltfjarden a pair of Citrine Wagtail were showing on occasion and a singing Savi's Warbler was an excellent bird for the patch. 

Citrine Wagtail again

White-Tailed Eagles 

The garden list has skyrocketed over the past few weeks, soaring into the 120s as species after species falls. 

Highlights include Icterine Warbler, Red-Breasted Flycatcher, Honey Buzzard, Woodlark, Cuckoo, Red-Necked Grebe and Caspian Tern.


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