Birding summary 2015

Posted on December 28, 2015


With little stint (Calidris minuta, pikkusirri) the minimum yearly goal of 100 species was met at 23rd of August. That pretty much closed the scoring as the last new species, western yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava, keltavästäräkki), got added eight days later.

I knew this year would be challenging to have time for hobbies. 100 species sounded like a goal possible to get fulfilled, and it did. For one’s own sake, it is useful to set goals of different levels in life, including the kinds of that you can actually achieve. Hobbies are a great way to generate feelings that will give you experience of success. But talking about birding, what you get most are empty shores and silent forests. The usual story goes that the birds you went after for are nowhere to be found, so even if the whole hobby relies on a measure of success given by abstract number of species spotted, that’s alright for me.

Still, I had a few specials on my wishlist. First quarter of the year I was in hopes to get a life point from hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes, nokkavarpunen). In January it seemed to be a rather common sight on feeding sites on peoples gardens. Failed it though, and by the time snow melts they are very difficult to spot.

I thought I could do one or two boat trips to archipelago, but so it went that I wasn’t boating at all for the whole year. By brother also did only one or two trips. Lets see it that way that those journeys are now saved for coming up summers, shall we? For boating, my first goal was to make a life point from razorbill (Alca torda, ruokki). Very common, but you can spot it only from a boat or a ship. I managed to score this during a very short visit to Tallinn. Just realized that I didn’t mark it down on my list, so I can kind of save it on life point list for next summer. Nice!

I got a quite specific lead on common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis, kuningaskalastaja). While it does not really do migration, its very difficult to spot and is very small in numbers. Possibly there are only a handful of territories in whole southern Finland. Didn’t pursue it though, but it’ll go straight to next years list of three so well see.

In short, this years list of three was razorbill (done), hawfinch (tried) and common kingfisher (heard about someone seeing it).

First sight of the year was whinchat (Saxicola rubetra, pensastasku), uncommon sight at the darkest period of the year. In February got a life point from bearded reedling (Banurus biarmicus, viiksitimali). They’d been avoiding me for years although there are nestings within a walking distance from my house. They don’t even migrate so there is no excuse for not having spotted these before.

In February, I took straight advice and went to see long-eared owl (Asio otus, sarvipöllö) whole was having good time around wastewater treatment facility.


Posted in: Birding, in English