Siberian jays in northern Finland, photos


Siberian jay, 15 March 2015

Still 15 March 2015 in northern Finland. After the dippers, to the Siberian jays. Like this one.

Siberian jay on snow, 15 March 2015

They came down from the trees to the snowy roadside, attracted by raisins.

Siberian jay still on snow, 15 March 2015

Siberian jay still on snow, turning its head, 15 March 2015

They were not shy.

Siberian jay on snow, on 15 March 2015

Stay tuned for the next blog post, about the birds of 16 March 2015, our last morning in Finland!

Dippers of Kuusamo, Finland, 15 March 2015


After 14 March 2015 in north-east Finland came 15 March. Our last full day in Finland. Again, we went to the dipper nest where we had already been on 14 March. On this video, you can hear the dipper sing. You can also see the dipper’s environment; the water, flowing fast through ice and snow. But, you cannot see the dipper.

Dipper on snow, 15 March 2015

On this photo, you can.

The dipper sang on rocks in the river, and on the wooden bridge.

Dippers on bridge, 15 March 2015

A second dipper, extremely probably his female partner, joined him on the bridge.

Dipper sings on rock, 15 March 2015

Then, back to the river for a song.

Dippers on bridge again, 15 March 2015

And back to the bridge again.

Dippers still on bridge, 15 March 2015

Dippers on snow, 15 March 2015

Then, together in the snow.

Dipper on rock, 15 March 2015

Then, to an ice-covered rock.

Dipper on rock, water streams past, 15 March 2015

While the water kept speeding past the birds.

Every now and then, the dippers would bring nesting material to the wooden nestbox under the bridge.

Meanwhile, a red squirrel crossed the bridge, covered with snow.

Other birds near the dipper nest: great spotted woodpecker. Great tit.

A raven flies past, calling.

Then, we continue to a field where a northern hawk-owl has been seen. However, we don’t see the owl. We do see mountain hare tracks.

A bit further, pine grosbeaks high up a tree. They are not feeding on Swedish service tree berries this time, but on coniferous tree cones. Like their scientific name says: Pinicola enucleator; literally, ‘inhabitant of coniferous trees, removing cones’ cores’.

In another big coniferous tree: a siskin.

Back to the garden of photographer Hannu Hautala. There is a yellowhammer at a feeder; not many other birds.

We continued to a Siberian jay spot. That will be a separate blog post.

This video is called Hazel Grouse / Bonasa bonasia.

A bird species which we saw once in Finland, in the evening dusk.

In the morning of 16 March, our last morning in Finland, we still saw dippers and other birds. So, stay tuned!

Stock dove, wood duck and flowers


Endegeest, 11 April 2015

This photo is about flowering shrubs at Endegeest estate in the Netherlands on 11 March 2015. Like the other photo of this blog post, this is a cell phone photo.

Today, Endegeest is home to a psychiatric institution. In the seventeenth century, when it was built in its present form, Endegeest castle was home to famous philosopher René Descartes, exiled from France. Near the entrance of the castle is a bust of Descartes.

As we arrived, a ring-necked parakeet flying and calling.

On the chimney of a building, an Egyptian geese couple calling.

Various flowers: Gagea pratensis; lesser celandine; and fumewort.

Great spotted woodpeckers; at one point, three on the same tree.

One can hear chiffchaff, great tit, robin and nuthatch.

A blue tit.

A stock dove on a tree.

Endegeest, on 11 April 2015

At a woodland edge, Egyptian geese. And a male wood duck. A feral species in the Netherlands; originally from North America. About wood ducks: here.

On the meadow: Canada geese. Mute swans. Coot. Moorhen.

A northern lapwing drives a white stork away.

Back near the castle. A ruddy shelduck-Egyptian goose hybrid bird.

A male and a female gadwall on another meadow.

Green woodpecker sound in woodland.

A grey heron on its nest in a tree.

We go on, to Lentevreugd nature reserve in Wassenaar.

Northern lapwings.

Grey lag geese.

Water rail sound.

A buzzard flying above the trees.

Dippers of northern Finland


This video is about a dipper (Cinclus cinclus) in England.

Northern Finland, still 14 March 2015.

After the great grey owls, we went to a fast-flowing river.

Though there was still ice and snow all around, including on top of rocks in the river, the water there flows so fast that it is open.

This benefited a dipper couple.

They live in a wooden nest box underneath a wooden bridge. There is another nestbox, a bit further under the same bridge. Maybe grey wagtails will use that box when they will be back from spring migration.

The dippers sat sometimes on small pebbles, sometimes on big ice and snow-covered rocks in the river. Sometimes, they caught water insects; eg, stoneflies.

14 March dipper photos, unfortunately, were not so good. However, we went back to the dippers later, with better photographic results. So, stay tuned!

Great grey owls of Finland photos


This video is called Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator). These birds starred in my earlier blog post about northern Finland on 14 March 2015.

This video from Finland is called Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) flies towards the camera and eats a mouse.

To see great grey owls that day, we left Kuusamo and went to a roadside not so far away.

Great grey owl, 14 March 2015

There, on a coniferous tree, sat a great grey owl.

Our Finnature guide put a dead shrew on the snow to attract the owl. Though most carnivores don’t really like shrews, preferring mice, the owl did come to eat it.

Meanwhile, a greenfinch sang.

Then, a dead vole was put on the snow to attract the owl again from its tree.

We went back to the pine grosbeaks of Kuusamo. Three herring gulls flying overhead. Rather far from the sea where one might expect them.

Then, back to the great grey owl.

There turned out to be not one, but two great grey owls; mates?

Great grey owl on birch tree, 14 March 2015

One of them sat in a birch tree. Later, it moved to a utility pole; from where it flew repeatedly, trying to catch small mammals.

The other great grey owl still sat close to the road; and reacted to food on the snow.

Great grey owl landing, 14 March 2015

The owl landed.

Great grey owl on the snow, 14 March 2015

It caught the dead small mammal.

Great grey owl, on 14 March 2015

And ate it.

Living pine grosbeaks, living Arctic redpoll, wooden owls


Owl sculpture in Hannu Hautala's garden, 14 March 2014

After 13 March 2015 in north-east Finland came 14 March 2015 there. We went to the garden of well-known Finnish bird photographer Hannu Hautala in Kuusamo. Wooden sculptures of owls near the entrance.

Owl sculpture in Hannu Hautala's garden, on 14 March 2014

In a Swedish service tree, there are berries. They attract birds: a juvenile pine grosbeak, an adult male pine grosbeak …

Pine grosbeak male, 14 March 2015

… an adult female …

Pine grosbeak female, 14 March 2015

and an Arctic redpoll (pictured here with the female pine grosbeak).

Pine grosbeak female and Arctic redpoll, 14 March 2015

Arctic redpoll, 14 March 2015

The Arctic redpoll stayed for a long time in the tree.

Arctic redpoll, on 14 March 2015

These birds were beautiful. So were the wooden owls. However, we also wanted to see living owls. So, we left. Stay tuned!

Golden eagle, Siberian tit, bullfinch in Finland


Willow tit and Siberian tit, 13 March 2015

Still 13 March in north-eastern Finland, in the hide. Like we saw earlier there, a willow tit. However, in front of it, another bird lands. Also a willow tit? Yes.

But a bit later: No. A related species, slightly more light brown on its head and a bit bigger: a Siberian tit, also called grey-headed chickadee.

Willow tit and Siberian tit looking at it, 13 March 2015

Siberian tit, 13 March 2015

For people from central or southern Europe, from temperate North America and from all other continents, a bird for which they have to go especially to the far north of Europe and Asia to see it.

Siberian tit on tree, 13 March 2015

A raven flies past. So does a golden eagle, like earlier in the day. Will it land?

Usually, golden eagles land near the hide day after day in winter. Usually one eagle, sometimes two eagles, the local male and female. They have failed to land only on two days this winter. Late in the afternoon, we would find out that 13 March was the third day that winter. A few miles away, a moose had died. That attracted eagles and other carrion eaters more than the dead fox, squirrel and hare near the hide.

Red squirrel, 13 March 2015

13:10: a red squirrel near the hide.

Nuthatch again, 13 March 2015

Again, a nuthatch.

Great spotted woodpecker female again, 13 March 2015

Also again, a great spotted woodpecker.

Bullfinch male, 13 March 2015

And at last, at least the male half of the bullfinch couple comes closer.

Bullfinch male again, 13 March 2015

Crested tit, 13 March 2015

So does a crested tit.

Crested tit again, 13 March 2015