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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Finland, 24-30th July 2017

I spent an absolutely lovely week in Finland with Ingrid and her family. Based on the island of Vessö in the Baltic near Helsinki, we fished, birded, boated and cycled our way around this serene landscape, as well as birding whenever I could fit it in. Apart from one visit to a nature reserve on the edge of Porvoo (where there were many Wood Sandpipers and Ruff) and a trip to the Central Park (a failed quest to see Flying Squirrels, but producing several Wood Warblers), all of the birding was done on our island and 88 species were totted up. Among the birds easily encountered were Red-backed Shrikes, Cranes, Caspian Terns, Woodcocks, Crested Tits, Willow Tits, Pied Flycatchers, Spotted Flycatchers, Fieldfares, Redwings, crossbills, Lesser Whitethroats, Yellowhammers and Tree Sparrows.

More isolated sightings included a White-tailed Eagle, a summer-plumaged Black-throated Diver, a Red-breasted Flycatcher, a Green Sandpiper and a magical evening encounter with a Long-eared Owl. Oh, and I finally saw my first Black Woodpecker! 

♂ Red-backed Shrike
a tranquil Baltic island
♀ Red-breasted Flycatcher
adult and young Crane
Baltic boating
Privet Hawkmoth
Barnacle Geese blocking our boat landing
Mealy Redpoll
adult Caspian Tern
juvenile Wheatear
the Baltic
Arran Brown?
the daily cycle
a bit of fishing
we nearly ran over two Grass Snakes on our bikes in one morning
Dark Green Fritillary?
Wood Warbler