Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Trip to Finland - birds of South-Western Finland

It is much easier to take photos of plants than birds. Therefore this article is short.

The common crane (Grus grus), also known as the Eurasian crane, Kranich in German, kurki in Finnish, is a bird of the family Gruidae, the cranes. The Common Crane is a large, stately bird. It is 100–130 cm tall with a 180–240 cm wingspan. Crane is slate-grey overall. The forehead and lores are blackish with a bare red crown and a white streak extending from behind the eyes to the upper back. The species is a long distance migrant predominantly wintering in northern Africa.

You cannot avoid seeing cranes when driving through South Western Finland in June. These are having lunch at Purmojärvi. Cranes eat everyting, plants, roots, leaves, seeds, potatoes, fruit, fish, snails, crabs, rodents, small birds, Cranberry got its name from cranes.

When visiting Väinöntalo museum at Evijärvi I almost step on this bird. It is grey partridge (Perdix perdix), peltopyy in Finnish, Rebhuhn in German. It is a common gamebird in the pheasant family. This fat chicken looks good. Its population has been declining in Finland and in Europe during the last 50 years, but in Southern Ostrobothnia it is still quite strong.

The northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), töyhtöhyyppä in Finnish, Kiebitz in German, ("lapwing" refers to its peculiar, erratic way of flying) is common through Eurasia

This one I spotted walking here and there on a small dirt road close to St. Mary's Church at Sastamala.

It was trying to protect her chick guiding it away from the road.

The western jackdaw (Corvus monedula), naakka in Finnish,  is a bird in the crow family. Found across Europe, western Asia and North Africa, The western jackdaw was one of the many species originally described by Carl Linnaeus in his 18th century work Systema Naturae. Owing to its supposed fondness for picking up coins, Linnaeus gave it the binomial name Corvus monedula, choosing the specific name mǒnēdŭla, which is derived from moneta, the Latin stem of the word "money".

They love to live in old Churches and castles. Here St. Mary's Church in Sastamala, Finland.
Corvus monedula or European jackdaw

There are many legends about jackdaw, often connected to death. In 1628 a jackdaw was shot down from the roof top of Nådendal Abbey in South Western Finland, The shot lit up a fire and the Abbey burned down completely.

Common Merganser (Mercus merganser), isokoskelo in Finnish, Gänsesäger in German, dramatic take off in Siuronkoski.

Oops, this is not in Finland, nor a bird, but cute. This meerkat (Suricata Suricatta) lives in Saarburg, Germany.

Next articles are dedicated to Taiwan.

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