Friday, 30 July 2010


Here are the instructions to find the PALLAS'S SANDGROUSE location inLappeenranta, which is 300km east from Tampere and 230km NE from Helsinki(good main roads):(I hope the link works),28.195596&daddr=&hl=fi&geocode=&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=0&sz=15&sll=61.033749,28.193364&sspn=0.015442,0.055747&ie=UTF8&ll=61.03244,28.19272&spn=0.015443,0.055747&z=15>

Leave your cars to the side of the end of this Palosuonkatu road.From here walk through the gate (will be open during the day until 3 p.m.)but if the gate is closed (tomorrow its Saturday and if you are early) youcan turn left some hundred metres before the gate (a bigger road you can'tmiss it) and in the end of this road there is another gate which can bewalked around. So walk right until you are on the main gate (inside now).Keep on walking right from the main gate, walk some hundred metres (maybe300) and follow the road towards right, after a storage building follow asmall path right and walk 200-300 metres until you see the pools. For surethere will be many other birders too. Most of the Finnish birders will knowthe rules that must be followed! But to re-emphasise: Stay on the roads and pathswhen you walk to the site instructed and stay patiently in one position until thebird shows up! As Martin Helin stated, there will be some organized searching IF and ONLYIF the bird cannot be found otherwise (Janne Aalto)

PALLAS'S SANDGROUSE - special viewing arrangements

As Janne Aalte wrote the PALLAS'S SANDGROUSE may remain elusive inside higher vegetation. To give the bird enough time for rest and at the same time allow twitchers (incl. foreigners) to see it, the Finnish Twitcher's Association (Bongariliitto) has decided that the area of higher vegetation at the top of the Toikansuo hill may be searched once a day at 10 am (Finnish time) IF the bird has not been located earlier the same morning.

This rule is biding for all members of Bongariliitto and naturally also foreign twitcher's are requested to obey this rule.

Good luck to all of you making an attempt from abroad! The bird is a real gem and one of my dream species (like of many others).

Best regards, Martin Helin, Finland


And the PALLAS'S SANDGROUSE is still there in Lappeenranta Finland today. It was found after 7 hours searching from the vegetation and flew towards Askola pools where it was present for long periods yesterday with many other birds.

A short video from yesterday:

(Janne Aalto)

Thursday, 29 July 2010


A PALLAS'S SANDGROUSE is still present this evening at an old landfill site with ponds that it is using for drinking. Strictly speaking it is not the first twitchable Pallas's Sandgrouse for Finland, since a flock of three individuals was twitchable in 1969 (there are about seven previous records in Finland, the last one was made in 1992). Coincidentally or not, today was the warmest day ever recorded in Finland, with the temperature rising to 37,2ºC (99,0ºF) near Joensuu (thanks to south-easterly winds from Kazakhstan...) (per CAU).

Wednesday, 28 July 2010


A presumed GREY-TAILED TATTLER was photograped this morning at the Pier of IJmuiden, the Netherlands. See:

This represents the first record for the Netherlands (per Marnix Jonker)

Monday, 5 July 2010


Following three national firsts during 26th May to 30th June 2010 with Oriental Pratincole, Pacific Swift and White-crowned Black Wheatear, today a singing male WHITE-THROATED SPARROW (Zonotrichia albicollis) -Denmark's second - was identified at Mølleparken, Skørping near Aalborgin Nordjylland, Denmark:

The bird has perhaps been around the Mølleparken gardens for 14 days,close to the big wood of Rold Skov. The only other WT Sparrow in Denmark was seen and heard in song at Kongelunden, Copenhagen on 23rd May 1976. The bird could stay around for many more days, and it seems to be an easy twitch from Germany or Sweden (via the ports of Göteborgor Varberg) (per DK500Club, Rolf Christensen)