Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Seurasaari Dock

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Looking out from the island of Seurasaari (Helsinki, Finland).

Image: GrrlScientist, 4 July 2009 [larger view]. (raw image)

Can anyone identify the birds in this image?


  1. #1 Adrian
    September 19, 2009

    Damn! left my ‘scope at home. The one in the water with what looks like a white head could be a Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) but the old eyesight is not what it was.

  2. #2 Lassi Hippeläinen
    September 19, 2009

    The barnacle goose is a newcomer as a nesting bird. It is an artic species that started to stay in the Baltic in 1920’s, but here in Helsinki the first nest was found only in 1987. Their population exploded the 1990s, and people are already complaining about the piles of shit a big flock leaves behind…

    BTW, the pic is taken towards the sea (Gulf of Finland), and most of the land in the distance is Lauttasaari, one of the biggest islands in Helsinki. Not mainland.

    P.S. Is that Mr. GrrlScientist hiding behind the rock?

  3. #3 Adrian
    September 19, 2009

    So that explains the birds with reduced white on the head, they are juvenile birds. I had thought it was too early for returning tundra birds but as they are breeding this far south that solves this mystery.

  4. #4 Mr. GrrlScientist
    September 19, 2009

    Lassi – that’s not me. I think it was someone from SUPO, on the look out for liquourice tourists, the addicts who come to Finland to get cheap hits.

  5. #5 "GrrlScientist"
    September 20, 2009

    there were several (5-6?) barnacle geese in that image. not sure who the humanoid is though.

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