Beginning of 2019

Around Christmas and New Year we were birding in Oman, but on the 6th of January we were back in Finland and the first year-tick was a Hooded Crow in Helsinki-Vantaa airfield. On the way to Parikkala we stopped in Lappeenranta to see an Eagle Owl to second yea-tick and also some Mallards were seen.

On the 7th of January I ticked Rock Doves, Jackdaws, Great Tits, Tree Sparrows, Magpies, Yellowhammers, House Sparrows and a Starling that was still in Kangaskylä. In Kannas I saw Blue Tits, a Blackbird, Greenfinches, a Nuthatch, a White-backed Woodpecker and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. On the next days only new birds were a Raven and then a Common Redpoll.

UrpiainenOn the 10th day I saw a Goshawk flying over health-center and in Imatra Vuoksi I saw Goldeneyes and Goosanders. On the 11th day in Siikalahti I saw Willow Tits, a couple of Arctic Redpolls and a Long-tailed Tit, in Kontiolampi a Hazel Hen flew across the road and in Tyrjänkoski I found a Dipper. In afternoon I still ticked Coal Tits and Jays in Kirkonkylä.

On the 12th day we went birding to Imatra and Lappeenranta. We stopped on the way in Simpele Lahnanen where Bullfinches were calling and a family of Whooper Swans were wintering. In Kangaskoski we saw a Dipper before we continued towards Imatra. While driving in Ruokolahi, we surprisingly saw a female Pheasant crossing the road and a little bit later a Black Grouse flew over the road in Imatra motorway.

Along Vuoksi we saw several Cormorants, in Neitsytniemi we saw a couple of Grey-headed Woodpeckers and Long-tailed Tits. In Mehiläismäki we twitched a Hawfinch and a couple of Fieldfares. In Itä-Siitola we saw a wintering Tufted Duck and in Imatrankoski a couple of Smews. In Mellonlahti we saw a rare wintering bird, a Great Crested Grebe and also 5 Whooper Swans, but even though we tried a lot, we couldn’t find any Little Grebes.

In Joutseno we tried once more to find Marsh Tits without luck and in Lappeenranta we saw a Chaffinch, 6 Teals in Reijola and 3 Starlings in Toikansuo. So we weren’t very lucky in Lappeenranta. In the evening we went to movies.

On the 13th day we went to Siberian Jay forest with Elissa Soikkeli and Pekka Punnonen. While skiing we saw 6 Crested Tits and when on the best forest we found 2 Three-toed Woodpeckers and a Black Woodpecker. Then an amazing flock of 23 Pine Grosbeaks flew over us and while celebrating this unexpected record, we noticed that a lonely Siberian Jay had came to see us too. So a couple of hours trip had been really good!

During the week I saw an Arctic Redpoll in our back-yard and a Chaffinch in Kangaskylä. On the 19th day there were 4 Arctic Redpolls in a flock of 35 Common Redpolls in Tarvaslampi and in Kannas I saw a Treecreeper.

On the 20th of January I had managed to arrange a group-twitch to one feeder in Taipalsaari where was a Siberian Tit! There were surprisingly only 10 twitchers participating but the bird was showing very well and it was my 299th species in South-Karelia!

After the twitch we still visited some places in Lappeenranta and Joutseno but saw only a Goshawk in Kaukas, now 7 Teals in Reijola and on the way back home I saw a Sparrowhawk in Kesola.

On the 26th day was the Garden Twitch and in Tarvaslampi there were 6 Arctic Redpolls in a flock of 50 Common Redpolls. We also tried to ring a Nuthatch in Tiviä without luck. A Black Woodpecker was seen on the way back home.


On Sunday we did a short walk in Kangaskylä in a very cold weather. The same Starling was almost in our garden and surprisingly we found a White-backed Woodpecker in a new place. On the last day of January I visited Siikalahti and saw a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, a White-backed Woodpecker and in Kannas a Chaffinch.

On the first of February I visited Siikalahti where I saw a Grey-headed Woodpecker, a couple of White-backed Woodpeckers and a couple of Long-tailed Tits. The Starling was seen again and in the afternoon I started a long drive towards Kirkkonummi. On the way I stopped in Kangaskoski and saw 5 Whooper Swans, a couple of Dippers and finally also a Little Grebe, In Itä-Siitola I saw a Tufted Duck again and then I tried a couple of different Marsh Tits but still without luck. The same Eagle Owl was seen again in Lappeenranta.

On the 2nd day Matias Castrén picked me up in Kirkkonummi and together with Matias, Markus Lampinen and Jari Laitasalo we started driving towards Hanko and traditional Bongariliitto weekend. We did some birding in Tammisaari but saw only a Treecreeper and Long-tailed Tits. In Hanko we managed to twitch a Lapland Bunting and a couple of Woodpigeons and in very windy conditions we saw also some Chaffinches a Goshawk and a Sparrowhawk in Hanko centrum.

From the harbors we found Tufted Ducks, a Coot, Mute Swans, Common, Herring and Black-headed Gulls, Long-tailed Ducks, a White-tailed Eagle and a male Red-breasted Merganser. The weather was so bad that nothing else was found and then it was time to drive to Tvärminne where we were having a meeting until 2 a.m.

On the 3rd day we had planned to do more birding but the weather was even worse. We visited only Neljäntuulentupa where we saw some same species as on the previous day and a Fieldfare. After a stop in Kirkkonummi, I continued to twitch a Dunnock in Helsinki Lauttasaari and a Song Thrush in Metsälä. They were both month-ticks and Song Thrush I ave seen now every month. Then I drove back to Parikkala in really bad driving conditions.

During the week I saw only some Waxwings in Kangaskylä. On Sunday the 10th I finally managed to twitch a Marsh Tit in Joutseno. Stil I didn’t see any of them but heard one singing several times. With Sampsa Cairenius we visited also Vuoksi where we saw 5 Dippers in Mellonlahti, a Little Grebe, a Whooper Swan, 12 Cormorants and an Arctic Redpoll in Kupari. The rest of the day I was participating local rarity-committee meeting.

On the 14th day I saw once again the Starling in Kangaskylä, a Black Grouse and a White-backed Woodpecker in Siikalahti and then a flock of 23 Goldfinches in Kangaskylä. On the 16th day I saw 4 Goldeneyes and a Goosander in Kokkolanjoki and on the next day these same birds again but also 4 Dippers.

On the 23rd of February I made the winter-bird count again: a Black Grouse, 7 Rock Doves, a Grey-headed Woodpecker, 3 Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, 23 Blue, 78 Great, 2 Willow and a Crested Tit, 5 Jays, 10 Magpies, 35 Jackdaws, 15 Hooded Crows, 2 Ravens, 10 House Sparrows, 54 Tree Sparrows, 21 Greenfinches, 23 Common Redpolls, 2 Arctic Redpolls, 6 Bullfinches and 2 Yellowhammers.

On the 24th day we visited Siberian Jay again and managed to see it briefly while it was chasing a Pygmy Owl that was calling like in autumn. We also heard a couple of drumming Three-toed Woodpeckers and I heard one more calling. Other birds seen were just tits and Jays. On the way back we saw a Black Woodpecker and the Starling was again seen in Kangaskylä.


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