August birding

The change of the month was spent with friend on Lake Saimaa. We still didn’t see any Saimaa Seals but in Taipalsaari I saw a Little Stint and on the way back I saw a White-tailed Eagle and a Grey Heron in Lappeenranta.

On the 4th of August I saw a young Temminck Stint and on the next evening a Great White Egret. a Grey Heron and a Great Bittern. Then on the 6th day I saw a couple of Stock Doves.

On the 8th of August we were ringing in SSP-project again. Bushes were wet so birds weren’t moving much. We caught a Whinchat, 4 Sedge Warblers, 8 Lesser and 2 Common Whitethroats, a Chiffchaff, 7 Willlow Warblers, a Blue and a Great Tit, 2 Red-backed Shrikes, a Common Rosefinch and 2 Reed Buntings. A Golden Oriole was singing still shortly and we heard a bird that was calling like a Red-flanked Bluetail but we never saw it. Luckily soon after this mysterious bird had disappeared we heard a Grey Plover calling from the sky so at least one good bird was ticked.

In the evening we did duck-count in Siikalahti and there weren’t much to tell – 305 Mallards. There seemed to be more Great White Egrets so we stayed until the evening and after sunset saw 10 birds leaving to roost. We also counted 80 Cranes and heard at least 6 Water Rails.

On the 9th day we headed to Saari where was as quiet as we had expected. In Pohjasuo we saw a Linnet and a Gold Finch. Then I Suurenjärvenliete I had just said that: ”I wonder if we will see any single bird”, when I noticed a big raptor flying over us – it was a 2nd year Greater Spotted Eagle! Soon the eagle left towards south and luckily Juha Vesaoja saw the bird in Saari Selänne continuing towards Russia. I still saw a Nutcracker briefly but nothing else was seen later.

On the 10th of August a couple of Nutcrackers were in Kangaskylä and on the 11th day there were quite some raptors in Siikalahti. A couple of Hen Harriers and White-tailed Eagles were seen but I had only my lunch-hour so nothing better was seen.

On the 12th day a couple of Goshawks and again 10 Great White Egrets were seen. It was already dark when we were on the way back home and in Muttelinmäki we flushed a Nightjar from the road. On the next evening I saw a Temminck Stint, already 320 Cranes and heard a Nightjar.

It was quiet on the next days too and on the 15th day a visit in Saati was extremely quiet. Only 5 Meadow Pipits and 214 Cranes were seen – and a Nutcracker in Kangaskylä.

On the 16th f August we were ringing again and caught a Dunnock, 2 Common Redstarts, 2 Sedge Warblers, 8 Lesser and 2 Common Whitethroats, 3 Garden Warblers, 7r+2c Willow Warblers, a Great Tit control, a Greenfinch and a Reed Bunting. In the evening I did along run in Melkoniemi forests and saw a few Black Grouses, a Hazel Hen and a female Capercaillie.

On the 17th day I saw a White-tailed Eagle and a Ringed Plover and on the 18th there were 94 Great Crested Grebes, 10 Cormorants and a White-tailed Eagle in Härskiinmutka. In Siikalahti we saw a Smew, 9 Great White Egrets and on the way back home we saw a Nightjar.

On the 20th of August the duck-hinting started so I was in Siikalahti waiting for ducks to come there to safety. Some small flocks arrived during my lunch-hour. Also 15 Cormorants and a Ringed Plover were seen. In the evening we did duck-counts to see if there were more ducks but only 148 Wigeons, 97 Teals and 416 Mallards were numbers to mention.

On the 21st of August I was running a long run in Melkoniemi again and saw a male Capercaillie. In the evening we tried to catch migrating Nightjars but only one bird was heard calling shortly.

On the 22nd day we stayed in Siikalahti dam-road for a few hours and saw a couple of Nutcrackers, a White-tailed Eagle, a Stock Dove and a flock of 12 Long-tailed Tits. It was till very quiet! On the next day I was running again and saw a Common Redpoll in Kangaskylä, a White-tailed Eagle in Härskiinmutka, a Hazel Hen in forests and a Hen Harrier in Tetrisuo. In the evening we saw another Hen Harrier, 8 Great White Egrets and the last Swifts of the summer.

On the 25th of August a flock of 5 Bean Geese were flying around and on the next day I saw a Short-eared Owl flying high over Siikalahti. On the 27th day a 2nd year White-tailed Eagle was seen and elsewhere an adult and young were still visiting the nest. On the 28th day I heard a Brambling, saw a young Hen Harrier and 2 young Honey Buzzards. In Kangaskylä I heard a Redpoll again.

On the 29th of August we had the last ringing in Papinlahti. We managed to do all 12 ringings. We caught a Dunnock, a Bluethroat, 2 Sedge and 2 Blyth’s Reed Warblers, a Lesser and a Common Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warblers, a Blu Tit, 2 Greenfinches and the best bird we had ever caught in this place – a young Red-breasted Flycatcher! During the day we drove to Simpele Kangaskoski to twitch a Common Kingfisher. Hanna managed to see it briefly but the rest of us only heard it calling. Also a Gret Wagtail had been found so we twitched it too in Ritakoski. It flew to Lahnanen where we managed to see it better and get some pictures too.

In the evening we did duck-counts and the also crane and egret-count. 223 Wigeons, 96 Teals, 550 Mallards, 15 Pintails, 26 Canada Geese and so on were counted. I also saw a Ural Owl and heard a Moorhen. In the evening we counted exactly 700 Cranes and 15 Great White Egrets, 2 Grey Herons, 3 Bitterns and also saw 3 Lapwings, a Woodcock, 5 Hobbies, 5 Bean Geese, a Greylag Goose and then 3 small dark geese which one was very small. Maybe they were 2 Greater and one Swedish Lesser White-fronted Geese that had been seen in Parikkala earlier in summer? We also heard altogether 11 Water Rails.

Next evening I spent again in Siikalahti and counted cranes. It was very cloudy so birds were difficult to count even though they arrived earlier. I managed to see 669 Cranes and even 18 Great White Egrets. Also 305 migrating Wigeons and 10 Golden Plovers were seen but nothing else. And then on the last day of the month only bird to mention was a Hen Harrier.

J.A.