Different kind of fishers

On Friday the 25th of September I visited Siikalahti a couple of times. There were some my friends too and together we saw 3 Bewick’s Swans, 200 Brent Geese, an Osprey, a Peregrine, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Nutcracker and altogether 10 White-tailed Eagles! In the afternoon we went to Saari with “Jassi” Kiljunen and saw a Merlin, 10 Golden Plovers, 14 Lapwings and 2 Great Grey Shrikes in Akanvaara Tetrisuo, a Grey Heron in Pohjanranta and 10000 Barnacle Geese and 100 grey geese in Jyrkilä. There were also 100 swans which 6 of them were Bewick’s Swans.

On Saturday I did birding only in the morning without any special observations. In the afternoon we drove to Savonlinna and twitched a Mandarin Duck and then continued to Mikkeli to my grandmother’s funeral. She was the probably the biggest reason, why me and my brother started to watch birds in early 80’s.

On Sunday the 27th of September we woke up and drove to Siikalahti already at 6:30 a.m. Soon there were also Harri Partanen, Jassi and Merja Laari, but it was so foggy that we started to walk around. We had planned to try to see as many species as possible during the day in Siikalahti.

Right away we saw a White-backed Woodpecker and heard a Water Rail. From Raikantie we found a Wren, a Crested Tit and a Black Grouse. At 9 a.m. we were back at the dam-road and now Pekka Punnonen had arrived too.

Finally the fog cleared and we saw a Bluethroat, a Marsh Harrier, thousand of Barnacle Geese flying around, but not real migration. Only Woodpigeons were really moving and we counted 590 birds. Then Merja found a Bittern standing on the reeds and soon we saw it catching a fish and then hiding back to the reeds.

During the day we saw a Honey Buzzard, 3 White-tailed Eagles, a Hen Harrier, an Osprey, 2 Goshawks, 14 Sparrowhawks and a Merlin. 382 Cranes were migrating and 220 still just flying around.

In the afternoon it came quiet but we still saw a Grey-headed Woodpecker, a Gold Finch and a Lesser Whitethroat. At 4:30 p.m. everyone else had seen enough but I moved to the main bird-tower. There I counted 77 Bean Geese, 14 White-fronted Geese, found a Pintail, 11 Shovelers, a Long-tailed Duck, a Smew, 11 Scaups and 42 Tufted Ducks with about a thousand Mallards and Wigeons. Then I suddenly heard a high call close to the tower and saw briefly a compact bird flying to one reed-bed. I didn’t see any colors but I knew it had been a Common Kingfisher! I put the news out and soon I heard it again and then saw it landing to a willow pretty close to the tower. But I couldn’t find my camera and when I finally found it and managed to start scoping, I just got a few seconds video of the bird before it caught a bird and flew behind the reeds with it.

I stayed in the tower until 6:30 p.m. and once I realized that I had been in Siikalahti for 12 hours already, I left back to home. There I counted that we had seen altogether 83 species during the day in Siikalahti.

J.A.