April 2005

April – Spring in Eastern Finland

In April I was still working in Heath Centre, but anyway I tried to do birding as much as possible.

Right away on the 1st day of April I had to hurry, because “konza” saw a glimpse of a possible Green Woodpecker. Unfortunately the bird was not relocated even there were several searchers for a couple of days. Only an early Snipe was seen. At Siikalahti I managed to twitch a migrating Golden Eagle which was new Siikalahti tick for me.

At next morning a flock of 6 Cormorants were migrating in Siikalahti, and in Tyrjä we saw a young Golden Eagle so beautiful we had never seen before. Also a pale “börringe” Buzzard was seen. We also saw a big falcon migrating fast, but unfortunately it was too far to identify. It was more likely Gyr than Peregrine.

On the 4th day a Greylag Goose and Great Black-backed Gulls were flying around in Siikalahti – both good species in Eastern Finland. During the next morning I watching migration again in Siikalahti and I got another Siikalahti tick when a Twite was seen and heard. Also White-tailed Eagle and the first Marsh Harrier of the yoar had arrived at Siikalahti. On the 6h day new species for the year were a Wren, a Dunnock, a Hen Harrier, a Merlin and a Song Thrush.

On the 7th day I had just left Siikalahti and continued to do birding to some fields when I had a call that a Greater Spotted Eagle was migrating over Siikalahti. Luckily I managed to drive that fast back there I could see the bird.

Next day was again good. We saw a nice 2nd year Golden Eagle migrating. Other year-ticks were a Green Sandpiper, a Curlew, a Crane and a couple of Teals – these made my year list up to 100 species.

On the 10th day we drove to Joutseno Konnunsuo fields. There was no water as much as we had hoped, but there were far more people. Luckily there were also some birds: 30 Bean Geese, 4 Greylag Geese, a White-fronted Goose, 2 Bewick’s Swans amongst lots of Whooper Swans, 2 Golden Plovers, a Redshank, a White-tailed Eagle, a Rough-legged Buzzard, a Stock Dove and a Mistle Thrush.

In the mid April also Siikalahti started to melt. That meant I had to begin with the duck-counts. Of course in the beginning there were only a few birds but the numbers rose quickly.

At Siikalahti I saw a Greylag Goose, a Moorhen and a Two-barred Crossbill. I also twitched a flock of 11 Shore Larks that ”konza” found at Akavaara Tetrisuo.

On the 16th I went to Konnunsuo again. Now there were lots more Geese. I saw more than 600 Bean Geese and 142 White-fronted Geese and even 5 Pink-Footed Geese.

The 23rd day of April was again a good bird-day. At Särkisalmi we found a couple of Gadwalls with Matti and in Siikalahti I saw a migrating Black Kite and a White-tailed Eagle. On the next day I was driving to Punkaharju to see Nutcrakers with Johannes, but I never found them but we saw a Shelduck and a Black-backed Gull.

On the 26th of April a couple of birders saw a migrating Imperial Eagle in Siikalahti. Unfortunately I couldn’t find it even I tried to drive to its way.

In the end of the month the back-winter came once again. 4 Gadwalls were found during the duck-counts and we also had to begin the map-counts. Harry Nyström came to work with us as a third guide and bird counter. He really had to learn to work fast because we had a lot to do.

When the month changed there was nice snow-layer on the ground.