End of summer birding

On the 28th of July we took it easy and slept as much as possible. It had been so hot that our apartment was too hot, but we managed to sleep quite well. During the day a Common Kingfisher was found in Kitee Kesälahti Taipaleenranta and we went to twitch it with Hanna’s sister Elissa. Luckily the bird was found easily and we even managed to get some distant pictures of it.

On the way back we stopped in Kuolemanlampi where the bird-tower was in so bad condition that it was impossible to climb there. In Saari Pohjanranta we saw 3 Grey Herons. In the evening I heard a Three-toed Woodpecker while running in Tiviä. And later in Siikalahti we saw a Great Bittern and 22 Common Cranes.

On the 29th of July it had been raining for a long time but I still decided to go to check that Red-throated Divers were doing OK. I saw a couple with a big young already. On the way I saw a family of Capercaillies, a female with 2 male and 2 female youngsters that were almost the size of their mother.

On the 1st of August I had working day in Imatra. So I decided to wake up early and together with Sampsa Cairenius we went to twitch the Pinkfooted Goose in Taipalsaari Liukkola again. After some waiting we saw the goose in flight and it landed to a field nearby. We managed to see it really well but it was still quite dark for good pictures.

Then we drove to Toikansuo where we saw nothing better. After I had dropped Sampsa to Joutseno I still tried to twitch a Little Grebe in Korvenkylä but saw only a couple of Slavonian Grebes.

After work I drove back to Parikkala but stopped in Rautjärvi Lahnanen on the way and saw a male Grey Wagtail again.

On the 2nd day I saw again a Great White Egret in Siikalahti and then on the 3rd day we drove to Lappeenranta to do some shopping with Hanna and Elissa. In Joutseno Korvenkylä we managed to see the Little Grebe but Ravattila we tried to find Collared Doves without luck, but we saw some Stock Doves. In Kotasaari we saw a young Citrine Wagtail very briefly but after a half an hour waiting we found a female and saw it very well. Then we still visited Toikansuo but saw only 4 Temminck Stints and a couple of Little Ringed Plovers and I saw a Merlin briefly. After shopping we still drove to Taipalsaari Liukkola where we saw the Pink-footed Goose swimming with a flock of Canada Geese. On the way back to Parikkala we stopped in Imatra Immalanjärvi where we counted 175 Common Terns, 170 Great Crested Grebes and saw some Little Gulls and heard a White-backed Woodpecker.

On the 4th of August we saw a female Garganey with 4 duckling in Siikalahti. On the 5th day evening we tried to ring Nightjars again and managed to catch 2 birds in Tarvaslampi.

On the 6th day there was a Cormorant in Härskiinmutka and in Siikalahti I heard a Golden Oriole singing. In the eveninng we visited Saari Pohjanranta where we saw a Great White Egret. On the 8th day we counted already 132 Cranes coming to roost to Siikalahti and on the 9th day I saw a Goshawk there.
Cranes

River WarblerOn the 10th of August we were ringing again and caught immediately a young River Warbler! Other birds caught were a Robin, a Common Redstart, a Whinchat, 4 Sedge Warblers, 6 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Garden Warblers, 3 Common Whitethroats, 7+1c Willow Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher, a Great Tit, a Red-backed Shrike, a Chaffinch, 3 Common Rosefinches, a Yellowhammer and 3 Reed Buntings. Other birds seen were a couple of Red-throated Divers, 2 Grey Herons, a Goshawk, 9 Goldfinches and we heard a Grey-headed Woodpecker and a Coal Tit. In the evening I saw a Great White Egret and a White-backed Woodpecker in Siikalahti.

On the 11th day we did a trip to Saari with Hanna, Elissa and Miika and saw 2 Great White Egrets in Pohjanranta, a Stock Dove in Kirjavala and a flock of 6 in Pohjasuo – it might had been the first breeding in Parikkala? Female Hen Harriers were seen in Pohjasuo and Tetrisuo and a White.tailed Eagle in Kanavalampi. The best observation was a Corn Crake that was seen walking on the road in Karinmäki.

On the 12th day I saw 2 Great White Egrets flying north in Siikalahti, a White-tailed Eagle and heard a Grey-headed Woodpecker. On the 13th day we saw a Bittern, 247 Cranes, a Smew, 6 Pochards, a Thrush Nightingale and heard 7 Water Rails and 1 or 2 Moorhens.

On the 15th day I counted 52 Whichats on one single field in Kullinsuo and then 243 Cranes in Siikalahti in the evening. I also saw 7 migrating Golden Plovers.

On the 16th of August we drove south to Espoo with Sampsa. We made a brief stop in Ämmässuo and tried to twitch Caspian Gulls on the rubbish tip but most gulls were just leaving to the sea and we found none. It was already dark when we were driving towards Hanko and saw a Tawny Owl in Raasepori Tammisaari Trollböle.

We tried to sleep a couple of hours in one parking place, Samsa in car and I in the forest. It was raining and the re were some strange people walking around the area whole night so I slept about an hour.

On the 17th of August we started walking to Uddskatan already before the sun was rising. We stopped in Gåsörsviken where were good selection of waders. We found 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 10 Red Knots, heard a Grey Plover and also counted 55 Ringed Plovers, 45 Dunlins, 42 Greenshanks, 2 Redshanks and a Spotted Redshank. But only terns we saw were Common Terns and a Caspian Tern – and our goal was once again to see Sandwich Terns as I still need it as a Finnish-tick.

We continued to Halias where we were welcome to go to the migration watching point of the bird-station where Aki Aintila was counting birds alone. I a few hours we counted Yellow Wagtails and Tree Pipits but the wind was too strong to see good numbers. We also saw a few Whimbrels, a flock of 19 Golden Plovers and then a Sanderling.

During the we visited Vedagrundet but there were too many people. So only waders we saw were 3 Curlew Sandpipers and 5 Bar-tailed Godwits and handful of more common species. But once again I had to leave Hanko without seeing a Sandwich Tern.

In the afternoon we stopped again in Ämmässuo and after a long searching we saw a Caspian Gull briefly. It was a new individual the gull-counters had actually found on the same day, but we didn’t know about it yet, so it was a self-found bird for us.

On the way back to home, we still stopped in Oivonoja in Kouvola Koria but saw almost nothing there. But nearby we saw a very badly molting male Hen Harrier fighting with a young female Goshawk.

Red-backed ShrikeOn the 18th of August we had SSP-ringing again. We had hoped to get good numbers of birds but especially tits were still missing. We caught a Tree Pipit, a Robin 1c, 3+1c Whinchats, a Song Thrush, 4 Sedge Warblers, a Garden Warbler, 6 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Willow Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher, even 6 Red-backed Shrikes, 2 Greenfinches and 6 Reed Buntings. We also heard a Black and a Grey-headed Woodpecker, some Common Crossbills, a Common Rosefinch and saw some Goldfinches again.

During the week I saw again some Great White Egrets which a young bird in Siikalahti on the 19th day was a new bird and then on the 20th day there were 5 adults in one flock – so 6 birds were there altogether. I also saw a Nutcracker, 2 White-tailed Eagles and when duck-hunting started lots of Mallards started to arrive to Siikalahti with one flock of 24 Shovelers. I still saw a couple Grey-headed and a White-backed Woodpecker and while visiting Siikalahti in late evening I counted 402 Cranes in the 22nd day and then also several Water Rails were heard and some Woodcocks were seen. On the 23rd day I saw 3 Great White Egrets, a White- tailed Eagle, young Goshawk, a Cuckoo, a Red-backed Shrike and 110 House Martins.

J.A.