On the 30th of October we checked some places near Siikalahti and Tyrjä and still saw a a flock of 40 Barnacle Geese, Wigeons, a White-tailed Eagle, a Great Grey Shrike and then a Dipperin Tyrjä-river,

We hadn’t planned any race for this November but when it seemed that a couple of birders started to keep their lists, I also decided to count species that I can find in Parikkala. On the 2nd of November I saw the first better species when Common and Velvet Scoters were seen in Vartialahti, a Great Crested Grebe, a White-tailed Eagle and Cormorants in Härskiinmutka and the same Dipper in Tyrjä. On the 3rd day there were still 77 Whooper Swans, 4 Wigeons and a Smew in Siikalahti and on the 4th I saw Black-headed Gulls in a a couple of places, a Great Grey Shrike in Rautalahti and a small flock of Waxwings in Kirkonkylä.

On the 5th of November I did winter-bird count and walked again 17 kilometers. I saw only 7 Whooper Swans, 2 Barnacle Geese, a Tufted Duck, 3 Goldeneyes, 193 Goosanders, even 75 Black Grouses, 5 Cormorants, 4 White-tailed Eagles, a Goshawk, 17 Common and 5 Herring Gulls, a Hawk Owl in Huhmarinen, 5 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a White Wagtail that was a big surprise in our own beach, a couple of Redwings in Mantilanniemi, even 15 Goldcrests, 79 Blue, 153 Great and only 2 Willow Tits, 6 Treecreepers, 20 Jays, 16 Magpies, 42 Jackdaws, 5 Hooded Crows, even 23 Ravens, 6 Tree Sparrows, 19 Greenfinches, 66 Siskins, 36 Common Redpolls and a single Arctic Redpoll, 20 Bullfinches and 40 Yellowhammers.

On the 6th day we visited Saari with Harri Partanen and saw still a flock of 50 Barnacle Geese with a young White-fronted Goose in Pohjanranta, some Scaups and Tufted Ducks, a Long-tailed Duck, White-tailed Eagles, a Great Grey Shrike, maybe the last House Sparrow of Parikkala and also a hybrid sparrow in Pohjasuo and 5 Bramblings in a flock of Greenfinches in Akanvaara Tetrisuo. But after this trip it really started to be dark and quiet!

On the 12th day we drove to Joensuu to celebrate PKLTY (North Karelia bird association) 50-year parties and BirdLife meeting. On the way we saw in Kitee a Capercaillie, a Goshawk and a Fieldfare. Weekend was nice. It was good to see many old friends.

On the 14th of November a Black-headed Gull was still in Särkisalmi and there was also a Grey-headed Woodpecker. But the bird of the day was a shrike that Harri Partanen had found on the previous day. In the evening he had sent a picture of a flying shrike to me and the bird really looked interesting. I asked for more pictures and it was clear that better pictures were needed. So on my lunch-hour I drove to Tiviä and found the bird immediately when it flew over the road. It was carrying a mole and landed to a bush quite far. But I managed to watch it with my scope and also get some bad pictures but the bird really looked good Northern Shrike candidate. Unfortunately I had to hurry back to work.

So I had to come back to Tyrjä on every lunch-hour and luckily I found the bird easily on most of my visits. Finally I managed to get better pictures even though the bird was extremely shy and always flew very far. On the 15th day I also saw the last Tufted Duck and a Velvet Scoter around. On the 17th day it was too windy for the shrike but Harri Hölttä found a Hawk Owl that I also managed to see while driving to Särkisalmi. It was next to main road 6. On the 18th day I saw the shrike again so on the next day, on Saturday, we came with Hanna to try to get more pictures and maybe even some DNA. Hanna managed to get pretty close to the bird and we also found a couple of pellets.

We continued to watch Siberian Jays and found the last 4 birds easily. We also found a Three-toed Woodpecker, a Crested Tit and a couple of Capercaillies. And in Kangaskylä we saw a Nuthatch that Hanna had found earlier.

On the 20nd day I visited the same forests again and saw a flock of Common Crossbills. Only other birds I saw was a White-tailed Eagle and the same Hawk Owl that had decided to stay around.

On the 26th I found a couple of White-backed Woodpeckers in Tiviä and on the next day we put up a feeder for them. Then we found also a Nuthatch couple there. So on the next morning on the 27th of November we were there with mist-net as we hoped to ring there Nuthatches with color-rings. We also saw a couple of White-backed Woodpeckers and 2 Willow and about 10 Long-tailed Tits and heard a Nuthatch but they weren’t visiting the feeder yet. So we ringed only about 10 Great and Blue Tits and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. One Blue Tit was wearing our old ring and then we also caught a Treecreeper that we had ringed already 3 years ago! Then we went to try to ring the Hawk Owl but it didn’t care about our fake-mouse as there were also real ones to catch.

On the next day the nuthatches were already visiting our feeder as were a White-backed and a Grey-headead Woodpecker, a Raven and a couple of Jays too. I couldn’t find any more November ticks so after all I saw only 58 species. But this was really bad November – which wasn’t a surprise as the whole year has been the poorest ever!

On the 3rd of December we checked the last open places in Simpelejärvi with Harri Hölttä but found only a Whooper Swan, Goosanders, 23 Mallards and some Common and Herring Gulls and a Great Grey Shrike. The same Hawk Owl was now in Kukonkanta and then in a visit to Tarvaslampi I saw a Blackbird – a species that I hadn’t seen in whole November at all.

On the 4th of December we went to ring the nuthatches and it was easy. The got color-rings so they will be easy to follow if they stay around. We also saw Long-tailed Tits, a Grey-headed Woodpecker and a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker but ringed only Great and Blue Tits.