November bird-competition

After we had come back from Icelandwe drove back to Parikkala via Hollola where we twitched a Pied Wheatear. We also saw a Pink-footed Goose there.

On the 26th of Octotber there were still 1600 Barnacle Geese in Siikalahti, also 6 Long-tailed Ducks, a Teal and 3 White-tailed Eagles were seen.

On the next days the geese left quickly and only a couple of flocks were seen. A family of 4 White-tailed Eagles were seen on several days and on the 27th day I still saw a Black-throated and a Red-throated Diver too. The next night was very cold and Siikalahti got frozen. In Tiviänlampi I still saw 10 Smews.

The last 2 days of Ocotber I saw only 3 Canada Geese in Härskiinmutka, a couple of Goshawks and White-tailed Eagles in Siikalahti, 3 Siberian Jays in the forests and 2 Red-breasted Merganser, a Great Crested Grebe and a Black-headed Gull in Lake Simpele.

In November we had once again a bird-competition, so I was birding every day in the beginning of the month. Of course on my work-day I could only do a short trip during my lunch-hour.

On the 1st of November I did a winter-bird count and saw 34 species. Siikalahti was open again but I saw almost only Whooper Swans there. In Lake Simpele I saw 5 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Great Crested Grebe, a Black-headed Gull and on the long walk also 3 Black Grouses, a White-tailed Eagle, a Woodcock, a Black Woodpecker, a Blackbird, 5 Fieldfares, a Goldcrest, 2 Long-tailed Tits, a Great Grey Shrike and a Redpoll.

On the 2nd day I saw 10 Wigeons and Tufted Ducks and a Grey-headed Woodpecker in Siikalahti. In Joukio I saw a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, in Moskuunniemi a Chaffinch and in Kangaskylä 4 Waxwings.

On the 3rd day I saw 3 Black-headed Gulls in Särkisalmi, a Goshawk in Tähtiniemi, 2 Common Scoters and a Siskin in Koitsanlahti and a Red-throated Diver and a Crested Tit in Oravaniemi. On the 4th day my only new species was a Scaup in Siikalahti.

On the 5th day I saw a Nutcracker and finally 2 House Sparrows in Kangaskylä. On the 6th day a Black Woodpecker and a flock of 25 Long-tailed Tits were in Oravaniemi. Then I drove to Saari where I checked many places but saw only a flock of 14 Fieldfares in Pohjasuo and Wigeon in Kanavalampi. I was already very bored of birding in November but I decided to drive back to Parikkala along the Russian border. There I saw in the late afternoon 2 Black Grouses, a Hazel Grouse, a Dipper, a Pygmy Owl and even a Great Grey Owl!

On the 7th of October I was playing floorball in Simpele but on the way there I saw a flock of 4 Velvet Scoters in Pistoniemi. On the 8th day we did a short visit to the forests but it started to rain too soon. Anyway we saw the familiar 3 Siberian Jays and 2 Coal Tits. In Muikkulahti we saw the same 3 Canada Geese. The 9th day was the first day without new species. I did visit several places but only better birds were a White-tailed Eagle and a Great Crested Grebe in Oravaniemi and 8 Wigeons, 45 Mallards, 7 Goldeneyes and 240 Whooper Swans in Siikalahti. On the next days it was raining, so I wasn’t birding much.

Next better birds were a Three-toed Woodpecker in Oravaniemi and a flock of 7 Barnacle Geese in Kangaskylä on the 12th of November. On the 13th day there were 2 Starlings in Kangaskylä, in Moskuunniemi I saw a Black-headed Gull, in Rautalahti a Velvet Scoter and 6 Smews in Saari Lahdenpohja.

During the weekend I was in Lappeenranta. On the way I twitched a Dipper in Rautjärvi, Simpele, Kokkolanjoki and in Lappeenranta I twitched a Black-throated Diver in Mustolanlampi and a Pochard in Kaislanen. On Sunday I twitched a Nuthatch in Pappilanniemi.

Then it really started to get quiet. It was dark, rainy and boring. I did do birding on my lunch-hours but saw only same birds as earlier. On the 16th of November I still saw a Great Crested Grebe in Oravaniemi and on the 17th day now only 6 Barnacle Geese in Kangaskylä. The next new bird for the November race was a Long-tailed Duck in Siikalahti on the 20th day.

J.A.