November 2005

November – Work with owl nestboxes!

November started with a couple of minus degrees, so Siikalahti got frozen. A hundred of Coots and 20 Smews were swimming in small water areas in the middle of ice. The almost old White-tailed Eagle was still there too. In Tiviänlampi there were also 30 Smews and a flock of 19 Tufted Ducks but soon it got frozen too.

I still did a duck counts in Saari on 4th of November. And there were still quite a few birds: 60 Mallards, a Teal, a Long-tailed Duck, 2 Wigeons and some Great Crested Grebes and of course Whooper Swans.

On the 5th day I did winter bird counts. I started from our backyards and walked around the Siikalahti – 18 kilometres. In Lake Simpele I saw some Great Crested Grebes, Goosanders, a Smew, Herring and Common Gulls and also 4 Black-throated Divers. 6 Starlings were still in Kangaskylä and White-tailed Eagle in Siikalahti where I also saw a family of Whooper Swans, 2 Wigeons and Mallards, some Goldeneyes, a Sparrowhawk and a White-backed Woodpecker. Forests were almost empty, only better species were Long-tailed Tits but after all I saw in total of 36 species, which is quite a lot!

The big thing in November was the owl nest boxes! We worked hard to get 63 owl nest boxes to forests in Parikkala. First Hanna did a huge work and contacted the forest owners. And once we knew which forests we can put the boxes, we had to find good places.

It was really a huge work and took all our free time and weekends. It was bad weather almost every time we were in forest but the work had to be done.

We saw some nice birds in the forests but no owls at all. Capercaillie, Hazel Hens and Black Grouses, Siberian Jays, 6 Pheasants and a White-tailed Eagle were seen.

On the 12th day I found a Crane when I was sitting in a bus in Hausjärvi. It was clearly the latest I have ever seen.

In the end of month I was sick for 2 weeks. So I couldn’t do anything. Even though the weather was still mild there weren’t many birds around anymore. 3 Starlings, some Whooper Swans and some flocks of Fieldfares were still around! But there will sure be some good species for the winter rally. Anyway I don’t have many days in the beginning of the rally because we are leaving to India Goa on 6th of December. Yeah!