November 2009

Dark November

In the end of November the weather was like in winter. There was even some snow on the ground. Almost all migrating birds had left to south. But in the mid November it came warm again and the end of the month was very rainy and warm – even Siikalahti opened completely even though it had been frozen for weeks already. Some birds came to open lakes.

In the first half of month I was birding mostly in Härskiinmutka, Siikalahti and Vartialahti and I really didn’t see anything special. From our own shore I saw 2 Velvet Scoters, a Common Scoter, a Great Crested Grebe, a couple of Black-headed Gulls and 2 Starlings. In Likolampi I saw a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, in Kannas a Redwing in a flock of Fieldfares, In Vartialahti a Black-throated Diver, 22 Canada Geese, a Wigeon, some Long-tailed Ducks and a Velvet Scoter and in Siikalahti a couple of adult White-tailed Eagles were still hanging around.

On the morning of 14th of November I birded with my brother Pirkka in Imatra. In Immalanjärvi we saw some Long-tailed ducks and Velvet Scoters, a Common Scoter, Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck and a couple of Scaups and in Vuoksi some more Velvet Scoters, Scaups, a Tufted Duck, a Canada Goose, 2 Smews, 26 Cormorants and 2 Goldfinches. In the afternoon and evening had our South Karelian bird associations 40th birthday parties. We had really good lectures about birds of wilderness and also tundra and of course a good dinner and great photos and other shows.
On the morning of 15th day we still had BirdLife Finland meeting.

On the next week it was raining almost constantly so nothing much was seen, but on the 20th of November I drove to Kirkkonummi and on the way I checked Immalanjärvi and Vuoksi again. It seemed there’d be almost the same wintering birds than on previous years on Vuoksi.

On the morning of 21st day I went to Medvastö where I managed to find a Gadwall in a huge flock of Tufted Ducks and Goldeneyes that were almost too far. In Suomenoja I saw 9 Gadwalls much closer and I also visited in Laajalahti where 10 Wigeons and 3 Smews were seen. The rest of the was spent in Twitchers association – Bongariliitto meeting where Dick Forsman showed beautiful pictured of mostly Eleonora’s Falcons and Alan Davies and Ruth Miller told about The Biggest Twitch – their year with new World record number of bird-species. In the evening we still went to a restaurant and had a good time. On the 22nd morning I still birded in Kirkkonummi where I saw a Pygmy Owl in Eestinkylä but nothing else really. I started to drive back home early because of the weather was again rainy and extremely dark.

The rest of the November was still warm. It was about +5 degrees all the time. In Simpelejärvi I still saw some 20 Common Gulls, some Herring Gulls and 3 Black-headed Gulls. In Joukio I found a Scaup and in Lahdenkylä a Pygmy Owl. Great Grey Shrikes were here and there so it seemed there must be some mice and voles for them. 2 White-tailed Eagles were eating fish in Siikalahti and big flocks of Whooper Swans were still on sheltered bays.
On the 29th day I again visited Imatra and in Immalanjärvi I saw 2 Scaups, 5 Tufted Ducks, 6 Velvet Scoters and 10 Herring Gulls and in Vuoksi a Smew, 2 Velvet Scoters, a Dipper and Cormorants. On the last day of November I still found 2 Velvet Scoters in Kukkaronlahti and a flock of 110 Waxwings came to Kangaskylä to empty the last rowans from the berries.