Eastern in Siikalahti

On Maundy Thursrday I visited Siikalahti only briefly as I had been more or less sick during the week. So I saw only a couple of Pintails, 2 adult White-tailed Eagles and a Hen Harrier. In Särkisalmi I saw 4 Great Crested Grebes.

On Good Friday we stayed in Siikalahti from 8:25 a.m. to 3 p.m. and it was still northern wind. Exactly 100 Rough-legged Buzzards were seen migrating which was a great record. But not many other birds were moving. We saw a Greylag Goose, 20 Barnacle Geese, 2 Black-throated Divers, heard 4 Water Rails, 2 Whimbrels, a Redshank, a Stock Dove, 2 Waxwings and 5 Jays. After a short break I still went to see if there were still more Rough-legged Buzzards moving in the evening but saw only 2 of them. Also a Hen Harrier was seen and from the tower I saw 4 Shovelers, 6 Pintails, 12 Smews and 3 Tufted Ducks.

On the 20th of April we were in Siikalahti from 8:30 a.m. until midday but still it was very quiet. 6 Marsh Harriers, a Hen Harrier, 15 Rough-legged Buzzards, 6 Ospreys and 3 Gold Finches were seen. I also heard Penduline Tit -like calls shortly but saw nothing, so it was just one more bad observation.

In the afternoon we headed to Saari and visited all the regular places. We found a Hen Harrier and 11 Linnets in Pohjanranta, a Hen Harrier, 8 Golden Plovers and 3 Greenshanks in Suurenjärvenliete, 5 Golden Plovers and a White-backed Woodpecker in Tarassiinlahti, 2 Bewick’s Swans in Kanavalampi and a Northern Wheatear in Karinmäki. We also saw a Weasel playing hide and seek under logs. In the evening I still twitched a Black-tailed Godwit in Siikalahti.

On Eastern Sunday it was still quiet on migration. From 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. we were in Siikalahti and I saw a Black Kite early in the morning and we saw another one later during the day. 4 Rough-legged Buzzards, 120 Cranes, 2 Linnets and a Chiffchaff were seen. In the evening we still headed to bird-tower and counted 45 Tufted Ducks, 36 Pochards, 13 Smews, 10 Great Crested Grebes and saw a stunning adult male Peregrine migrating. On the dam-road we didn’t hear any Jack Snipes even though Common Snipes were active. In Huhmarinen we heard a distant Long-eared Owl.

On Eastern Monday we still headed to Siikalahti and stayed there from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Finally the wind had turned southerly and it was also cloudy, we had got enough sun on previous days. Thrushes and Chaffinches were migrating, but otherwise it was still surprisingly quiet. We saw 5 local Bewick’s Swans, a Greylag Goose, 10 Black-throated Divers, again one Black Kite that was soaring some time over the bay before continued migrating towards north, 17 Rough-legged Buzzards, a Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Greenshanks, a Heuglin’s Gull, a Song Thrush, 32 Mistle Thrush, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Lapland Buntings and a Linnet. In Särkisalmi we saw 11 Black-throated Diver and a Red-necked Grebe that had accompanied the Great Crested Grebes.

So we had been out most of the Eastern but the birds that we had seen had been very previsible…

J.A.