The winter started as so many times on the first of December. Well once again at least the previous night was cold and lakes started to froze. But luckily it wasn’t too cold and lakes were still mostly open and haze wasn’t too bad so it was still possible to see birds that still were on the lakes. On the 1st of December on my lunch-hour I left to Vartialahti where I still had counted good numbers of Whooper Swans. And birds do come to other birds s o I was hoping to find something else there too. Once there I started scanning the Whooper Swans that were pretty far when I noticed a lonely gull swimming in the middle of the bay – it was a young Kittiwake! The bird flushed soon and flight around the bay but landed again soon. I tried to phonescope it but my scope was a bit frosty, so I went to get some tissue from my car. When I got back, I couldn’t find the Kittiwake at all. But then I found it flying high on the sky towards South-West.

While I was still celebrating my new South-Karelia tick, a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker came to the closest tree and after that I counted 190 Whooper Swans and found also 2 Scaups and a Velvet Scoter. A lonely Herring Gull was flying over me. I still continued to check the bottom of the bay in Vehkalahti and found a Wigeon that was hiding behind the Whooper Swans.

I still had time to check the northern end of Siikalahti in Raikanniemi and there I found only 18 Whooper Swans, but also 5 Canada Geese, 5 Mallards and a male Goldeneye. So I had really had a good start for December!

- J.A.