End of the worst year

It was cold winter in December so I wasn’t too excited to do much birding. Fieldfare flocks were still around and after very cold days there seemed to be more and more Blackbirds too here and there.

On the 11th day we were photographing Yellowhammers and other birds in Tarvaslampi in our hide when I noticed a grayish bird. I took pictures and realized that the birds looked like a Pine Bunting! It disappeared soon but from the pictures we could see that there was some yellowish color on its breast – so maybe it was just a hybrid even though otherwise it really looked good. Unfortunately the bird was never seen again even though we visited the hide a few times later during the month.

On the 12th day I stopped in Imatra Vuoksi briefly and saw a Red-breasted Merganser. Also some Cormorants and so on were seen also on other visits when I was going to Lappeenranta to play. But Little Grebe managed to avoid me.

On the 13th day I saw a Hawk Owl and a Sparrowhawk in Kaukola where the big Yellowhammer flock was still around. A White-tailed Eagle flew over me in Kontiolampi and on the 15th day I saw a Whooper Swan in Tyrjä.

On the 18th day we freed a Goshawk that had been living with us for almost 2 weeks. It had been found on the road so it had probably hit by a car. In Kannas we saw 2 Nuthatches and a Treecreeper and on the next day I saw a flock of 13 Gold Finches flying over our house and in Ristimäki I saw a Goldcrest.

On Christmas Eve we did a winter-bird count with Miika Soikkeli. We saw altogether 22 Black Grouse, a Sparrowhawk, 12 Rock Doves, 6 Great Spotted and 2 White-backed Woodpeckers, 87 Waxwings, 4 Blackbirds, 277 Fieldfares, 2 Goldcrests, 65 Blue, 75 Great, 4 Willow and 2 Crested Tits, a Nuthacth, 4 Treecreepers, 15 Magpies, 4 Jays, 38 Jackdaws, 30 Hooded Crows, 48 Tree Sparrows, 7 Greenfinches, 5 Gold Finches, 5 Siskins, 52 Common Redpolls, 54 Bullfinches and 6 Yellowhammers.

On Christmas Day we visited relatives in Punkaharju and saw 2 Nuthatches and a Treecreeper in Laakkii and a Sparrowhawk in Tarvaslampi.

On Boxing Day we headed to Simpele and there were even more thrushes and Waxwings than in Parikkala. Altogether 6 Dippers and 7 Whooper Swans and 3 Mallards were seen on the river. We also saw 2 Sparrowhawks and in Siikalahti on our feeder there were 2 Great Spotted, 2 White-backed and a Grey-headed Woodpecker.

On the 28th day we saw 2 Nuthatches in Kannas and altogether even 7 Blackbirds and on the 29th day a Goshawk in Koitsanlahdenkangas.

J.A.