Autumn continues

Once we were back from Säppi I was sick. I had even corona-test so I had to keep away from work for a couple of days more. I had already been sick in Säppi as last days I had been extremely tired, but at home I was freezing all the time and totally powerless.

But I didn’t feel too bad, so I did some twitching and after seeing a couple of Starlings in Kangaskylä I headed to Lappeenranta to twitch a Hume’s Leaf Warbler as South-Karelia tick. After a couple of hours searching I heard it well but never managed to see it at all.

Next morning I went to Simpele to search for a Kingfisher and during the day I counted ducks in Siikalahti. A Teal, a Scaup, a Long-tailed Duck, a Velvet Scoter, 14 Smews and so on were seen. In the afternoon I felt very sick again and visited health center and got medicine for borreliosis!

After the firs pill I started to feel better already and when I got negative corona-results I decided to have only one more day free. I went to forests and checked some lakes but saw only an asiatica and an europaea Nuthatch, 11 Cormorants, 21 Scaups and a Starling again.

On the 29th day I went to work where I had new machines. During the lunch-hour I saw a couple of adult Cranes that were still in Siikalahti.

On the 30th day I twitched a skua that Harri Partanen found in Härskiinmutka and identified it as a Pomarine Skua. It was still around in the afternoon and also a Black and a Red-throated Diver, a few Velvet Scoters, 8 Cormorants, 16 Great Crested Grebes and in Rautalahti 19 grebes, 2 Common Scoters and in Siikalahti a late common Snipe were seen.

On the 31st day I did winter-bird count. Pomarine Skua was still around and other goodies were a Bewick’s Swan, 4 migrating Bean, 6 Greater White-fronted and ”only” 7 Barnacle Geese, 5 Wigeons, 7 Tufted Ducks, a Scaup, 13 Long-tailed ducks, 5 Goldeneyes, 7 Smews, a Black Grouse, a Great Crested Grebe, 9 Cormorants, 5 White-tailed Eagles, 2 Cranes, 2 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Grey Woodpeckers, a Black Woodpecker, a very late Meadow Pipit, 25 Long-tailed Tits, a Coal Tit, 6 Treecreepers, a hybrid sparrow, 6 Common Crossbills and of course some other more common birds.

Then November started and traditional November-competition. So in the first day I tried to see 50 species. We started with a surprise as we heard 2 Water Rails in Siikalahti! A Bewick’s Swan, 2 White-fronted Geese, a Scaup, a Long-tailed Duck, 3 Velvet Scoters, a Smew, a Black Grouse, a Black and a Red-throated Diver, a Great Crested Grebe, Cormorants, White-tailed Eagles, Cranes, Black-headed Gulls and so on were still around. Also a couple of Goshawks and a Crested Tit were seen and finally after a couple of hours trying a Pomarine Skua was seen again, but a bigger surprise was a Golden Eagle that was also seen in Härskiinmutka. Finally I got 51 species.

On the 2nd day I saw the skua in a second but then I never saw it again. Weather turned worse and for some reason most twitchers arrived too late. Only new November-species I got were a Willow and a Coal Tit.

On the 3rd day I saw 3 Canada Geese in Muikkulahti, 4 Scaups in Tarvaspohja and in a horrible weather a Pygmy Owl in Siikalahti. Next day twitchers found a Little Gull in Härskiinmutka and also a Black-throated Diver was still there. Siberian Jays were seen in their forest. On the 5th day only new bird was a Gold Finch.

On the 6th day a Little Gull was still as were the Cranes too. Finally I got a Nuthatch and in the evening I heard a late Common Snipe in Siikalahti.

On the 7th of November we headed to Saari with Harri and saw Common Crossbills in Rautalahti, some Teals and a Scaup in Pohjanranta, 2 Grey-headed Woodpeckers in Jyrkilä, a Sparrowhawk in Karinmäki and the best bird was a Shoveler in Kanavalampi.

On the 8th day 2 White-fronted Geese and a Bewick’s Sean were still with Whooper Swans in Tetrisuo. In forests 4 Siberian Jays were seen again but also at least 3 Pine Grosbeaks were heard.

Then a few days were too bad for birding and even though I visited some places, I saw nothing. White-fronted Geese were seen still on the 10th day and the Bewick’s Swan had got a friend on the 13th day. During the weekend only a couple of Nuthatches and a Siskin were seen.

On the 19th day I counted 340 Whooper Swans in Tetrisuo and saw also some Long-tailed Tits and a Crested Tit. Also some Goldcrests were seen and it seems that there are more of them and Treecreepers than ever trying to overwinter.

On the 20th of November a couple of Sparrowhawks were seen and a Grey-headed Woodpecker was still calling actively.

On the 21st day only a new asiatica Nuthatch and a couple of Common Scoters were seen on our morning-trip. Then we went to move one Ural Owl nestbox to Siikalahti and saw a Hawk Owl, a Pygmy Owl and still one more big owl that was either Great Grey or Ural Owl.

On the 22nd day we were in Rautalahti when we got a message that there was a Mute Swan in Saari Akonpohja. Of course we went to twitch this South-Karelia year-tick. We stopped also on the way back in Rautalahti and saw a Fieldfare and a Chaffinch.

during the week it was again dark and boring. A couple of Common and Velvet Scoters and a White-tailed Eagle were only birds to mention until on the 27th day there was a Starling in Siikalahti.

On Saturday the 28th day we started well as we found a Glaucous Gull in Hernesaari – it was a new Parikkala-tick for us! Only a couple of birders managed to twitch it before it flew towards north-east an disappeared. In Särkisalmi we found a Smew and in Härskiinmutka we saw a White-tailed Eagle.

On Sunday the 29th day I drove around Lake Simpele with Miika Soikkeli but we saw only some tits and Goldcrests. In Simpele we twitched a couple of Nuthatches and saw a Blackbird. In Kangaskoski I finally saw a Dipper which was my 77th species in November and all were seen in Parikkala and Rautjärvi which was the competition area.

On the last day of November I still saw a couple of Black-headed Gulls in Härskiinmutka and a Hazel Hen in Siikalahti. Then on the next day it was officially winter…

J.A.