Autumn-holiday in Tauvo

On Saturday the 13th of October I was playing a rinkball tournament in Lappeenranta but our games ended (too) early. So I drove back to Parikkala, left my huge gear-bag and got food from local restaurant and started to drive towards Siikajoki.

It was a long drive but finally I was in Tauvo Hietapakka from where I carried my stuff to the ringing-station where Pirkka and two of his children Iina and Veikka were already playing Tengmalm’s Owl tape.

I was very tired and pretty soon I went to sleep.

On the 14th of October we started to check mist-nets before the sun was rising. A Redwing, 7r+2c Blue Tits, 45r+4c Great Tits, 2r+3c Willow Tits, a Greenfinch, 31 Redpolls and 9 Arctic Redpolls were caught during the day.

I also saw 19 Black Grouses, heard a Gold Finch and a couple of flocks of Parrot Crossbills and 2 Tree Sparrows were visiting the feeder briefly.

In the afternoon we planned to walk to Ulkonokka but water was so high that we soon turned back. Only 105 Whooper and 7 Mute Swans, a White-tailed Eagle and a Merlin were seen.

In the evening we played Tengmalm’s Owl tape again and one bird was caught and ringed.

On the 15th day we started with the same Tengmalm’s Owl that was again on the mist-net. Other birds were a Blackcap, 25 Long-tailed Tits, 5 Blue Tits, a Coal Tit, control Crested Tit, 5r+1c Willow Tit and the control had a Russian ring, a Jay, controlled Redpoll. an Arctic Redpoll and a Bullfinch.

The most surprising record was a Wild Boar that I saw behind the furthest mist-nets. I heard a branch cracking behind me and realized that there was a Wild Boar maybe 12 meters from me! I managed to take a couple of pictures of the animal, but it was behind very thick bushes, so it can hardly be seen in the pictures. But I have no idea if there has ever been a Wild Boar anywhere near ever!

A Grey-headed Woodpecker was heard and seen briefly and a Hazel Hen was whistling nearby.

The 16th of October started well when there were 2 Mistle Thrushes in raptor mist-net. I also saw an “acrocephalus” warbler which was probably a Reed Warbler, but it was in bad light and views were too brief.

Other birds caught were 1r+1c Robin, 18 Long-tailed Tits, 13r+5c Blue Tits which one had been ringed in Uppsala Sweden, even 82r+22 Great Tits (surprisingly many were adults), 3r+2c Willow Tits, a year-tick Siberian Tit, a Treecreeper, 2 Redpolls, an Arctic Redpoll, a Bullfinch and 2 Yellowhammers.

From the tower I saw a Black-throated Diver and a Red-necked Grebe migrating, 5 Long-tailed Ducks and so on. A Goshawk was flying over Ulkonokka. In the evening we caught another Tengmalm’s Owl.

On the 17th of October we caught a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, a Song Thrush, 1r+5c Long-tailed Tits, 7r+3c Blue Tits, 70r+30c Great Tits, 1r+3c Willow Tits, another Siberian Tit, 9 Redpolls, 8 Arctic Redpolls and 2 Bullfinches.

During the day I walked around whole Ulkonokka and it was a tough job! The reeds and bushes have grown so thick that it was difficult to find the shore! And it was also raining all the time! I found 10 Mute Swans , 12 Common Scoters, a Velvet Scoter, 2 Great Crested Grebes, a Grey Plover, a Jack Snipe, 12 Black-headed Gulls and 40 Snow Buntings.

On the 18th day the rain stopped just before the dawn but birds weren’t moving in wet bushes. We caught only 3 Robins, 3 Blue Tits, 13r+14c Great Tits, 3r+3c Willow Tits, one more Siberian Tit, 2 Greenfinches, 72 Redpolls and 30 Arctic Redpolls.

One or two Grey-headed Woodpeckers visited the station back-yard but they didn’t hit the mist-nets. In the afternoon we cleaned the station buildings, took off the mist-nets and left driving back to home.

J.A.