In Tauvo

I had been birding a lot in Parikkala without finding anything special so it was time to do something else. We decided to go once again to Siikajoki Tauvo for the weekend. On the way we tried to twitch a Mandarine Duck in Savonlinna bit it was raining pretty hard so we didn’t find it. In Iisalmi we saw a flock of Barnacle Geese and in Pyhäntä a Great Grey Shrike.

We were finally in Tauvo before 10 p.m. and met Pirkka who had just arrived too. Antti Peuna had arrived earlier and also Matti and Annikki Tynjälä had came to help us to put up the mist-nets. Soon we were all putting up the nets while Tengmalm’s Owl was calling from the speakers. Soon we had 2 owls to ring but then it started to rain and Matti and Annikki left to Oulu and the rest of us wet to sleep.

On the 19th of September we woke up before 7 a.m. and soon we were making the first net-round. The weather was luckily better than the forecasts had told so there were some birds moving and already on the second round we heard a Yellow-browed Warbler calling. We had hoped to get this species from the nets as it was the best autumn ever for this species.

But we caught only Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, tits with a flock of Long-tailed Tits, Robins, Reed Buntings, Redpolls, 2 Meadow Pipits, Goldcrests, Bullfinches and Chaffinches and a Brambling, a Song Thrush and a Bluethroat. We heard and saw altogether at least 4 Yellow-browed Warblers, but caught none. Between the net-rounds we were of course spending time in the bird-tower and saw a Lapwing, 8 White-tailed Eagles, 11 Bean Geese, 10 Long-tailed Ducks, 7 Common Scoters, a Velvet Scoter, a Red-throated Diver and a Cormorant. On one of the rounds we saw a Peregrine Falcon.

In the afternoon it started to blow very hard and there were no birds in mist-nets at all, so we headed to Ulkonokka. The walk was long and hard but there were quite a few waders! 200 Dunlins, 35 Golden Plovers, 9 Grey Plovers, 3 Sanderlings, 3 Ringed plovers, 2 Knots, 2 Spotted Redshanks, 3 Snipes and a Jack Snipe were seen. We also saw 6 Willow Grouses, a Merlin, a Yellow Wagtail and 4 Lapland Buntings. In the evening we played owls from the speakers again and caught one Pygmy Owl.

On the 20th of September the weather was much better but it was even quieter on the mist-nets. New species were a Lesser Redpoll, a Coal Tit, 2 Yellowhammers, a Lesser Spotted and a Greater Spotted Woodpecker, a Fieldfare and a big and dark adult male Northern Wheatear – leucorhoa? While walking the mist-net rounds, we had at least 2 Yellow-browed Warblers again and a Hazel Hen was calling. From the tower we saw some flocks of Mute Swans, 8 White-tailed Eagles, 270 Barnacle Geese that are not usually seen this west, but the wind had pushed lots of them to Lapland and Western coast too, 6 Bean Geese, 11 Cormorants, 50 Golden Plovers, 5 Black Woodpeckers, 2 Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, a House Martin, 200 Redpolls, 20 Common Crossbills and the best ones were 2 late Caspian Terns.

At 4 p.m. we had packed, cleaned and closed the mist-nets. Matti and Annikki were again helping us as they had arrived in the morning and walked around Ulkonokka. Soon we were ready start a long drive back to Parikkala. On the way we saw a Hen Harrier in Vihanti and a flock of Barnacle Geese in Vieremä. We were finally at home about at 11 p.m.