Changing winter weather

Real winter weather

On the 6th of January we did a morning trip to forests and found only 1 Siberian Jay. It seems that this bird has lost its companion and there is only one couple left with their youngster and then this lonely bird. We also saw a Three-toed Woodpecker, 2 Crested Tits and a Goldcrest.

On the 9th of January I saw a flock of 14 Black Grouses while driving in the forests. On the next day in Simpele Kokkolanjoki I found 3 Whooper Swans in Kangaskoski and of course saw some Dippers. A Dipper was seen also in Tyrjä where also a Black Woodpecker was seen.

Then it started to be too cold for birding so I saved my old car and didn’t use it at all. On the 16th day I decided to try if the engine was still running and then I had to drive to load the battery. So I headed to Siikalahti and surprisingly saw a stunning Golden Eagle flying towards south! In Tyrjä I saw the Dipper again and a Sparrowhawk in Rasvaniemi

On the 17th of January I saw 11 Whooper Swans in Kokkolanjoki and on the way to Imatra I saw a couple of flocks of Black Grouses and a Goshawk in Ruokolahti. Another Goshawk was in Imatra Vuoksi where also Goldeneyes, Goosanders and Cormorants were seen. Altogether 3 Fieldfares and a Grey-headed Woodpecker were also found. Then I continued to Lappeenranra to play but I still visited Tirilä where I saw a Hawfinch easily.

In Hanko

On the 22nd day I drove south to participate Bongariliitto year-planning weekend. On the wasy I visited Joutseno Konnunsuo where I saw a Great Grey Shrike. Also a flock of Redpolls were seen in Joutseno.

The weekend was spent in Hanko Tvärminne and in both mornings we had time to so some birding too. On Saturday we were together with Markus Lampinen, Sebastian Andrejef and Tom Nordblad. In Tallholmarna we found Mute and Whooper Swans, Common and Black-headed Gulls, Long-tailed Ducks, a Red-breasted Merganser and so on. In Vedagrundet we still saw 3 Snow Buntings, 10 Tufted Ducks and another merganser and in Tvärminne there was a Chaffinch on the feeder.

On Sunday morning the weather was warming up and it was raining pretty hard. So we only twitched a Little Grebe in Itäsatama and started a long way back home. Together with Sebastian we twitched the famous Azure Tit on the way in Helsinki Fastholma. Also a White-backed Woodpecker and a Robin were seen.

On the 28th of January a White-backed Woodpecker was already drumming and calling in Siikalahti. On the 29th day a Black Woodpecker was seen in Tarvaspohja and 3 Waxwings in Kangaskylä. On the 30th day I was again in Lappeenranta and twitched 4 Teals in Reijola and 2 Nuthatches in Pappilanniemi.

Garden twitch

On the 31st of January was the traditional Garden twitch. In an hour we saw 12 species in hour “garden”. It was at least a double more than I had expected. 4 Rock Doves, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 7 Waxwings, a Blue Tit, 4 Great Tits, 3 Magpies, 12 Jackdaws, 5 Hooded Crows, a Raven, 5 Tree Sparrows, a Redpoll and 2 Gold Finches were seen.

The beginning of February

On the 1st of February a couple of White-backed Woodpeckers were seen in Siikalahti. On the 2nd day I saw 2 Great Grey Shrikes around the border of Imatra and Joutseno. During the week I saw a Gold Finch, single flocks of Siskins sand Redpolls, on the 5th day 2 White-backed and 2 Grey-headed Woodpeckers were in Siikalahti.

On the 6th of February we went to twitch another Azire Tit. This bird looked 100% pure as Fastholma bird probably had some Blue Tit on its genes and a little bit too little white on its tail and some yellow tone on its breast. So we had to twitch this one for Hanna to make a Finnish-tick sure but also because of Hanna’s brother Miika really wanted to see this bird as it was only 25 kilometers from Joensuu where he live, but he has no car to get there. So early in the morning we drove to Joensuu, picked up Miika and already after 8 a.m. we were in Kontiolahti Nälkävaara, where the bird was already on the top of the garden tree when we parked there. Only I managed to see the bird flying behind the building but luckily it soon came back and was showing extremely well for more than an hour around the garden and feeders.

We also visited Kuhasalo in Joensuu and saw some tits, Treecreepers and a blackbird. On the way back to Parikkala we still saw a Capercaillie in Kesälahti and 2 Black Grouses in Saari.

During the week it came very warm again and it was plus degrees around the clock! In Siikalahti I saw again some White-backed Woodpeckers and on the 9th day I saw the first House Sparrow of the winter in its territory. I have no idea where they go in mid-winter. Then on the 10th of February I surprisingly found 3 Herring Gulls on Lake Simpele and the were the first gulls I’ve ever seen in Parikkala in February! So spring is already on its way!

J.A.