Weekend in Tauvo

On Friday the 12th of September I visited Siikalahti early and heard some Water Rails, a Grey-headed Woodpecker, a White-backed Woodpecker and saw some Sedge Warblers a Chiffchaff and so on. In Härskiinmutka I still saw a young Common Tern.

After work we left towards Oulu and drove straight to Siikajoki Tauvo where we met Mikko Ala-Kojola and Antti Peuna. We walked to Tauvo bird-ringing-station and there we started to put up the mist-nets almost immediately. It was a huge work as everything wasn’t that organized and well planned as we had hoped so we had managed to put only half of the nets up when it came too dark to continue. So we started to play owls from and soon we had first Tengmalm’s Owl on the nets. The sky was full of pretty nice aurora-borealis, so Hanna went to photograph them to the tower. When my brother Pirkka arrived, we had already caught 6 owls and there were still more coming. We heard calls of owls from the sky all the time! Until midnight we had caught 11 Tengmalm’s Owls.

On the 13th of September we woke up at 5 a.m. Mikko and Antti left to Raahe bird-race but with Hanna we continued with the nets. There were still a couple of Tengmalm’s Owl on the nets so Pirkka stayed and ringed them but came soon to help us. It took still a couple of hours as there were a couple of nets missing, or too short or too long. First birds were already on the nets so Pirkka started ringing with Hanna while I was making the net-rounds. During the morning and day we caught 18 Willow Tits, 9 Great Tits, 5 Robins, 4 Reed Buntings, 4 Willow Warblers, 2 Blue Tits, 2 Crested Tits, 2 Dunnocks, a Song Thrush, a Treecreeper and a Yellowhammer. Other birds that I had seen or heard were 2 Willow Grouses, 2 Rustic/Little Buntings (only heard), 2 White-tailed Eagles and some migrating Crested Tits.

In the afternoon we closed the nets and planned to go to walk around the Ulkonokka-shore. Then Allan Hamari called that he was also coming to Tauvo to see us, so we waited him to join us. We walked a long way but all birds were in the furthest corner. Luckily we canned the sea too and Pirkka found a migrating skua. First we thought it was an Arctic but I wanted to watch it more carefully – and it was a Long-tailed Skua! It landed a couple of times but continued towards south. It was a very late adult bird.
Other birds we found were 8 Sanderlings, 7 Dunlins, 4 Little Stints, 19 Ruffs, a Shelduck, a Greylag Goose and so on. In Merikylänlahti we saw a too well hiding Meadow Pipit and the ugliest Skylark ever which also called totally wrong, but anyway it was just a Skylark.

Once we got back to the station, Mikko and Antti were already opening the nets and soon we were catching owls again. Until midnight we had caught 11 Tengmalm’s Owls again.

On the 14th of September we did the first net-round at 6 a.m. but the morning was windy and there wasn’t that many birds moving. During the morning and day we caught 20 Willow Tits, 13 Reed Buntings, 5 Robins, 3 Blue Tits, 2 Great Tits, 2 Dunnocks, 2 Siskins, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Song Thrushes, a Redwing, a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and a Coal Tit. Other birds seen were some flocks of Common and Parrot Crossbills, a Three-toed Woodpecker and some Crested Tits, a Hazel Hen was heard.

In the afternoon we took away the nets as there was nobody else coming to the station soon which is sad. It took a couple of hours again and then Mikko and Antti had to leave to Oulu. With Hanna, Pirkka and Allu we still made a short walk to Ulkonokka where we saw almost the same birds again. Then we said goodbye to Allu and left towards Raahe. There we tried to twitch a Citrine Wagtail that had been found on the race, but we couldn’t find it. There were still 100 Swallows with a Sand and House Martin and about 10 Gold Finches.

Finally we said goodbye to Pirkka and left to a long way back home. On the way we saw a couple of Capercaillies but nothing else. After all we were back home just before midnight.

J.A.