Surprisingly good January

On Monday the 2nd of January it was time to start working again after a relaxing holiday. I was birding every day on my lunch-hour and it seemed that there were still quite a few birds in Parikkala. On the 2nd of January I saw a Whooper Swan family in Siikalahti, some coal Tits, 2 Goldfinches and a Brambling and in the afternoon I went to see the Great Grey Owl and surprisingly found out that there were 2 birds on the same field. Other birds seen during the week were the same wintering Blackcap in our back-yard and a Black Woodpecker in Särkisalmi. We also tried to catch the Great Grey Owls but it was too warm weather. Our fake mouse didn’t move smoothly enough on the snow. On Sunday the 7th of January we saw still 14 Fieldfares, some Blackbirds, 2 Bramblings and 2 Goldfinches in Kangaskylä, a White-backed Woodpecker, 9 Goldfinches and an Arctic Redpoll in Kannas, 2 Treecreepers and 2 Goldcrests in Tyrjänkoski, a flock of 12 Black Grouses in Siikalahti and a flock of 9 Pine Grosbeaks in Kangaskylä.

During the week I saw 2 Grey-headed Woodpeckers and Willow Tits in Siikalahti and a Dipper in Simpele Kokkolanjoki. On Saturday I saw even 35 Chaffinches in Kannas but other birds were the same as earlier. On Sunday the 14th of January I went playing to Lappeenranta and did a good birding on the way. In Imatra Vuoksi I saw a Little Grebe, Cormorants and 2 Smews, in Joutseno Hyvättilä I twitched a Collared Dove and in Konnunsuo a Hawk Owl, in Lappeenranta Kourulanmäki 25 Linnets with 2 Twites, in Reijola 3 Teals and in Pusupuisto a Ural Owl.

During the week it got colder againbut a lonely adult Whooper Swan was till in a small open water area in Siikalahti. Unfortunately the place is impossible for any rescue-attempts and on the next days I couldn’t find the bird anymore. In Muttelinmäki I saw a Hazel Hen, in Intsilä a Pygmy Owl and then the same Chaffinches, Blackbirds and Fieldfares. In Tyrjänkoski I saw 9 Mallards.

During the weekend I was playing in Joutseno and visited Vuoksi on both days. Little Grebe, Smews and Cormorants were seen again but I also saw a wintering Scaup on both days. On Sunday the 21st of January I also saw a Herring Gull flying along the river.

During the week the only surprise was that the wintering Stock Dove was still alive. It hadn’t been seen for a month but now I and Matti Lötjönen both saw it twice. It was only once with Feral Doves, so it seems to stay somewhere nearby alone. Only other year-tick was a Nuthatch in Kirkonkylä.

And again at weekend I had to drive to Lappeenranta on both days and in Luukkaansalmi I saw a Grey Heron on Saturday and a Great Crested Grebe on Sunday. Only other year-tick was an Eagle Owl in ordinary place.

On the 30th of January the best bird was a Haw Finch in Kannas where still were lots of Chaffinches too. In Muttelinmäki I heard a Common Crossbill and a Grey-headed Woodpecker. And on the next day there was a huge female Goshawk perched on a tree in the same place.

J.A.