Finding Birds in  S Finland update

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Viikki (Vanhankaupunginlahti)

20th June 2011 Singing River Warbler, imm Sea Eagle (they now breed locally!), Red-backed Shrike, 2 Blyth's Reed (1 actually in Viiki eco-village), 3 Marsh and an Icterine (the latter and one of the Marsh were singing together near the Museum), also the usual Rosefinches, Thrush Nightingales (one had a nest right by the path), Caspian Terns, Marsh Harrier, Spotted Shanks, flock of 10 Wood Sands and loads of Grey-headed Wagtails, and a female Lesser-spot with young in the nest. The wardens had a Citrine from the gate at Lammasaari while I was on the lintutorni - I then spent an hour there and also went to the other site to the NE but only glimpsed what might have been a Citrine once (Robin Griffiths).  


19th June 2011 2 singing Greenish Warblers at the larger of the 2 Haukkalampi car parks, one with a family. 24th June: returned and followed your recommended trail from Hogbacka - in the "best" wood we found another singing Greenish Warbler, and, on the steep slope between here and Haukkalampi, a Crested Tit. (Robin Griffiths)


27th May 2011 Two Nutcrackers in the arboretum, in the main clearing (Mark Hows)

mid June 2016 A brief view and call of Nutcracker near site 1. Other interesting species included a nesting pair of Lesser Whitethroat, Crossbill sp. heard, 2 Wood Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher and Sparrowhawk. A male Black Woodpecker seen at the Punkaharju Resort (caravan and holiday chalet site) just north of the arboretum site. (Matt Harding)

Tohmajarvi and Vartsila

27th May 2011 Great snipe, black grouse near Savikko (Mark Hows)

12-13 June 2016 At site 6: a fine male Black Woodpecker was watched at the cemetery (note: the cemetary and the church are two different sites - there is a cemetary at the church too). Hobby and Little Gull were also recorded here. At site 5: Wood Warbler was singing at the car park, and waterfowl including a male Smew were seen from the tower. Sites 1,2,7 and 10 were a total washout due to bad weather.(Matt Harding)

Viiksimo and Martinselkonen

2010 The passerine feeding station at Viiksimo, Boreal Wildlife Centre is now operational -  it had many of birds you mention + Three Toed Woodpecker close to the centre. Also to note that the woods along the road to the centre proved good sites for Siberian Jay and Capercaillie (David Fergusson). 

June 2016 At Martinselkonen, 25-35 Brown Bears seen (max. 16 at once), including a mother with two this-year cubs. Birds of interest were fuscus Lesser Black-backed Gull and argentatus and omissus Herring Gulls coming to the bait, and Northern Bullfinch at the feeding station. We spent two nights bear watching at Viiksimo, with 8-10 Brown Bears seen (max. 6 at once). Other mammals were 2 Moose and a Red Fox. 2 Wolves had been visiting on a 7-8 day cycle, but we didn’t luck in. 3 White-tailed Eagles (2nd cy, sub-adult and adult) coming to bait gave excellent photography opportunities . Also worth noting that they have dedicated Capercaillie and Black Grouse watching hides set up now I think. At Era-Eero near Lieksa, one night spent Wolverine watching, with excellent views of 2-3 individuals obtained. The forest here was nice, and wildfowl are apparently present on the lake. We spent our night in the forest hide, where the bird highlight were Jay and Great Spotted Woodpecker stealing the Wolverine bait. A feeding station by the centre had Northern Bullfinch. (Matt Harding)

September 2021 At Lentiira, close to  Viiksimo we warmly recommend Taiga Spirit (, a company run by Sabrina Logeais, a Frenchwoman who offers nature trips and a Wolverine hide where we got terrific views. She told us, there were at least four breeding places for Red-flanked Bluetail in the Kuhmo area last summer (Patrick and Antje Stromski)

Oulu and Liminganlahti

30th May 2013 We were lucky enough to see not one but a pair of Terek Sandpipers, with the male displaying. This was in the small bay near the oil port in Oulu. What an amazing sighting. (Pat Harrison)

June 2016 We searched (unsuccessfully) for Terek Sandpiper at the two locations mentioned in site 8 (page 32) of the guide. We also visited the observation platform by the airport hotel, where a Terek Sandpiper was seen that morning. We had White-tailed Eagle on the shore and singing Common Rosefinch by the hotel. Site 4: a really nice tower, thoroughly worth visiting and deserted whilst we were there. From where you park, the tower is no longer visible (tree growth?) and the muddy path is now a rickety 3 plank width boardwalk – good for basking dragonflies, including lots of White-faced Darters (Leucorrhinia dubia). Highlights were 2 White-tailed Eagles, 3+ Marsh Harriers (including seeing a food pass), 2 Osprey, Bittern (booming and in flight over the reedbed to the north-east of the tower), Little Gulls, similar waders and wildfowl to site 1, plus Common Sandpiper. (Matt Harding)

June 2018 At least 9 pairs of Common Scoter at site 6. At site 8, Terek Sandpiper along weedy shore opposite Euromaster at 07.45 (same time and place as reported by another birder). Also some Barnacle Geese on the mainland and on the largest offshore island from Varjakka harbour (part of the expanding Baltic breeding population we presume). On the gravel road between Varjakka and Saarenpera, Dotterel (one male) feeding in bare field, Whinchat, both Short-eared Owl and Long-eared Owl, defending male Black-tailed Godwit and Ruff (looking fancy) responding to the SEO. (Pete and Marjo Lewis)

Late May 2019 Site 8 Terek Sandpiper was at the site described (John Kirby).

September 2021 Site 8 no longer exists! It’s now just the premises of a Mercedes Benz factory (Patrick and Antje Stromski)

September 2021 At Liminganlahti (page 30) a lot of Bean Geese on the water together with different ducks and some White-tailed Eagles, but the best bird by far was a Great Snipe feeding quite close to the bird tower behind the visitor centre (site 1). (Patrick and Antje Stromski)

Kuusamo inc Valtavaara

June 2011 Red Flanked Bluetail Three toed Woodpecker Siberian Jay x2 Two barred crossbill All in the vicinity of the hut along the valtavaara ridge. Baltic gull, Heuglins gull and herring gull var omissus at the tip (Mark Hows)

2nd June 2013 Three-toed woodpecker at Ruka ski station, back of Valtavaara. (Pat Harrison)

27 Jan 2014 Great Grey Owl - three individuals, hunting most of the day; seen adjacent to Sossonniementie 10-15km north of Kuusamo centre.

June 2016. None of the specialities were encountered at sites 1 and 2, just a pair of Willow Tits and a Honey Buzzard overhead. At site 5 3+ Waxwings very active in regeneration on west side of Porontimantie. 2 Velvet Scoter and 2 Greenshank at lake, and Black Grouse heard briefly. Elsewhere in Valtavaara area: pair of Black-throated Diver on Lake Konttaisjärvi; Steppe Buzzard circling west of Konttainen hill; Wood Warbler singing on north side of road to west of Lake Konttaisjärvi. Viipus camping had a pair of Waxwing and Spotted Flycatcher from the cooking area. At site 1 we heard a Pine Grosbeak from the summit viewpoint, saw a pair of confiding Willow Tits at the Rustic Bunting location, and heard Crossbill sp. A surprise female Capercaillie showed exceptionally well by the side of Route 5 further south. (Matt Harding)

Late May 2019 Site 6 Little Gulls, Red necked Grebe and Smew on the Lake and an active breeding pair of Hawk Owls seen from the tower. Site 7 A Rustic Bunting was seen on the road en route. We found another at Lake Kailmeelampi about 1km along the boardwalk and a group of 4 birds along Porontimantie road P39. Site 11 – The Sokos hotel is closed. A Finnature trip produced all the owls except Hawk Owl but we did not see Hazel Grouse, Pine Grosbeak, Greenish Warbler, Siberian Tit, Little Bunting Three-toed Woodpecker at any site all week. (John Kirby)


Late May 2019 Site1 Two confiding Siberian Jays with Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, Willow Tit and Brambling. Site 2 We walked the track and only had a Song Thrush. Site 3 A Red-flanked Bluetail and a Brown Bear. Site 5 A Hawk Owl. Site 6 We did not see a bird! (John Kirby)

September 2021 Every trail up Iivaara is closed and will remain closed for a long time due to storm throws. According to the local authorities it is just too dangerous to walk up the hill. Even the car parks are all closed. (Patrick and Antje Stromski).

September 2021 Lake Toranki - more than 20 Smews at site 6 and a beaver beneath the birdwatching tower. Male Capercaillie at site 9 and WHite-tailed Eagle overhead (Patrick and Antje Stromski).

Isojärvi National Park

05/06/2016 Good views of Crested Tit, and pair of Black-throated Divers on the lake. Thrush Nightingale singing overnight near the car park (Matt Harding)

North Karelia

12 June 2016 At site 6 the path towards the tower hide from the car park was flooded on our visit, so we couldn’t access this point. We also found the tracks and paths around the woodland confusing, as there are ways and dwellings not shown on the guidebook map. Perhaps this could be checked for any future editions. Little of interest was seen (Matt Harding)

June 2019 Site 5 3 Black Grouse, 6 Whimbrel, Bean Geese, Quail, Ortolan Bunting (Adam Salmon).


13 June 2016 A fantastic site. Highlights as follows: Site 5: great views of Red-necked and Slavonian Grebe, booming Bittern, displaying Honey Buzzard to north, Osprey to south, a small flock of Barnacle Geese taking off from the main reserve, and 9 Hobbies seen at once. Singing Spotted Crake and Thrush Nightingale in the evening.. Siikalahti site 5 had singing Marsh Warbler, singing Blyth’s Reed Warbler, singing Common Rosefinch, singing Thrush Nightingale (actually seen, with a bit of effort), singing Corncrake, calling Water Rail and booming Bittern. Sites 1 and 2: Crane in field next to woodland. Woodland species included 2 singing Golden Oriole (one seen in flight), singing Thrush Nightingale, 2 Whinchat (the Common Rosefinch mimicry mentioned in the guide noted), Woodcock, and an owl calling in the evening – possibly Long-eared Owl. Site 3: great views of Little Gull, Common Tern and Whooper Swan from here. Site 4: a fantastic spot. 1 Little Crake singing well from south-east of the hide, 1 Water Rail also heard, Slavonian and Red-necked Grebes, 1 Bittern booming, pair of Marsh Harriers, 1 Osprey (seen catching a fish), good views of Hobbies, 1 reeling Grasshopper Warbler, plus phenomenal views of 2 Muskrats and an Otter in the water just below the tower. (Matt Harding)

Parikkala area

June 2016 Site 4 A terrific couple of hours spent around here. A Great Snipe lek heard on the north side of Kolmikannantie, in the fields on your right after the Tyrjänsalontie track goes off right, and before the road bends right and crosses the fields. Other species recorded included 11 Corncrakes, 1 Spotted Crake, 8 Woodcock, 1 Short-eared Owl, 3 Bittern booming, and Thrush Nightingales singing. Site 11 was excellent, even at midday. A singing Ortolan Bunting, a male Red-backed Shrike and 4 Whinchats were the highlights. Site 8 was quiet, but made a nice lunch spot.

June 2019 Site 6 Amazing – 3 Greenish Warbler, 2 Hazel Grouse, Common Rosefinch, Black Woodpecker and Red-backed Shrike (Adam Salmon).


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