birding sites in

south Finland

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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The view from the Vilkkilan Turan Torni tower. The lake is great for passage waterfowl but you do need a scope from here

All the sites in this section are treated, in detail and with precise maps and directions, in my book ‘Finding Birds in South Finland’

If you have any information which you feel would help to update the book, please email me at and I’ll add your observations to these pages

To view more sites in South Finland click here


In spring, hundreds of thousands of migrating ducks, geese, swans and divers are diverted along the arm of the Gulf of Finland before heading inland towards Arctic Scandinavia and Siberia. The head of the Gulf is therefore a key place to see the greatest concentrations of these birds and the Virolahti area is the closest part of Finland to that magical corner of the Gulf. This area is well provided with observation towers from which to view birds flying over or resting on the nearby lakes. They also offer the best chance of seeing one of the Spotted Eagles that breed just inside the Russian border.

You get closer views of the same lake from near Lintulahti

The tower at Hurppu is one of the best in Europe for viewing the passage of seaducks, and yet it’s almost impossible to see the sea from here! It is possible to reach the shore on foot if you want to watch the birds over the sea.

The lake at Vakevanjarvi is a good feeding site for the Spotted Eagles that sometimes breed in the distant forests, on the Russian side of the border

Perhaps the best tower in Finland for seeing migrant raptors such as Red-footed Falcons and Spotted Eagles is at Kurkela. The tree-top tower overlooks large areas of woodland, belying the fact that this is significantly located at the head of the Gulf of Finland

Many of the best birding sites are right on the Russian border - don’t go wandering off in the wrong direction.