I am not sure this should be called birdwatching at all … OK, so we spent a lot of time on the birdwatching tower at Siikalahti, a most beautiful and interesting place full of lovely birds worth waiting for. We also visited other towers built for this purpose and we spent a lot of time paddling around, binoculars and cameras ready for a quick grab.
On many occasions, it felt as if we were … don’t know: bird paparazzi, and not birdwatchers. I mean: in Finland, birds will simply drop by and pose for a lovely photo or five. Little do they seem to know how rarely they are seen in our south, how totally new or exotic they may appear to us for that reason and how much excitement they are causing by their nonchalance …
The Black-Throated Loon for example: we had days to spend observing a family of those beautiful arctic birds swimming around in their home area.
Or the Horned Grebe (aka the Slavonian Grebe): It is very small and difficult to capture from a tower well above, also because it will dive constantly, but one can still get some satisfying photos, almost every evening if willing to wait a bit:
We hadn’t even known the Horned Grebe existed before this holiday, the same goes for the Red-necked Grebe, also a bird which was often patiently waiting to be photographed:
My hubby was particularly happy about the lovely Common Terns posing for his big camera:
The most important birds in southern and eastern Finland are Ospreys: one can see many of them, we even chanced upon a nest on a small island and at Siikalahti, four of them put up a show for us: they were flying formations, basking in the evening sun. It was unforgettable. Actually, we were too stunned to get appropriate photos, so we caught only two of the four fish-catching eagles:
When driving around in the south-east of Finland and searching for birdwatching spots, we often approached the border area where one is not allowed to walk through because Russia begins on the other side. A pity one cannot make a short trip to the nearest Russian town without a visa (the only exception being short visa-free trips from Helsinki or similar), since I’d have really loved to.
It is particularly difficult to come back to Germany, well knowing how many birding adventures there are to be had in Finland. We have visited our beloved Wagbachniederung since, but there’s not much going on there, logically – it is still summer.
Apart from … 2 Little Bitterns flying around in our paddling area! 😀 We need to go there more often and maybe, just maybe they’ll let us take a photo. Maybe. See, they are almost extinct in Germany (though not worldwide) …