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Finland August 2017 (1 Viewer)

seedyrom

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ANN AND ROLAND GO BIRDING IN FINLAND

TRAVEL

We flew direct from Manchester to Helsinki. No problems and fabulous views of Finland etc.

CAR HIRE

We hired a Volvo from Hertz.

ACCOMMODATION

We stayed at the Hotel Nuuksio in Espoo within the Nuuksio National park and by Siikajärvi Lake. It

was about a half hour’s drive from Helsinki. Our room was ok apart from the disgustingly mouldy

shower curtain but wasn’t cleaned at all while we were there. Apparently you have to ask for that to

be done. Meal-times were a bit of a nuisance. Breakfast starts at 8 or 8.30 and is a buffet but if there

are lots of people staying they keep running out so you have to wait for more. The evening buffet

starts at 5 and is left out on hot plates for ages. It was 15 euros each for this. On our first night there

was hardly anything left and it was all dried up so we went hungry. There is nowhere else to eat

locally. Restaurants keep strange hours, tend not to open on Sundays and are horrifically expensive.

We soon found the nearest Lidl! It is probably different in Helsinki. The hotel surroundings are very

pleasant and you can go for walks in the forest or use the sauna by the lake. If you go the hotel

website, it is far from accurate and makes it out to be much better than it is. Lunch was never

mentioned while we were there or sandwiches ordered at the bar and they didn’t bother to tell us

they don’t serve dinner at the weekend!

BIRDING

We used Dave Gosney’s “Finding Birds in South Finland” (DVD and book) for inspiration and

basically spent 3 days exploring the spots he describes! These were Vanhankaupunginlahti

(otherwise known as Vikki), Nuuksio and Suemenoia. We knew the birding wouldn’t be

wonderful but we just fancied a break somewhere different. The weather was warm all the

time we were there but there was a big storm on the Saturday night which brought a lot of

trees down and Sunday started off damp though that didn’t last.

Suomenoia is supposed to be a terrific wetland and the tracks round it are very popular with

walkers, joggers etc. We soon found that the Fins are not very friendly – no hellos or smiles

when you passed people or moved over to make way for them on narrow paths, boardwalks

etc. Such a contrast after the Netherlands! Anyway, back to Suomenoia. There is a viewing

platform and a high lookout point there. We were disappointed not to get more warblers

here and there were only a few Black-headed gulls in the breeding colony. We made 3 trips

here looking for Slavonian grebe but they must have all gone back to Slovenia!

Nuuksoi National Park is the finest and wildest area of woodland close to Helsinki but is only

53sq.kms. We followed a track which started at Hogbacka and headed towards Haukkalampi

but did not complete the trail as we weren’t seeing anything. The trail was very well

maintained with information boards, a long boardwalk over the mosquito-ridden boggy bits

and steps in the very steep areas. There is a fantastic bus service in this part of Finland – we

saw bus stops at the beginning and end of all the trails so that people do not need to have

cars to be able to enjoy the country side. There is a Visitors’ Centre which has a café, book

and gift shop and information service.

Viikki is spread over quite a large area and has a myriad of cycling and walking trials and

boardwalks. There are hides and observation platforms too. It gets very busy!! I really

enjoyed walking this area because of the variety of habitats. There are 2 main entry points:

one round the back of a shopping/exhibition centre called the Gardenia and the other from

a car park round the back of a load of flats. It is basically an area of lots of shallow water and

reedbeds but you can also walk through damp woodland and fields. We were hoping to see
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Bearded reedling but failed miserably despite our best efforts! No lifers on this trip but it

gave us an insight into the Fins and Finland.

BIRD LIST

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis

Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus

Canada Goose Branta canadensis Introduced species

Coal Tit Periparus ater

Common Blackbird Turdus merula

Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs

Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus

Common Redshank Tringa totanus

Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris

Common Swift Apus apus

Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus

Eurasian Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus

Eurasian Coot Fulica atra

Eurasian Magpie Pica pica

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus

Eurasian Teal Anas crecca

Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus

European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis

European Robin Erithacus rubecula

Gadwall Mareca strepera

Garden Warbler Sylvia borin

Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo

Great Tit Parus major

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea

Greylag Goose Anser anser

Hooded Crow Corvus cornix

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

Mute Swan Cygnus olor

Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus Near-threatened

Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata

Redwing Turdus iliacus Near-threatened

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapidaestriata

Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Rare/Accidental

Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus

White Wagtail Motacilla alba

Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
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Ann and Roland Go Birding in Finland August 2017.pdf
Displaying Ann and Roland Go Birding in Finland August 2017.pdf.
 

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