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Spring brings migratory birds back to Rovaniemi

Published : 22 May 2018, 19:20

  DF Report by Natalia Nikolaeva

Migratory birds in Rovaniemi. DF Photo.

This year the spring has arrived early in Rovaniemi, and with that migratory birds have been returning in flocks to the city.

“Currently, spring is about 1-2 weeks earlier than on average,” said Jukka Jokimäki, a researcher at the Arctic Global Change Research Group of the University of Lapland, to The Daily Finland. He said, 143 migratory bird species have already returned to Lapland, meaning almost all the species are back except for a few.

According to Jokimäki, “Some late-arrival insectivore species like the Switch and some Warbler species are still missing. However, a small number of individuals of many insectivorous species, like the Willow Warbler, are already here.”

Rovaniemi is a great place for bird-watching, since there are more than 150 species nesting here. The bird species observed in Rovaniemi include Great Crested Grebe, Northern Shoveller, Eurasian Woodcock, Little Gull, Whitethroat, Wood Warbler, Siberian Tit, Siberian Jay and many others.

“Rovaniemi is located in an area where one could detect both southerly and northerly distributed bird species, therefore, during breeding and migratory time, species richness is high,” explained Jokimäki. The species of special interests include Spotted Nutcracker, Peregrine Falcon, and Tengmalm’s Owl. “In addition, some easterly distributed species, like the Bluetail, can be observed in the Rovaniemi area. This bird has arrived this week.”

Many birdwatchers come to Rovaniemi “because they have difficulties to travel to Russia, the main distribution area of the species, and because the species breed only in Finland and a few other places in Sweden in Western Europe,” said Jokimäki.

According to him, one has to follow some common rules in bird-watching, “It is a good behaviour to go see birds in the bird towers, and to avoid nest sites.” Luckily, there are several great bird-watching towers built in Rovaniemi.

Harjulampi bird-watching tower is located on the shore of a small lake called Harjulampi. It is next to the University of Lapland, about one kilometre off the city centre. The trail to the tower begins at the corner of Yliopistonkatu and Korvanranta roads.

Niskanperä bird-watching tower is accessible from the main road 4 (E75) through three village roads (approx. 1km) leading to the east. The intersection to Niskanperä is about 6km south of Rovaniemi. The bird-watching tower can be already seen from the village roads.

Koivusaari floating bird-watching tower can be reached either by boat or by a nature trail. The duckboards trail which leads to the tower begins near the main road 4 (E75) on the Koivusaari Island. During the winter and flood season the tower is moved to the Ounaspaviljonki shore area, but it still can be used.

Remember to bring special equipments when you go bird-watching. You will need a good set of binoculars and a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes.

According to Esko Nevala, the secretary of The Lapland Bird Association, “to recognize the birds, a nice guide will help. Birding books can be purchased from bookshops, but also internet searches may help. However, I still recommend a printed book!”

You might also need a notebook for keeping track of the species observed and a camera to snap photos of the birds.

You might also need a notebook for keeping track of the species observed and a camera to snap photos of the birds.