Finland, 10th - 24th June 2000

Published by Surfbirds Admin (surfbirds AT


By Georges & Mireille Olioso

Georges and Mirielle Olioso record their summer birding trip to Finland and the Russian borders. This area represents the westernmost point for Blyth's Reed Warblers in Europe. They find just one bird, in song, but enjoy a host of other Finnish specialities including Ural Owl, Caspian Tern, Parrot Crossbill and Rustic Bunting

The first week, we stayed in the very small village of Hoilola (62º20,67N - 30º50,57E), very close to the Russian border. The second in Kivijärvi (Hannunkivi Holiday Village, 63º07,86N - 25º01,72E).


Very nice in the morning of June 10th and 11th. Thunderstorms in the afternoons. Raining on the 12th. Nice mornings and rainy afternoons from 13th to 16th with decreasing temperatures (max 12º C on the 16th). It rained all day on the 17th on the road between Hoilola and Kuopio. The temperatures decrease (9°C, the morning of the 18th, and 14°C in the afternoon) but the sky is blue. The weather is nice through to the 21st with increasing temperatures (20°C). Cloudy on the 22nd and rainy the 23rd in the morning.


Numerous in the forests but not in agricultural and residential areas..

General impressions

The second week is too late for passerines. The period is good for waders and ducks.

Best sites

The Hotelli Korpiselkä in Hoilola is in Pine and Spruce forest, near a lake and a river. There are numerous footpaths. Birds seen here are Corncrake, Golden Oriole, Icterine and Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Bohemian Waxwing, Common Rosefinches and Rustic Bunting, etc.

Värtsilä area. (20 km south of Hoilola). Curlews, Lapwings, Sedge Warblers and Common Rosefinches are very numerous. There are also Whooper Swans at Saarivaara.

Mutalahti (25 km north of Hoilola). In a large peat bog, Crane, Western Capercaillie and, further south, a female Peregrine Falcon.

Potkeljärvi National Park, ( 70 km north of Hoilola). Arctic Loon, Red-breasted Merganser and numerous passerines.

Vekaruksen Ulkoilualue. A small nature trail (2 km) near the Vekarukoski. Goosander and Ural Owl.
For this site, at Öllölä, drive north 4 km in direction of Tuupovaara. Turn left to Vekarukoski (there is a small white angler on the blue sign) and Otmenentie (black on white). Follow the sign (Vekarus) to the park car (± 3 km), and the footpath. The Owl was on the left-hand side of the river, ± 300 m after the cabins.

Kivijärvi and surrounding area. Great crested, Red-necked and Slavonian Grebes, numerous Little Gulls, Hazel Grouse, Lesser Black-backed Gull (fuscus), Parrot Crossbill.

Salamajärvi National Park has Forest Reindeers (Rangifer tarandus fennicus), Cranes and numerous passerines.

Pyhä-Häkki National Park (50 km south of Kivijärvi). Cranes, Black Woodpecker, Brambling, Rustic Bunting, etc.

Species list

1. Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica. One, June 10 near Untamo. One June 13, 27 km east of Joensuu near the road 74. One, June 15, Potkeljärvi N.P. One, June 19 in front of Kivijärvi stadium. One, June 22 near Viandsaarentie (Kivijärvi).
2. Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus. One, June 18 near the Kivijärvi stadium.
3. Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus. One, June 18 near the Kivijärvi stadium. One, June 24 near Nastola.
4. Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena. One adult, June 22 in front of Hannunkivi (Kivijärvi).
5. Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus. Adult at nest, near the road Nº6, 104 km south of Joensuu, June 10. Another at nest, June 13, 27 km east of Joensuu near the road 74. Three adults together, June 13 at Saarivaara. One, June 23, Kivijärvi.
6. Teal Anas crecca. Pair, June 11 & 15, Hoilola
7. Mallard Anas platyrhynchos. Female with 7 pulli, June 14, Saarivaara. Female, June 16, on the Vekarukoski. Female with 6 pulli, June 20, Humppi (Karstula). Two females, June 21, Pyhä-Häkki N.P. Female, June 24 in front of Hannunkivi (Kivijärvi).
8. Pintail Anas acuta. Female with 4 pulli, June 21, near Hakkila (Saarijärvi)..
9. Wigeon Anas penelope. Male, June 13, Mutalahti. Pair, June 15, Potkeljärvi N.P.
10. Goldeneye Bucephala clangula. Widespread and common. Female with 19 pulli, June 20, Humppi (Karstula). Female with 17 pulli, June 24 in front of Hannunkivi (Kivijärvi).
11. Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator. Female, June 15, Potkeljärvi N.P. Two males and 2 females, June 19, Salamajärvi N.P. Female, June 19, Kivijärvi, in front of Hannunkivi.
12. Goosander Mergus merganser. Pair, June 16, Vekarukoski.
13. Buzzard Buteo buteo. One, June 12, Hoilola. Two, June 20, Salamajärvi N.P.
14. Goshawk Accipiter gentilis. One, June 21 Pyhä-Häkki N.P.
15. Peregrine Falco peregrinus. Female, June 13, 5 km north of Hoilola.
16. Hobby Falco subbuteo. One, June 13, Värtsilä. One, June 22, Hannunkivi (Kivijärvi).
17. Kestrel Falco tinnunculus. Male, June 11, Hoilola. Male, June 12, Tuupovaara. Female, June 21, Vivajoki (Kannonkoski).
18. Merlin Falco columbarius. One, June 17, Kivijärvi. One, June 19 at Koirasalmi (Salamajärvi N.P.). Two, catching insects, June 20, Humppi (Karstula).
19. Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus. Female, June 13 near Mutalahti.
20. Hazel Grouse Bonasa bonasia. Male, June 22, Viandsaarentie (Kivijärvi.
21. Pheasant Phasianus colchicus. Male, June 23 near Kalmari (Saarijärvi).
22. Corncrake Crex crex. One in song, June 15, 16 and 17, Hoilola. One in song, June 23 near Kannonjärvi.
23. Common Coot Fulica atra. One, June 24, Nastola.
24. Common Crane Grus grus. Pair with a pullus, June 10, 104 km south of Joensuu. One, June 14 and 15, south of Mutalahti. Almost 4, one 20, Salamajärvi N.P. Eared, June 21, Pyhä-Häkki N.P.
25. European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria. Two, June 18, 19 and 20, near Salamajärvi N.P.
26. Lapwing Vanellus vanellus. Widespread. Almost 15 pairs, June 13, Värtsilä.
27. Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus. June 13, one, Värtsilä, one near Mutalahti and a pullus killed by a car near Hoilola.
28. Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola. One, June 15, Hoilola. Two pairs, June 21Pyhä-Häkki N.P.
29. Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia. Two, June 20, Salamajärvi N.P. One, June 20, Humppi (Karstula). Three pairs, June 21, Pyhä-Häkki N.P. One, June 22 near Viandsaarentie (Kivijärvi).
30. Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos. Widespread. Pair with 2 youngs, June 20, Salamajärvi N.P.
31. Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata. Widespread. Adult with 3 pulli, June 23, Kalmari (Saarijärvi).
32. Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola. Two, June 22, Viandsaarentie (Kivijärvi).
33. Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago. Widespread.
34. Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus. Widespread.
35. Little Gull Larus minutus. Common in Kivijärvi and Karstula areas.
36. Herring Gull Larus argentatus. Very rare. Two, June 13, near Mutalahti.
37. Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus f. fuscus. Adult, June 17 and 18, Kivijärvi. Adult, June 18 Salamajärvi N.P. (Koirasalmi), where, there are 2, June 19 and 20. One, June 20, Humppi (Karstula).
38. Common Gull Larus canus. Widespread and common.
39. Common Tern Sterna hirundo. 5, June 11, Hoilola. Two, June 13 and 15, Mutalahti. Many, June 18, Kivijärvi. Two, June 21 and 23, Kannonjärvi (Kannonkoski). One, June 24, Nastola.
40. Caspian Tern Sterna caspia. One, June 17, Hoilola.
41. Rock Pigeon Columba livia domestica. Lahti, June 24.
42. Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus. Widespread in small number.
43. Cuckoo Cuculus canorus. Widespread.
44. Ural Owl Strix uralensis. One (female ?), June 16, Vekarukoski.
45. Common Swift Apus apus. One, June 18, near Salamajärvi N.P. and near Kinnula. Two, June 19, near Salamajärvi N.P. Seven during a 7,5 km walk, June 21, Pyhä-Häkki N.P. Seen in Lahti, June 24.
46. Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla. One, in song, June 17 and following days, Kivijärvi (Hannunkivi). Another in song, June 18 along the road to Hoikanperä (Kivijärvi).
47. Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major. Common. Pulli in a nest box, June 17, Kivijärvi (Hannunkivi). In the Kivijärvi cemetery, nest with youngs in a Scottish Pine.
48. Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius. Male, June 18, Kivijärvi (road to Hoikanperä). One, June 21, Pyhä-Häkki N.P.
49. Sky Lark Alauda arvensis. Almost 3 in song, June 13, Värtsilä.
50. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica. Common.
51. House Martin Delichon urbica. Common.
52. Sand Martin Riparia riparia. Not widespread. ± 35pairs, June 18, Muhola le 18. June 19, ± 15 pairs near Salamajärvi N.P. June 21, ± 20 pairs near Hoikanperä (Kivijärvi).
53. Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis. Widespread and very common. Youngs out of the nest, June 22, Hannunkivi (Kivijärvi).
54. Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis. Not common. Pair feeding youngs at nest, June 13, near Mutalahti. Six pairs on 7,5 km, June 21, Pyhä-Häkki P.N.
55. White Wagtail Motacilla alba. Widespread and common.
56. Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava thunbergi. Breeding pair near Hoilola. Another, June 13, near Mutalahti and a third, June 17 near Kuusjärvi.
57. Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes. One, in song, June 12 and 16, Hoilola. Two in song, June 16, Vekarukoski. One in song, June 21, Pyhä-Häkki N.P.
58. Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus. Two (pair ?), June 11, Hoilola.
59. Hedge Accentor Prunella modularis. Any in song near Hoilola. One, June 13, Värtsilä. One, in song, June 16, Vekarukoski. Another in song, June 22, near Viandsaarentie (Kivijärvi).
60. European Robin Erithacus rubecula. Widespread but not very common.
61. Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus. Widespread and common. Pair feeding youngs at nest, June 21, Pyhä-Häkki N.P.
62. Whinchat Saxicola rubetra. Pair, June 11, Hoilola. Three pairs, June 13, Värtsilä. One, June 18 near Kinnula.
63. Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe. Male, June 13, Värtsilä.
64. Redwing Turdus iliacus. Widespread and common. Pair with youngs at nest, June 15, Hoilola. Always in Hoilola, young out of nest, June 16. At Kivijärvi (Hannunkivi), nest with 5 pulli, June 23.
65. Song Thrush Turdus philomelos. Widespread.
66. Fieldfare Turdus pilaris. Very common. At Hoilola, one incubating, June 10 (hatching, June 14 near the church. Youngs out of nets (3 without tail), June 17, Kivijärvi where is very abundant (numerous families). Pair feeding at nest, June 18 near Kinnula. Near Sepäkylä (Kinnula), June 22, 88 are feeding together.
67. Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus. One, June 13, Värtsilä. Two in song, June 15, Potkeljärvi N.P. Two, June 19, near Salamajärvi N.P. One, June 21, Pyhä-Häkki N.P.
68. Common Blackbird Turdus merula. Not common. One near Hoilola, June 11. One, June 13, Värtsilä. One, in song, June 16, Hoilola. One, June 24, Hannunkivi (Kivijärvi).
69. Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla. Rare. One, in song, June 11, Hoilola.
70. Garden Warbler Sylvia borin. Widespread and very common.
71. Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis. Pair building a nest, June 11, Hoilola. In the same place, two in song, June 12. Two, in song, June 13, Värtsilä. One, in song, June 18, Kivijärvi and June 22, Sepäkylä (Kinnula).
72. Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca. One, in song, June 14 north of Mutalahti and another June 16, Vekarukoski. One with carrying food in the centre of Kivijärvi, June 18.
73. Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus. Common and widespread.
74. Blyth’s Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum. One, in song, June 11, Hoilola, road to Saaroinen. Not seen the following days.
75. Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina. Only near Hoilola
76. Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus. Very numerous but in pure Pine forest.
77. Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix. Two in song, June 11, Hoilola. One in song, June 13, Värtsilä. Four in song, June 15, Potkeljärvi N.P. in a 3 h walk. One, June 16, Hoilola.
78. Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita. Near Hoilola, 3 singers on 3 different sites. One in song, June 18, Kivijärvi (road to Hoikanperä).
79. Goldcrest Regulus regulus. Common and widespread.
80. Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca. Widespread and common. Numerous pairs with youngs in nest boxes.
81. Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata. Widespread. One incubating, Kivijärvi, June 17 to 23.
82. Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus caudatus. Eared, June 11, Hoilola.
83. Great Tit Parus major. Widespread. Pair feeding youngs, June 12, Hoilola and June 16, near Lusikkavaara
84. Blue Tit Parus caeruleus. Not common. One, June 11 and another June 16, Hoilola (2 different sites). One, June 13, Mutalahti. One, June 18, Kivijärvi. One, Hannunkivi (Kivijärvi), June 21. One in song, June 22, Viandsaarentie (Kivijärvi). One in song, June 23, Kannonjärvi.
85. Coal Tit Parus ater. Rare ? Pair feeding youngs out of nest, June 11, Hoilola.
86. Crested Tit Parus cristatus. Widespread.
87. Willow Tit Parus palustris. Widespread and common.
88. Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris. One in song and a pair during a 7,5 km walk, June 21, Pyhä-Häkki N.P.
89. Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio. Males, June 12, Hoilola, June 13 at Värtsilä and June 20 Oinoskylä. Pair, June 14, near Mutalahti.
90. Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus. Male seen and heard, June 16, Hoilola.
91. Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius. Widespread in small number.
92. Black-billed Magpie Pica pica. Widespread but non common in the Hoilola area. Youngs out of nest, June 17 near Kuusjärvi and June 22, Kinnula.
93. Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus m. monedula. Any between Helsinki and Imatra, June 10. One, June 17 near Outokumpu. Three, June 22, Sepäkylä (Kinnula). Regular south of Jyväskylä.
94. Hooded Crow Corvus corone cornix. Widespread and very common.
95. Common Raven Corvus corax. Two, June 17, east of Kuopio. June 22, on the road 759, one near Myllyaho and four 2 km east of Kinnula.
96. Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris. Very rare !!. Only one pair seen, June 13, Mutalahti.
97. House Sparrow Passer domesticus. Some between Helsinki and Imatra le 10. Not present (?) in Hoilola area. Common at Kivijärvi.
98. Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs. The more common species.
99. Brambling Fringilla montifringilla. Only in Pyhä-Häkki N.P., June 21.
100. European Greenfinch Carduelis chloris. Any near Hoilola and Kivijärvi.
101. Eurasian Siskin Carduelis spinus. Common in Hoilola and Kivijärvi areas.
102. Common Redpoll Carduelis flammea. One, June 15, Potkeljärvi N.P.
103. Common Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula. Widespread in small number.
104. Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra. Widespread.
105. Parrot Crossbill Loxia pytyopsittacus. One (perhaps 3), June 24, Hannunkivi (Kivijärvi).
106. Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus. Abundant in Hoilola and Värtsilä areas. Rarer near Kivijärvi. Male, June 18 near Kinnula. One in song, June 23, Kannonjärvi. Female, June 23, Hannunkivi (Kivijärvi).
107. Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella. Widespread in agricultural areas.
108. Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana. Male, June 13, Värtsilä.
109. Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus. Pair, June 13, near Mutalahti. Male in song, June 18, Kivijärvi and June 20, Humppi (Karstula).
110. Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica. One, June 16 near the hotel at Hoilola. One alarming June 20, Salamajärvi N.P. One in song, June 21, Pyhä-Häkki N.P.

1. Numerous tadpoles (species ?), June 21, P.N. Pyhä-Häkki N.P.

1. Lacerta vivipara. One, June 14, Saarivaara.
2. Vipera berus. One (± 50 cm) Killed by a car, Saarijärvi.

1. Sicista betulina. One, June 12, Hoilola.
2. Brown Bear Ursus arctos. One, big, on the road nº 500, near Meskenvaara.
3. Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris. Widespread.
4. Lepus europaeus. One, June 15, Mutalahti. Three, June 18, near Hannunkivi village (Kivijärvi).
5. Lepus timidus. One, June 18 and 19, Hannunkivi (Kivijärvi).
6. Forest Reindeer Rangifer tarandus fennicus. Male, June 18 near Salamajärvi N.P. Four females with 3 very young, June 20, Salamajärvi N.P.
7. Mustela putorius. One, June 20, Salamajärvi N.P.

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