05 October, 2009

Söderfjärden, paradise of Common Cranes

The meteorite impact crater of Söderfjärden is about 530 million years old. It is located about 10 km south of the center of Vaasa, and half of it is within the city of Vaasa, the other half in the municipality of Korsholm. Diameter of Soderfjärden is 5-6 kilometres and depth of 370 meters. The crater is filled with soil, so only the outer rim is visible. The whole crater is agricultral area, mostly wheat, barley and oat fields, but also pea - just for the Cranes.

The Common Cranes (Grus grus) rest in Söderfjärden every autumn, maximum number of 8559 Cranes was counted this year, on 24th of September. The best time to see lots of Cranes there seems to be between 10th of September and 14th of October, but naturally the best dates are weather dependent and vary every year.

During every evening, the Cranes make their evening flight. They move about 10-20 kilometers west, to overnight in the small islands of Bergö. It is a spectacular phenomenon, a must to see for every Finnish birder at least once during their birding career. I have been to Söderfjärden, but never in the autumn... But next autumn I will be there, with my whole family.

And who knows, perhaps next spring we will welcome the Cranes back to Nordic Countries in Hornborgasjön, in Sweden...

Both photos copyright Ami Jaskari - thanks to her!

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