This winter has been pretty cold compared to last years, almost perfect. Just almost, as I would love to get more snow, now we have just about 30 cm of it. But birds are scarce and it's difficult to find new species to year list. Still I love this winter, this is much better than those wet, dark, rainy and foggy winters, that we have experienced during this millenium.
But the cold weather itself is not the only reason for the scarcity of birds. Low vole populations have decreased the number of owls and many hawks, as well as the number of Great Gray Shrikes (Lanius excubitor). Drainage of water in lakes is minimal this winter and most of the open water locations are now covered with ice, so waterfowl are scarce too. Rowan berries are almost finished so most of the Bohemian Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) and Fieldfares (Turdus pilaris) are disappearing to south. And in addition to above, during last summer, due to cold and wet weather, many birds failed in their nesting, so the numbers of many tits and other small birds are also low. In fact so low, that I have not seen any Coal, Crested nor Willow Tits in our backyard this winter - this is the first winter ever that this happens!
Well, for tomorrow I'm planning a birding trip to Tampere and Nokia, there should be some nice species that I have not seen for a while. Let's see if I'm lucky or not?
Eurasian Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) feeding in our backyard