07 September, 2014

World Shorebirds' Day in lake Ahtialanjärvi, Finland

Due to 24 hour birding rally of my local birding club on 5th - 6th of September, we decided to participate in World Shorebirds' Day in Sunday the 7th.

"We" is the "Valkeakosken Lintuharrastajat" i.e. the local ornithological society in Valkeakoski region. Our event was held in lake Ahtialanjärvi, in Lempäälä, southern Finland. Ahtialanjärvi is a famous wetland with muddy island Lokkisaari (Gull Island) in the middle of it.

The event started at 9 a.m. and ended at noon. During that time, total 14 people visited in lake and 12 of them visited the island too. All were birdwatchers, shame that we did not get "normal" people to come to event. Hopefully next year we can reach them better.

At 9:00, thick fog covered the whole wetland, visibility was really poor as you can see from the photo below, where is 3 Whooper Swans, only 50 meters away from the shore.

Fortunately the sun warmed the air fast, and soon the visibility was ok. The first visitors had arrived right after 9 a.m. and the chairman of the Lokkisaari organization started to arrange boats for them, to get to the island. In photo below, two boats of birders are approaching the Lokkisaari.

We counted the following waders:
Ruff ca 50
Wood Sandpiper ca 10
Common Snipe ca 10
Common Ringed Plover ca 10
Dunlin ca 10
Curlew Sandpiper 2
Little Stint 2
And the best, a rare visitor from North America: Pectoral Sandpiper 1

Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos) Photo: Kari Isokivijärvi

When you watch the lake Ahtialanjärvi from Lokkisaari island, you suddenly enter in to the totally an other world. The active conservationists Rainer Mäkelä and Tatu Itkonen of Lokkisaari organization have done great job to waders, as you can see from the photo below:

Panorama photo of the Lokkisaari, please click the photo to see it in original size.
Next year again! In last photo is our information spot on the shore of the lake Ahtialanjärvi, Juha Leuhtonen is looking something with scope, Pekka Marjomaa is behind him.

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