Migratory birds

From the middle to the end of April, one can follow the migration of the rough-legged buzzard (Buteo lagopus) on their way to the Scandinavian mountains. The migratory rough-legged buzzards can be seen from the observation tower in Svedjehamn, but the best way to follow migratory birds of prey is by travelling to Valsörarna. Wood pigeon, northern lapwing, mistle thrush and brambling also migrate at this time, and common crane (Grus grus) can been in the Kvarken area in March and in April as well. Also, the rare bluethroat on the way to their breeding areas in Lapland has been observed on Valsörarna.

Image 1: Black-throated loon (Gavia arctica)

Loons move in large flocks during spring. There are some red-throated loons, even if the majority are black-throated loons. And among them, one can also see the rarer yellow-billed loon (Gavia adamsii).

Arctic scuas are heading north towards the Siberian tundra, but they are not as numerous as the loons. Cormorants move to Norway and the Russian Arctic coast in early April, but the most numerous of all are probably the common scoter (Melanitta nigra). They are also on their way north and migrate in very large flocks in April and in May, along with velver scoter.

In the autumn, there are fewer common scoters, rough-legged buzzards, arctic scuas and loons. From the Siberian tundra, ducks and waders migrate south. Flocks of cranes and whooper swans are not a rare sight in the autumn.

Image 2: Rough-legged buzzard (Buteo lagopus)

The best time to follow the migrating birds is in the morning, right after sunrise. But many species, including the common scoter and velver scoter, prefer to migrate in the evening. Birds of prey and cranes often use the uplifting winds at midday.

Image 3: Common crane (Grus grus)

Sources:

Metsähallitus. 2010. Skötsel- och användningsplan för Kvarkens yttre skärgård, förslag

Hietikko-Hautala T. 2010. Jääkauden jälkinäytös – Merenkurkun saariston maailmanperintö. Waasa Graphics, Vaasa

Kannonlahti J. 2012. Merenkurkun linturetkiopas. Vaasan yliopisto & Levón-instituutti, Vaasa

Rassi P., Hyväringen E., Juslén A., Mannerkoski l. 2010. Suomen lajien uhanalaisuus – Punainen kirja 2010. Ympäristöministeeri ja Suomen ympäristökeskus, Helsinki.

Rinkineva L., Bader P. 1998. Kvarkens natur. Kvarkenrådets publikationer 10, Vaasa

Valkama J., Vepsäläinen V., Lehikoinen A. 2011. Suomen III Lintuatlas. Luonnontieteellinen keskusmuseo ja ympäristöministeriö. http://atlas3.lintuatlas.fi (15.10.2012) ISBN 978-952-10-6918-5