On January 3rd I flew from Amsterdam to Helsinki where I met Roni and his girlfriend Annika. The first two days were spent in Helsinki, doing some sightseeing and birding (and eating my first Moose meat!). On monday the 5th, we set off to Joensuu, a city in Eastern Finland where I am spending this semester studying forestry! On the way we dipped a Hawk Owl, but connected with a nice group of Two-barred Crossbills. Also, we saw our first groups of Pine Grosbeaks, and I managed to ring my first Grosbeak! The 6th we mainly did Grosbeak ringing, catching 22. And on wednesday the 7th, the real life begun: the orientation days of the university started at 12.00. The next days were spent doing all kinds of practical stuff for the uni, and of course meeting a lot of new people! So far it's been a lot of fun, making new friends, doing real Finnish stuff (Saunaaa, ice swimming, ice fishing etc) and studying at another university is also challenging!
Birdingwise I haven't had a lot of time for it yet! Not that winter birding here is superb exciting, but still there are some nice things to see around. The Waxwings haven't bored me yet; I see hundreds everyday, while cycling to the uni!
Below some pictures:
Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator), adult male and adult female
Pine Grosbeaks, together with some Waxxies
Roni with a 1st winter male Grosbeak
Roni & Johanna with some grosbeaks
Arctic Redpoll (Acanthis hornemanni), 1st winter, my first Arctic Redpoll (discovered from my appartment!)
Two-barred Crossbills (Loxia leucoptera), 20 birds near Punkaharju
And some other non-bird photos:
Joensuu: the forestry capital of Finland!