Photo: Niclas Ahlberg
Information signs to the eleven info points at the best birding sites on Gotland have been produced during the winter and spring. Soon they will be put up out in the field, the bidding process for the ground work is over and we hope for quick digging of holes etc for a grand opening in August.
The beautiful water colour drawings are made by Peter Nilsson, a world class bird painter living on our neighbouring island Öland. Föreningen Närsholmen is extremely happy with his fantastic work and looking forward to new paintings for the remaining six info sites at top birding locations on Gotland.
The bird fair at Rutland, UK, is the biggest fair about birding and nature tourism in the world. Hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors from all over the world go to the fair every year. Tour operators, keen birdwatchers, companies promoting binoculars, cameras, outdoor equipment – they are all there. In August 2018, so was Baltic Wings! Ilze Vilskerste, project manager of our partner Dabas Tures in Latvia, got presentation folders and a Baltic Wings roll-up in the last minute and promoted our project during three days. There was quite a lot of interest from visitors, Ilze soon ran out of presentation folders and had to keep promoting our project and the birding in the central Baltic area anyway. We´re happy she is a pro, used to marketing the birdwatching in the Baltic area!
Our partner on Kökar, the small island municipality in the eastern part of the Åland archipelago, is preparing for new guests – birdwatchers – by pinpointing the best sites and preparing for platforms and information signs. Stakeholder participation is very important in a small community as Kökar, and Baltic Wings, the local birdlife and the birding opportunities engage locals of all ages.
To develop good birding sites there are more than one factor to consider: the local birdlife must be interesting or the migration especially good. Nesting birds should not be disturbed by visitors and if needed platforms and towers should be reasonably easy (well… on bare cliffs on an island) to build. The land owners also need to be involved in the process and positive to visiting bird watchers. In the map below the prime sites are highlighted with stars, but one or two may not fill all criteria for a good birding site. Soon we will have the answers and be able to welcome visitors to Kökars best birding sites!
Föreningen Närsholmen, our partner on Gotland, is just now finishing the production of a nature trail. 16 signs will be posted along a bicycle route in the south east part of the island Gotland.
Local groups are organising the trail, building a small bridge for bikes and mowing grass along the route near the coast. There will be bikes to rent along with binoculars, a map over local sights and interesting fauna and flora. Field guides, binoculars and lunch or just coffee and buns – “fika” as the Swedes call it – can be ordered for a long and rewarding day out in the field.
The bike nature trail will be pass by two birding towers with excellent birding opportunities, with golden eagles, white-tailed eagles, waders, barnacle geese and many other species, depending on season.
The busiest time of the year at the beaches is about to begin. The expert Vilnis Skuja from the Slitere National Park (Latvia) shall tell you about the life on the sea side, and what rules must be observed if you want to have nature friendly holidays near the sea.
Stockholms Ornitologiska Förening, our Lead Partner, made a study trip to Estonia, to our associated partner Moonsund Eco OÜ.
On October 18–22 three members of the Lead Partner team stayed at the western point of Dagö, birdwatching and scouting the area. Migrating geese – mostly barnacle geese – divers, ducks and some waders (dunlins) were passing during the weekend.
Dagö has great potential for birdwatching, was the general opinion, and it will certainly be exciting to visit the area also during spring migration. The local service, lodging and food was excellent and we encourage bird watchers of all skill levels to visit this magical island. A real bonus was the close up encounter with a hoopoe!
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