Photo: Niclas Ahlberg
On the 11–13.10.2019 the second bird guide training was held at Klobbars on Kökar.
Ten interested nature lovers and birdwatchers from Sweden, Finland and Åland attended the training. Seven of them represented Kökar (3 from Kökar and 4 from Finland), and three birdwatchers came from the Stockholm region. As a trainer we had Mikko Oivukka, a professional bird guide, and Ari Linna and Tarja Pajari, both professional birdwatchers. The education interspersed theory with practical exercises out on Kökar. According to the questionnaire, education succeeded excellently.
Klobbars as a place is very suitable for this kind of activities and the inauguration of Skinnars Bird Tower was a very successful highlight on Saturday. In the inauguration, nearly 30 people took part.
The training contained the basics which guide needs to plan, implement and evaluate a birdwatching event. Oivukka described the importance of creating a product so that you can market it in a good way.
This year, at the end of August, several hundreds of red-footed falcons (Falco vespertinus) could be observed gathered together in one place – Cape Kolka. Usually one can encounter these interesting birds in the open areas – flying, floating in the air or sitting on the electric cables, dried tree-branches or the tips of the poles. A red-footed falcon is a small, beautiful bird of prey whose natural range spreads from the Hungarian steppes in Europe to the Baikal region in Asia. Nevertheless, news regarding the possible nesting of these bird species in Latvia is extremely controversial.
In autumn, the migration of birds at Cape Kolka is full of surprises. In autumn, the migration of birds is a large-scale event. The bottle-neck effect, which caused high concentration of birds at Cape Kolka during their migration in spring, is no longer at play. In autumn, the travelling birds move slower, they tend to stay in the suitable feeding grounds for a longer time. There are many new specimens among them, which come from the territories, which are not densely populated. Therefore, they are bold and are not afraid of humans. It allows us to observe these birds from a very short distance.
The British Birdwatching Fair or Birdfair is an annual event for birdwatchers, held every August at Rutland Water in England. It is the best event for marketing birdwatching sites and destinations and a perfect opportunitiy for Baltic Wings to promote the central Baltic area as a birding destination. Thousands of birdwatchers and nature lovers come to learn more about birdwatching trips, bird conservation and to look at birds in art. A large number of suppliers of binoculars, cameras, books, clothing and other birdwatching equipment display and sell their wares. There are also lectures and other attractions.
Föreningen Närsholmen represented Baltic Wings at the Birdshow, promoting all partner countries.
Föreningen Närsholmen, our partner on Gotland, has posted 16 signs 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 cutting 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 passes two birding towers with excellent birding opportunities for golden eagles, white-tailed eagles, waders, barnacle geese and many other species, depending on season.
After only a week back on Gotland, Föreningen Närsholmen went to Falsterbo at the southern tip of Sweden to present Baltic Wings and promote the central Baltic as a birding area. Stockholms Ornitologiska Förening, StOF, also took part in the event, a miniature version of the Birdfair. Without having booked a tent we had some busy minutes evacuating our stand when it started to rain, but mostly it was very sunny and hot with raptors flying by overhead.
Information signs to the eleven info points at the best birding sites on Gotland have been produced during the winter and spring and have now been put up out in the field.
The beautiful watercolour 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!
Baltic Wings joint information folders have been printed with a special cover folder for all partners to insert their partner folders into for a joint project look.
On Gotland the production of local information folders is proceeding according to the plans, highlightening the typical Gotland birds as well as exotic seasonal guests to the island.
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