Photo: Niclas Ahlberg
A wind shield, built like a ruin after a small traditional shelter for sheep, has been constructed near the shore in the Närsholmen nature reserve. The coast is often very windy and the wind shield will protect birdwatchers when searching for migrating birds in spring and autumn. Others may enjoy the wooden seat facing the sea, maybe for a cup of coffee, Swedish "fika".
Photo: Niclas Ahlberg
A microbiotope has been created by the parking lot near one of the bird towers at Lausviken, a prime birdwatching site on southeastern Gotland. The microbiotope – a sand pile and moulting tree trunks – is set right next to a small pond. Just a few meters away is a ramp to a birding platform with a great view over the inner part of the Lausviken bay. From here one can often see both white-tailed eagles and golden eagles. The path to the bird tower starts at the same place, making it a good idea to combine the birdwatching from the tower with a rest and maybe a picnic on the platform where there are tables and benches.
The microbiotope will have more logs and also some plants attracting bees and butterflies – and birds – added in the future. An information sign has been produced and is now part of the bike nature trail.
In a popular science manner, the book introduces the reader to the ornithofauna research history of the Šlītere surroundings and provides an insight of the birds nesting in Šlītere. A separate section is devoted to the bird migration since Cape Kolka, located within the territory of Šlītere National park, is the best place for observation of bird migration in Latvia.
This edition will be interesting for both bird experts and those who have just set off for the journey of getting to know the astonishing world of birds. The book is written in Latvian with an extensive summary in English.
October 11–13, 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. 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 the participants found the course excellent.
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. Nearly 30 people took part in the inauguration.
The training contained the basics which guides need 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.
Photo: Niclas Ahlberg
A mobile photo hide, mainly for photography of white-tailed and golden eagles along the coast on Gotland, has been built. The hide is equipped for three to four photographers and it will be possible to stay over night. All nature lovers are welcome to a close encounter with majestic eagles on Gotland!
The early event, Birdfair at Ruthland waters in the UK, was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic but an online version was launched instead in August 2020. Baltic Wings had a virtual stand to inform about the birds and birding in the Central Baltic area. Click here to join the Virtual Birdfair 2020.
The British Birdwatching Fair or Birdfair is an annual event for birdwatchers, held every August at Ruthland Waters 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 17 signs along a bicycle route in the southeastern part of the island of Gotland.
Local groups have contributed to 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. All signs are shown in the slideshow below.
In the morning of March 28, 2020, within the framework of the Baltic Wings project, Ruslans Matrozis carried out the counting of migrating terrestrial, sea and water birds at Cape Kolka. During five hours (6 am–11 am), 6.350 birds of at least 57 species were counted. The weather conditions were favourable – mild wind, sunny, temperature reaching up to + 8 C°.
The migration of terrestrial birds this year in comparison to the inventories of previous years during similar dates at the end of March, was lower, even despite the relatively good meteorological conditions at the time of counting. Presumably...
A new exhibition at Šlītere National Park dedicated to the Calidris waders has been opened. Its main hero is the the curlew sandpiper, who migrates all the way from the Russian tundra to Africa! At the exhibition you will find fascinating facts about the curlew sandpiper and much more.
You can learn to recognize and differentiate among various Calidris species, get interesting facts and enjoy beautiful bird drawings by visiting this exhibition located on the 4th floor of Šlītere lighthouse near Kolka cape.
Information signs to the twelve 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. Find miniatures of all signs in a slideshow below, for a closer look click on the mini sign below.
A Baltic Wings joint information folder has been printed. Also a special cover for a joint project look for all partners to insert material into has been produced.
Partner Föreningen Närsholmen has produced a joint map over prime birding sites in the project area. The map will be printed by the other Swedish partner, Stockholms Ornitologiska Förening. Download pdf in low resolution here.
A joint species list over the Central Baltic area has been printed. The bird names are in English, Latin and all partner languages. The list as well as all other material are for free. Please contact your national partner to get your copy. For a pfd of the list, click here.
On Gotland the production of local information folders and brochures has been extensive, highlightening the typical Gotland birds as well as exotic seasonal guests to the island.
A new map, the Gotland Nature Map, has been produced in two language versions: Swedish and English. The map will, as will all other information material, be handed out at lodges, restaurants and tourist information offices on Gotland for free.
Low resolution pdf of Swedish version, click here.
Low resolution pdf of English version, click here.