I participated in a birdwatching tour in the beginning of May. In the spring there are many migratory birds moving to Finland or resting here on their way to their nesting places. We headed off to the archipelago hoping to see many kinds of birds both in the sea and on the land. We were devided into small groups that competed against each other in the amount of recognized birds seen or heard. The competition started as soon as we hit the small ferry taking us to the first island. Seagulls and geese of different kind were spotted as well as swans. We took yet another ferry to the island of Velkuanmaa where we had a special permission to camp in Archipelago Hotel Vaihela’s property. Vaihela is worth a visit of its’ own – with its’ great location and scenery, intimate restaurant and a real wine cellar it offers the visitor great experiences. For more information visit: https://vaihela.fi/eng/
After setting up our tents and having delicious salmon soup for lunch we headed to a nature path. It goes mainly in forest but also some rocky hills were included – they are typical in archipelago. The nature path is really well marked and it can be walked without a guide – it offers many great nature experience and I highly recommend it.
After the nature path in forest we continued bird watching in the sea side. We quickly noticed that it is far easier to recognize birds in the sea since they are easier to spot and they move much slower than flying birds. After dinner we drove to the other side of the island and we relaxed in the warm evening sun and of course got to see some more birds.
In the evening we made pancakes in an open fire, they are the best. We also went to sauna and the most courageous took a dip or a quick swim in the sea.
Sun woke us up early next morning and some took the advantage to wake up together with the birds. I got to borrow some high quality binoculars from my friend and boy did that make a huge difference! I wish I could recognize all the birds I saw and heard. But it is a process and it takes many more awesome trips like this to grow my knowledge little by little.