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Eyes on the skies: Spring migration early this year

Birdlife Finland says swans have been spotted feasting in a field in southwestern Finland.

Hanhien lentoonlähtö.
Ornithologists say geese are arriving up north earlier than usual. Greater white-fronted geese take flight above. Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

Ornithological society Birdlife Finland said some migratory birds have arrived in Finland exceptionally early.

Flocks of whooper swans have been grazing in a field in southwestern Finland, although these swans don't typically return to Finland until March or April, according to Finland’s environment administration.

Bidlife said that in the past few years geese have begun leaving their wintering grounds much earlier than they used to. The first bean geese arrived on the southwestern coast this week.

Birdwatchers said an exceptional number of sightings had already been made in February, including the slavonian grebe on the southwestern island of Utö and the European golden plover in Kristiinankaupunki on the west coast.

Iceland gulls, rarely seen this time of year, have appeared near Kokkola and Vaasa.

Golden and sea eagles are meanwhile expected to return to Finland by the end of February.

Birdlife said Finland can expect a further influx of feathered creatures should the flow of warm southwesterly air currents continue.

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