The bird surveys, commissioned by Metsähallitus, in the Korsnäs future Offshore Wind Farm area, have not revealed any surprises. The monitoring saw common species. Due to the weather conditions, the spring migration progressed steadily, and impressive mass migrations were not seen this spring.
Metsähallitus’ bird surveys, which were launched already in summer 2021, have continued during the current terrain period with the monitoring of spring migration. The bird surveys are part of the information collected for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project. The EIA process is expected to be launched in autumn 2022.
“The spring season began with geese migrating across the Gulf of Bothnia, along the Stockholm-Vaasa line. There is no land within several kilometres of the project area, and as there was no access to the waters because the sea was still covered by ice, we followed the migration from the seashore. With a good telescope, the visibility is six to seven kilometres. When the ice melt, we got access further into the water areas”, says Project Manager Jouni Kannonlahti from the Vebic Research Centre, at the University of Vaasa.
“The monitoring records all species and numbers of individuals, as well as assesses direction and altitude: We observe whether birds are flying near the sea surface or above the treetops. We record the observation data with the accuracy that it is useful, when assessing whether birds can run into obstacles”, explains Kannonlahti.
Common species and quantities
No abnormalities were observed in the migration monitoring. The migrants are basic species in Finland, and they nest in our country.
Neither did the scale of migration in the spring come as a surprise, but a large part of the migration went unnoticed. The weather did not force migratory birds to stop. Mass migration is seen as low pressure declines and the weather improves allowing the birds to continue their journey as large flocks.
“The only somewhat exceptional phenomenon has been a large group of resting Common Scoters (Melanitta nigra), already at the end of April. Usually, large numbers of Common Scoters are not seen until the second half of May. However, the main migration route of Common Scoters runs along the Gulf of Finland via Laatoka to the Viennese Sea. The portion passing through Pohjanlahti is much smaller, but still overwhelmingly abundant compared to the rest of the waterfowl species”, tells Kannonlahti.
Counting resting birds in shallow water
In the offshore wind farm survey area, over 15 kilometres away on the open sea, the number of resting birds is also counted. Migratory birds rest in shallow water areas, where they can dive for feed. In deeper areas, with over 20 metres of water, only individual pass-by birds are seen.
Bird surveys, commissioned by Metsähallitus, in the planned offshore wind farm project area, will continue in the autumn. Then under monitoring are the route selections of migratory birds in the other direction. Weather conditions also affect the monitoring in the autumn, but the monitoring can be continued for longer without ice problems.
The national Bird Atlas survey will continue in the summer
In the summer, bird surveys will also continue as part of Bird Atlas surveys. The Bird Atlas examines the breeding distribution and breeding areas of bird species in Finland, as well as changes in the distribution of the species. The Bird Atlas survey is part of the monitoring of biodiversity.
The aim of Finland’s fourth Bird Atlas, which will be implemented in 2022-2025, is to determine the occurrence and breeding evidence of breeding bird species in 10 x 10-kilometre atlas squares.
For further information, please contact:
Wind Power Project Development Manager Ville Koskimäki, Metsähallitus, ville.koskimaki(at)metsa.fi, +358 536 9582
Bird Atlas: https://lintuatlas.fi/ (in Finnish)