It’s been a busy, but interesting week for me.
On Monday I was involved in a Finnish radio program about Arthur Leidgren and our new nature center in Dokkas. It was an interesting experience for me as an Englishman to have to talk in Swedish and have my answers translated into Finnish.
If you are interested to hear my friend Alf talking Finnish and me talking Swedish you can listen here. Select 17:30 – 18:00 and listen from 05:30 minutes on the player at the bottom of the screen.
I was back to Dokkas again on Friday to meet with representatives from Gallivare kommun, to discuss designs and costings for repair/construction of the bird towers and walkways for the nature center.
There was a nice variety of birds there including; White-tailed Sea Eagle, Whimbrel, Tufted Duck,
House Martins and Waxwings
On Saturday myself and Teres joined a group of local birdwatchers in Hakkas for a mornings birdwatching. Our sightings included; 3 Little Gulls, 1 Arctic Tern, 4 pairs of Slavonian Grebe, 1 Rustic Bunting, 1 Smew, several Ruff, and Wood Sandpiper
We ended the morning with a warm fire, coffee and sausage.
Yesterday we held the first event to help raise money for the nature center we are creating in Dokkas called Majbrasa. Majbrasa has much history but now it is a celebration of longer days and the arrival of spring, and the burning of old to make way for the new
We opened the old school in Dokkas and put information up on the walls so that people could see and read about what we are planning to do
We also had a room in the school where we served coffee, cake and hotdogs
and another room where a local family performed live music
We also had an activity for children to go out in the forest and search for items on the paper provided to them
People began arriving at 7pm
Some people purchased sausage and cooked over a small fire
others enjoyed the warmth of the brasa are went inside the school for coffee, cake and hotdogs
We left at 9:30pm and people were still there enjoying the live music
As we drove home there was a female Capercaillie standing on the road refusing to move
Yesterday I was in Dokkas (the village where we are trying to create a nature center) for the day.
My first visit was to the Jerttlompolo Nature Reserve, created by Arthur Leidgren due to the are being incredibly important to both migrating and breeding birds. Unfortunately the lake there was still frozen but there were two Bean Geese, I Robin singing (not a common bird up here) and one Tengmalm’s owl singing during the day.
I then visited the much larger lake in Dokkas, where we have two birdwatching towers
We will be repairing the towers during the summer and we are currently seeking financial support to build another tower with access for disabled people.
As I sat in one of the towers I heard another Tengmalm’s Owl singing. There was also a Woodpigeon singing on the far side of the lake (which is another rare bird up here). A pair of Kestrels have set up residence in one of the Goldeneye nest boxes we have put up and although the lake is frozen, there were four Whooper Swan present. There was also a White-tailed Sea Eagle circling over the lake, 2 Common Cranes flew west calling and I saw the first Meadow Pipit of the year.
I made a small fire on the edge of the lake to cook coffee and grill some sausage
It was a beautiful warm sunny day and really nice to just sit there and look and listen. There was even a Fox that ran within two metres of me carrying a vole in its mouth, so I guess it has young nearby.
Where the snow had melted I found many Cranberries left from last summer