On two consecutive weekends I’ve been out walking in Viiki – the first time revisiting the old town (Vanhakaupunki), the second walking the length of the reserve (from close to Vanhakaupunki to Herttoniemi). Viiki has become a bit of a regular spot to visit (see e.g. here), but it was nice to find that there is still much to explore there!
Brigitte and I were pleased to find that the bird hide located closest to Vanhakaupunki now has sliding windows – that will help keep out the cold. We saw two adult Mute Swans there (maybe the same pair we saw a few months ago?), with three rather large juveniles (too big to be called chicks any more – they must grow very quickl!) – they’re great birds to keep one amused, and always lovely to watch. We also walked across a rather long boardwalk to Lammassaari, but had to turn around as soon as we reached the island so that we could be home in time…
The next weekend I headed back to the reserve for some birdwatching – it was lovely to hear the Whooper Swans calling (national bird of Finland), to see another big mixed flock of tits (including lots of Coal Tits), and to be able to watch some Waxwings without them flying off in a hurry. My birding highlight for the day, however, would be watching a Large Spotted Woodpecker bringing pine cones to his “anvil” (a sturdy branch on an old dead tree), where he then dismantled them and pecked out all the good titbits hidden within them – he was quite bold, and repeated the same action (fetch, dismantle, eat, fetch, dismantle, …) the whole time I was watching.
But there is still much to find and see in Viiki – for example an old set of three ski jump ramps! I also tried studying the cross-country ski route maps while I was there… they were not 100% clear to me, but I do now know at least that there are many kilometers of ski tracks around Viiki for when we receive some decent snow.
Panorama from the Viiki-Lammassaari boardwalk: