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A Birdwatchers Guide to: Finland

Specialities of Finland

A map of the world breeding distribution of Blyth's Reed Warbler
A map showing the world breeding distribution of Blyth's Reed Warbler (the species winters in the Indian subcontinent). As can be seen the distribution in Europe outside of Russia is mainly restricted to Finland.

There are no true endemic species of bird in Morocco, but included in the 'Endemics and near-endemics' list are with a distribution mainly restricted to Northwest Africa and the Iberian peninsula. Several of these are not generally seen as 'near-endemics' and hence 'restricted-range species' would probably have been a more appropriate term.
Birds listed under 'Birds of regional interest' are mainly species that are not easily seen in Europe, but are restricted to North Africa and the Middle East. Many of these birds are thus sought by the Western Palaearctic (WP) lister and European birder in general. They are listed here as 'regional specialities' although several are widely distributed in Africa south of the Sahara, or even in Asia. I apologize for being a little bit Europe centric here, but considering that the vast majority of birders visiting Morocco are Europeans this does make sense.
In the final list, 'Birds of national interest', I have included species that are generally more widely distributed but that could still be considered to be of interest to the visiting birder.

Birds of regional interest

Species Scientific Name Comment
Steller's Eider Polysticta stelleri Uncommon migrant and winter guest. Two reliable sites late winter/spring are Hanko and Porkkalanniemi after these waters become ice-free (March/April). The spring migration peaks in May, when small flocks might be seen along the south coast.
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus Regular in Finland, with most records from spring and fall. The last few years also increasing records in the breeding season, above all in Northern Ostrobothnia. Oulu and Liminganlahti are pretty reliable sites for this species.
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga The Greater Spotted Eagle is seen annually in Finland and there are a few breeding records. The best places for this species are probably Hurppu peninsula and lake Väkeväjärvi (See Virolahti section on the Finland South Coast pages for details)
Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus Very rare breeder in Northern Lapland (breeding population varies with rodent populations). Immature birds can be encountered throughout the country outside of the breeding season, but is uncommon and difficult to find.
Rock Ptarmigan Lagopus muta Uncommon breeder in Northern Lapland. The site where you can find this species with the least effort is Kiilopää, just inside Urho Kekkonen NP. Ailigastunturi further to the north is also good.
Hazel Grouse Tetrastes bonasia The Hazel Grouse is a common breeder throughout the country, but some luck needed to find this quiet and secretive bird.
Little Crake Porzana parva In Finland there is nowadays a small population of Little Crake (5-10 pairs). The best time to listen for them is in late May; after they pair they are mostly quiet. Siikalahti, near Parikkala, is a fairly regular site for this shy bird.
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus The breeding population of Terek Sandpiper in Finland stands at about 5-10 pairs. The oil terminal of Oulu is still the most reliable site in Finland, although declined here the last years, as in the rest of the country.
Northern Hawk-Owl Surnia ulula
Eurasian Pygmy Owl Glaucidium passerinum
Ural Owl Strix uralensis
Great Grey Owl Strix nebulosa
Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus
Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus
White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos
Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus
Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus
River Warbler Locustella fluviatilis
Blyth's Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum
Booted Warbler Iduna caligata
Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides
Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis
Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva
Grey-headed Chickadee Poecile cinctus
Siberian Jay Perisoreus infaustus
Arctic Redpoll Acanthis hornemanni
Two-barred Crossbill Loxia leucoptera
Pine Grosbeak Pinicola enucleator
Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica
Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla
Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola

Other birds of interest

Species Scientific Name Comment
White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
Willow Ptarmigan Lagopus lagopus
Black Grouse Lyrurus tetrix
Western Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus
Spotted Crake Porzana porzana
Corn Crake Crex crex
Eurasian Dotterel Charadrius morinellus
Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii
Broad-billed Sandpiper Limicola falcinellus
Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus
Great Snipe Gallinago media
Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia
Eurasian Eagle-Owl Bubo bubo
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus
Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus
Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana

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