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Resting-place to Söderfjärden
Informations : Harry Seppälä (University of Vaasa)
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Söderfjärden is located about 10km south of Vaasa/Vasa, a small Finnish coastal town. It is a round farmland area about 2300ha in size, formed by a meteorite impact which happened more than 500 million years ago.
It is one of the most important resting areas for cranes and geese during autumn in Finland. The number of cranes, which cannot be compared to those present in renown areas of Germany, France or Spain, is nevertheless significant for the country.
Cranes fly back every evening to their sleeping areas in the archipelago close to Söderfjärden and they set off at sunrise. They feed on barley in postharvest stubble as many geese and ducks also do.
An annoying issue is that Söderfjärden is not a nature reserve and cranes are often disturbed by geese hunters
In the spring, first cranes come after mid-March but they stay only for some hour or a day before they continue their migration continues to their nesting sites in the north. Most of the cranes follow up to the NW, over the Gulf of Bothnia towards Sweden, the other cranes go north following the Finnish coast and some of them stay there ( representing the local population) and spread out in all directions.
There are now many parking lots along small roads in the western parts of the area. You will use them if you come by car. Previously this was a real problem because the roads were for farmers and their agricultural machinery.
Observations and counting cranes are made by members of a local bird club MLY http://www.merenkurkunlty.net/ (only in Finnish)
Most regular watchers are Aarne Lahti, Matti Maskulin and Harry Seppälä.
In the centre of the area there is a Visitor Centre supported by a local village association, Sundom Community Association. Web pages http://www.meteoria.fi/ made by Association contains more information of the area and are worth of visit, too.
In the Visitor Centre there is a bird-watching tower and a car park.
Information : Harry Seppälä