Expect the unexpected

January the sixth, first outing out the year. The weather forecast announces a schizophrenic weekend: Saturday will be cloudy and possibly rainy, with temperatures above zero, while Sunday promises to be sunny and coldish, with temperatures dipping below freezing, a little. My plan is the following: Viikki with clouds, Suomenlinna for sunrise.

A week ago, a Black redstart (Phenicurus ochruros) was reported in Viikki, in the reedbed, and has been so since then, every day. This redstart is not very common in Finland, especially in winter, but the Viikki bird is even more special: it belongs to subspecies phoenicuroides, which means it comes from central Asia, somewhere between Mongolia and Iran. That’s a long trip, and not in the right direction for a migrating species.
I want to see that pretty fellow, and then go to Suomenlinna on the day after to enjoy the sun.

On Saturday, I have no reason to hurry, since the weather is so bad. Not much rain on the radar though, fortunately. I leave at 10, and enter the area with no precise direction to the bird. I see some people around, but no gathering. While I’m at the Pornaistenniemi hide, a woman enters, and we start chatting. My Finnish hasn’t improved during my holidays, but I understand that she has seen the redstart that day, and that if I walk to the north, about 400 meters, I will find it. First, I will found people watching it, of course.

Black redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)

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[fr] SupervagabondS en Suomi

[English version] This article is about an expedition report I read recently, which shook me. It’s about a father and his daughter traveling by canoe through Finland, and it’s absolutely beautiful. A lot of strong emotions await the reader, unfortunately it’s written only in French, and I don’t know what it would look like once you send it through Google Translate. Still, they have some mind-blowing drone pictures, so it’s worth a visit. Click here.


“Je suis bouleversé. Français installé en Finlande, j’ai les larmes aux yeux de voir tant de gentillesse, de bonté, de bonheur dans mon pays d’adoption. J’admire ces relations que vous avez pu tisser. Quelle aventure. Vous êtes magnifiques.
Bravo. Merci”

Ce sont les mots qui me sont venus après lecture de la 39ème page du carnet de voyage de Yann et Amélie en Finlande.

Photo : Yann – SupervagabondS en Suomi

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Finnish word of the day: saaristo = archipelago

In the middle of summer, my family came for a visit to Finland. This time it wasn’t about skiing, it wasn’t about figure skating, it was about sailing. Usually, it’s difficult to gather the whole family, because my brothers always have a sailing competition here, a sailing competition there… and in the end, there’s often someone missing. This time, everyone was there! That’s a growth, from my usual solo/duo trips.

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