Honey Buzzards in Finland
While attending the 6th International Gull Meeting at Lammi, Finland in August 2002, the following information was gleaned about Finnish Honey Buzzards from local ornithologists.
The population is stable. Forested area in the country at 68% remains high.
In the autumn the birds avoid crossing the 70-90km wide Gulf of Finland, moving SE towards St Petersburg.
Peak daily count is 700 (late August/early September).
Common Buzzards Buteo buteo are also migratory and also move SE in autumn with peak daily count of 1,000+.
In the spring returning adults do attempt this crossing but some are so tired they land on the sea. They sometimes recover from this by floating to one of the islands in the Gulf, drying off, resting and resuming their journey. Peak return period is late May/early June.
The gap between arrival and departure indicates that nesting must commence almost immediately they arrive.
Moving SE in autumn will result in the birds being due N of Turkey. It is most likely that these birds will then cross the Bosporus and pass through Israel and Egypt into Africa.
It is therefore very unlikely that Finnish birds will arrive in western Europe at all, let alone Britain.
The suggestion that some birds in September 2000 arrived in Britain from Finland therefore looks very fanciful.
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