Finnish state-owned company Metsähallitus has reported that surveys of bird populations commissioned in the area of the future Korsnäs offshore wind farm have yielded no surprises. Common species were observed as part of the monitoring.

Thanks to weather conditions, the spring migration wave was stable and no spectacular mass migrations were observed this spring, Metsähallitus reports.

“The spring season began with geese migrating diagonally across the Gulf of Bothnia along the Stockholm-Vaasa line. There is no land in a radius of many miles of the project area and since the sea was still frozen and there was no access to water, we followed the migration from the shore. (…) When the ice disappeared, we were able to descend further into the water”, explains Jouni Kannonlahti, Project Manager at the VEBIC Vaasa Energy Business Innovation Centre at the University of Vaasa.

The bird surveys began in the summer of 2021 and continued this season by monitoring spring migrations.

“The only somewhat exceptional phenomenon was the late-April migration of blackbirds. A small number of migratory birds have exceptionally taken the road from Korsnäs. The sighting of blackbirds is not entirely unique, but they usually migrate further south and only in May. The blackbirds’ main migration routes are from the south of Finland, Kannonlahti continues.

In the research area of the offshore wind farm, more than 15 kilometers from the shore, the number of resting birds will also be studied. Migratory birds rest in shallow areas where they can dive for food.

Bird surveys commissioned by Metsähallitus in the offshore wind farm project area will continue in the fall. During this time, the route choices of migratory birds in another direction will be monitored.

Bird surveys will also continue this summer as part of the Bird Atlas research. The Bird Atlas studies the distribution of bird species and their breeding areas in Finland and examines changes in the distribution of species. The Bird Atlas survey is part of biodiversity monitoring. The study will be conducted between 2022 and 2025.

Bird surveys are part of the information conducted for the project’s environmental impact assessment (EIA). The EIA preparation process is expected to begin in the fall of 2022.

Source: Metsähallitus