An evergreen expanse of forest.
Forested hills and marshes as far as the eye can see, like a sea of trees.
The gentle sighs of the pine trees,
the green hues of the spruces.
This is the home of the Siberian Jay,
this is the conifer-scented hawk forest.
Come hear the song of the Red-flanked Bluetail.
This is a collection of sounds and soundscapes from the northern coniferous forests. The samples are mainly from Eastern Finland and the taiga parts of Finnish Lapland. Some of more common birds of the coniferous forests are not heard in this recording, as those can be found in the previous releases of Finnish Nature Resounds. My warmest thanks to all of you who have contributed to this recording. A special thanks to my wife, Maarit, who has patiently welcomed the exhausted sound recorder back from his travels in the wild.
Kuopio, 4th September 2004
Producer / Recording engineer
Track descriptions and background species
01 Great Spotted Woodpecker/Soundscape Dendrocopos major. 20 May 2004, 4.20 am, Pelkosenniemi (Lapland), Aapajärvi. The most intense period of the Great Spotted Woodpecker´s courtship is in March. The male birds can be heard drumming to announce their territories all through the spring months, only stopping at the threshold of summer. In this May recording from the taiga parts of Lapland, the pine forest resounds with bird song. Common Greenshank, Black Grouse, Redstart, Common Snipe, Whimbrel, Spotted Redshank, Redwing, Wood Sandpiper, Willow Grouse, Wryneck, Common Raven. 4'59''
02 Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus. 6 August 2002, 5.05 am, Kaavi (Eastern Finland), Maarianvaara. As the darkness fades in the morning, a hungry brood of the Eurasian Sparrowhawk starts calling under the dark green shadows of the spruce forest. The chirping fledglings are busy trying their wings, fluttering from tree to tree. 1'42''
03 Soundscape 1 6 May 2004 5.40 am, Kristiinankaupunki (South Western Finland), Frevilla. It´s early May and a warm air flow from the south has swept away the cold frosty nights. The birds of the coniferous forest have already started nesting. The warm spring morning adds special colour to the male birds´ territorial song. Blackbird, Willow Tit, Dunnock, Common Chiffchaff, Tree Pipit, Common Chaffinch, Yellowhammer, Black Grouse, Wood Pigeon. 4'19''
04 Two-barred Crossbill Loxia leucoptera. 11 March 2004, 9.20 am, Sodankylä (Lapland), Vuopaja-aapa. A thin, stunted pine forest next to a wide aapa mire in March. A wandering group of Two-barred Crossbills have stopped to forage in the pine trees. The mild, sunny spring morning inspires the frolicking birds to sing. Common Redpoll. 1'11'
05 European Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus. 6 August 2003, 4.20 am, Kaavi (Eastern Finland), Luikonlahti. An early morning in late summer in the home forest of the Euroupean Honey-buzzard. The birds have built their nest with twigs on the strong branches of a spruce. The whistling warning cries emitted by one of the parents echo in the still of the forest. Common Bullfinch. 2'26''
06 Goldcrest 1 Regulus regulus. 4 June 2004, 3.30 am, Kuopio (Eastern Finland), the pond of Vuorilampi. The gentle song of the Goldcrest can be heard in spruce forests as early as March. These little birds, moving nimbly through the branches are most easily spotted by their song. The song period of the Goldcrest continues up until July. Redwing, Blackbird, Willow Tit, Common Chaffinch, Song Thrush. 2'05''
07 Parrot Crossbill/Soundscape Loxia pytyopsittacus. 13 May 1999, 4.55 am, Karttula (Eastern Finland), Talluskylä. A small stream flows through the conifer-scented mixed forest, adding its melody to the song of the woods. Great Tit, Common Chiffchaff, frog. 2'05''
08 Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus. 4.7.2000 klo 8.30, Rautavaara (Eastern Finland), Pumpulikirkko. The Red-flanked Bluetail is a bird of the eastern boreal zone, whose beautiful song is most often heard under the great vaults of ancient spruce trees. Although quite rare, the bird can be observed in eastern and northeastern parts of Finland, mainly in the old spruce forests growing on the slopes of hills. In this recording, the mighty conifers whisper in the wind of a midsummer morning. 1'50''
09 Brambling Fringilla montifringilla 20 May 2004, 3.30 am, Pelkosenniemi (Lapland), Aapajärvi. A young pine forest with scattered birch trees adding colour to the landscape. This is where the Brambling likes to nest. The rat-a-tat-tat song of this bird is a characteristic feature of the spring soundscape, particularly in Lapland. Redstart, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Black Grouse, Willow Grouse, Common Greenshank, Common Snipe, Willow Warbler, Wryneck, Spotted Redshank, Fieldfare, Redwing, Whooper Swan, Bean Goose. 5'39''
10 Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis. 17 July 2002, 3.45 am, Kaavi (Eastern Finland), Syrjävaara. The Northern Goshawk prefers to nest in old coniferous forests. The courtship period of this dignified bird is in March and April. In this recording, you can hear the contact calls of young fledglings near the nest. Great Tit, Siskin, European Robin. 2'43''
11 Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica. 28 June 2001, 7.10 am, Kaavi (Eastern Finland), Vaikkojoki. A small stream meanders through a mire with marsh tea and stunted pines. Here and there amid the patchy vegetation by the stream-side, a small spruce tree reaches out towards the sky. This is the preferred nesting habitat of Rustic Buntings. Sitting on the branch of a willow tree, the male bird chirps out its melodious tones into the calm morning of the wilderness. Spotted Flycatcher, Siskin. 2'02''
12 Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major. 20 June 1999, 8.05 am, Kontiolahti (Eastern Finland), Jakokoski. A pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers have their nest hole in a grey snag deep in the shades of the forest. The chicks, their heads stuck out of the opening, are anxiously begging for food. Common Rosefinch, Garden Warbler. 0'57''
13 Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus. 18 April 2004, 6.20 am, Kuopio (Eastern Finland), Haminalahti. The first warm night of the spring is brightening up into a glowing dawn. The Mistle Thrush greets the sunrise with its mellow song from high up in a pine tree. Black Grouse, Common Chaffinch, European Robin, Redwing, Willow Tit, Fieldfare, Wood Pigeon. 3'40''
14 Common Raven Corvus corax. 20 May 2004, 4.50 am, Pelkosenniemi (Lapland), Aapajärvi. With its rich repertoire of sounds, the Common Raven gives a special feeling to the soundscape of remote forest areas. In this recording from the taiga parts of Lapland, you can hear the bird emmitting its characteristic calls of 'kronk, kronk' and 'prrruk, prrruk'. Redwing, Redstart, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Brambling, Black Grouse, Wryneck, Yellow Wagtail. 3'08''
15 Goldcrest 2 Regulus regulus. 4 June 2004, 5.10 am, Kuopio (Eastern Finland), Kaislastenlahti. The piercing warning calls of the Goldcrest reveal the presence of a predator. Common Chaffinch, Siskin. 1'19''
16 Three-toed Woodpecker 1 Picoides tridactylus. 5 March 2000, 9.15 am, Kuopio (Eastern Finland), Riistavesi. The mysterious Three-toed Woodpecker is one of the characteristic species of the northern taiga. Its preferred habitat are spruce mires with old majestic spruce trees covered with hanging moss. In this recording, you can hear the display drumming of the male bird in March. Crested Tit. 1'40''
17 Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris. 10 June 2000, 2.55 am, Vehmersalmi (Eastern Finland), Soisalo. The Eurasian Treecreeper has chosen a small island of old forest beside a meadow as its nesting ground. The bird is singing its tender song from high up in the branches of conifers. Redwing, Common Chaffinch, Corn Crake. 1'51''
18 Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo. 28 August 2003, 5.15 am, Kaavi (Eastern Finland), Lake Rikkavesi. The young, patchy pine forest growing at the water´s edge on an island makes an ideal nesting site for the Eurasian Hobby. Near the nest with its young, one of the parents is emitting intense alarm calls resembling the 'quee quee' song of the Wryneck. Common Gull, Redwing, European Robin. 2'06''
19 Siberian Tit Parus cinctus. 13 March 2004, 9.40 am, Savukoski (Lapland), Mukkavaara. The Siberian Tit is most at home in the open pine forests of the taiga parts of Lapland. This small titmouse is a sociable bird unafraid of humans. In this recording, the tits are heard against the background of the sighing forest. 3'38''
20 Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca. 4.6.2004 klo 5.20, Kuopio (Eastern Finland), Kaislastenlahti. A pair of Lesser Whitethroats have their nest in a sunny spot at the forest´s edge with juniper bushes and young spruce trees. The Cuckoos are calling in the May morning and the Lesser Whitethroat adds its characteristic song to the soundscape. Common Chaffinch, Common Cuckoo, Willow Warbler, European Robin, Wood Pigeon. 2'17''
21 Siberian Jay Perisoreus infaustus. 13 March 2004, 9.30 am, Savukoski (Lapland), Mukkavaara. The Siberian Jay is most at home in old coniferous or mixed forests in the remote parts of northern and eastern Finland and is regarded as the bird of good omen for a wanderer in the wilds. Curious by nature, this thickly feathered and light-winged bird often emerges to greet the rambler by the campfire. Apart from its variety of contact calls, alarm calls and personal song the Siberian Jay can emit a most peculiar set of mimicked sounds. In this recording, you can hear the Jay calling its mate with a mewing sound, followed by two types of mimicked calls. Siberian Tit. 1'39''
22 Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus. 3 May 2004, 5.20 am, Pori (South Western Finland), Kuuminainen. It´s early May and an air flow from the south has brought the rare Firecrest to Finland. As the showery spring night turns into a cloudy morning, the bird sings its melodious song from the tops of spruce trees. Song Thrush, Greenfinch, Goldcrest. 1'14''
23 Bohemian Waxwing/Soundscape Bombycilla garrulus. 20 May 2004, 5.20 am, Pelkosenniemi (Lapland), Aapajärvi, Puljunpalonlammet. The Bohemian Waxwing breeds in the northernmost parts of the boreal zone. During the nesting season this creast-headed bird avoids areas with human habitation. In this recording, you can hear the birds quietly chirping at their nest site. Wryneck, Redwing, Whooper Swan, Willow Warbler, Tree Pipit, Spotted Redshank, Common Snipe, Wood Sandpiper, Hooded Crow, Common Raven, Bean Goose, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Black Grouse, Common Greenshank. 3'22''
24 Common Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula. 13 March 2004, 8.10 am, Savukoski (Lapland), Mukkavaara. The Common Bullfinch is difficult to detect during the summer. It likes to hide its nest in the green shades of a spruce forest and is very silent during the nesting season. But in spring time the male bird can be heard emitting a continuous and rather peculiar-sounding song. 2'18''
25 Three-toed Woodpecker 2 Picoides tridactylus. 20 May 2004, 5.30 am, Pelkosenniemi (Lapland), Aapajärvi. The wide aapa mire is lined with a lush pine forest. At the mire´s edge, an old hollow pine tree stands with its grey limbs streched towards the sky. The venerable old tree is the feasting place of the Three-toed Woodpecker. Redwing, Black Grouse, Wood Sandpiper, Whooper Swan, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Wryneck, Common Crane, Willow Warbler, Common Greenshank, Spotted Redshank. 2'20''
26 Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra. 25 August 1998, 6.50 am, Kuopio (Eastern Finland), Suovu. The autumn morning is wrapped in mist. In the spruce forest, Common Crossbills are singing their melodious mating song from high up in the treetops. 1'44''
27 Common Buzzard Buteo buteo. 17 July 2002, 4.20 am, Kaavi (Eastern Finland), Luikonlahti. A passing shower a few hours after midnight has left the trees in the forest dripping. The Common Buzzard´s nest with its young is hidden behind the strong branches of a spruce tree. The characteristic long screeches of the birds cut through the air. Red-throated Diver. 1'11''
28 Soundscape 2 25 April 2004, 5.30 am, Kuopio (Eastern Finland), Haminalahti. With the first warm nights of the spring in April, several of the birds who will nest in pine forests return from migration, filling the early morning hours with their song. European Robin, Mistle Thrush, Black Grouse, Common Chaffinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Common Chiffchaff, Common Bullfinch. 5'03''
29 Red Fox Vulpes vulpes. 11 March 2004, 9.10 pm, Sodankylä (Lapland), Voutavaara. A March evening in the wilds of Lapland. The landscape is lit with stars and the moon. Suddenly, the air is pierced with the mating call of the Red Fox coming from the depths of the pine forest covering a hillside. Eagle Owl. 1'28''
30 European Robin/Soundscape Erithacus rubecula. 27 April 2004, 4.50 am, Kuopio (Eastern Finland), Kaislastenlahti. The conifer-scented forest is filled with the charm of a spring morning. As the northern night turns into dawn, the beautiful warbling song of the European Robin can be heard from somewhere deep inside he forest. Black Grouse, Great Tit, Dunnock, Song Thrush, Common Crane, Whooper Swan, Redwing. 5'01''
Translated by Kirsi Komonen and Ewen MacDonald 2004