Birdwatchers 1, ice skaters 0

While the unseasonably warm weather in Finland has left wannabe ice skaters out in the cold, bird watchers have been counting their chickens thanks to the large number of species that have postponed their migrations south.

According to Birdlife Finland, many flocks are refusing to fly the roost until the weather gets suitably cold to warrant the long journey.

The organisation has tallied up a total of 160 bird species so far this year, with many of them never seen in the Finnish winter before. The rarest visitor this December are the Isabelline Shrike and Hume’s Warbler, which have sent twitchers racing for their binoculars all over the country.

Known as the land of a thousand lakes, most of the Finland’s waterways are presently ice-free and still teeming with Canada geese, swans and waterfowl, happily preening their feathers. According to Birdlife, there are also increased numbers of hen harriers, meadow pipits and wagtails, although pine grosbeaks, waxwings and fieldfares have already moved on in search of food.