Särkisalmi is a strait in lake Simpelejärvi. On both sides of the strait, there are bays with shallow waters and lots of reel beds, which make it an ideal nesting place for many bird species. In the area around Särkisalmi there are many groves, lots of bushes for the night singers and plenty of fields - all the places that are favoured by birds.
In the springtime the ice cover in Särkisalmi strait melts early and the first migrating birds stop by as early as in March. In April hundreds of birds have been spotted by the melting ice. The migration route of the arctic geese and waterbirds goes partly over Särkisalmi, and on best migration days it is possible to spot tens of thousands of birds. Also, many rare birds have been seen in Särkisalmi during the migration.
In summer there are lots of birds nesting in Särkisalmi, for example, swans, great crested grebes, red-necked grebes, common mergansers and many other waterbirds, and a colony of black-headed gulls. The bushes and groves in Särkisalmi offer good nesting places for warblers and thrush nightingales. In Särkisalmi you can also hear Eurasian bitterns making their deep booming calls. The Eurasian bitter nests in the reed bed habitat in Särkisalmi.
In autumn the migration routes of arctic geese and Anseriformes pass over Särkisalmi. The visibility to north is poor in Särkisalmi, and this restricts the monitoring of the migration. The ice cover forms relatively late in Särkisalmi. Some waterbirds and grebes stay in the area until early winter. During the coldest period in winter the waters in Särkisalmi get entirely covered in ice. In winter it is also possible to watch numerous birds in winter bird feeding places.
Särkisalmi is located along the Highway 6. There several good places for birdwatching by the shores of the lake.
The best way to hear the night singers is to take a tour around the village by foot. You can park your car in the Särkisalmi centre and walk around listening to the beautiful concert.