The bird-watching tower in Karinnokka is located at Karinnokka, central Kittilä, right next to the interesting bird waters of the river Aakenusjoki/the lake Kirkkojärvi and the river Ounasjoki.
About 130 different bird species have been observed in the area since 1974. The tower has been open for use since 2011 and was completed in 2012.
The finishing work in 2012 includes installing a wheelchair ramp to the lower level of the tower, painting and landscaping and putting up guide boards. The lower level will be accessible in a wheelchair or with a baby carriage. The tower has two levels and both will have guide boards about the birdlife and the water system of the area.
Bird pictures in the guide boards have been painted by an artist from Rovaniemi, Paavo Laine. There can be mostly 12 people at the same time observing birds on the upper level. There is a box there for an observation booklet. It is a wish that visitors would write down the bird and nature observations they make in the tower.
Kittilän Luonto ry made an initiative of the tower to the municipality of Kittilä. The tower was realised by the municipality of Kittilä, Lapland ELY-centre and Kittilä bureau of work and economic life together with Kideve development and Kittilän Luonto ry. The municipality of Kittilä owns and maintains the tower.
The accurate position of the tower in a map: Karinnokan lintutorni (bird-watching tower of Karinnokka), Map (pdf)
Birds in Karinnokka area
About 130 species of birds have been observed in the area since 1974. especially during spring and autumn migrations the Ounasjoki-Kirkkojärvi water system and its surroundings are a popular resting and feeding area for waterfowl and shorebirds.
The easiest birds to observe at the tower are waterfowl, most common of which are the whooper swan, the mallard, the golden-eye, the tufted duck and the merganser. For the swan the river Ounasjoki is a very important annual resting place. Also wigeons, teals and pintails feed on the Ounasjoki-Kirkkojärvi area and on the fields of nearby Pakatti area.
Shorebirds, especially the whimbrel, the ruff, the wood sandpiper and the common sandpiper are comfortable in the area. Also the crane fly over the tower as they cross the water system when moving from one bog area to the next. The black-headed gull, the herring gull and the common gull as well as the arctic tern and the common tern feed regularly in Ounasjoki-Kirkkojärvi area and in Salmijärvi below.
Birds of prey such as the kestrel, the short-eared owl, the hawk owl and even the osprey and the eagle visit the area looking for prey.
The white wagtail, the reed bunting and the willow warbler are most common of the birds of damp places and bushes. The swallow seek food near the waters and even make nests on the sandy banks of the river.
The nesting species in the water system and its surroundings are, among others, the widgeon, the mallard, the red-breasted merganser, the goosander, the teal, the golden-eye, the tufted duck, the arctic tern, the curlew, the wood sandpiper, the greenshank, the common sandpiper and the reed bunting.