Back From A Wonderful Finland And Arctic Norway Tour So Many Birds So Much Wildlife

This magnificent male Capercaillie was voted "bird of the trip" easy to see why!

This year we did things a little differently and ran a three week tour to Finland and Arctic Norway, instead of our usual two week tour. The format worked very well indeed allowing us more time to enjoy the birds and wildlife at each location and to take in European brown bear watching that proved to be fantastic. We are still planning our 2024 Finland and Arctic Norway tour so if you might be interested please do drop us a line and we can keep you in touch.

We travelled from Helsinki, in southern Finland north into Arctic Norway reaching Varanger Fjord before flying south back to Helsinki. It proved to be a wonderful experince and all our guests loved it. We enjoyed an amazing 2018 species of birds and an impressive 17 species of mammal! Not many European destinations can match this amazing diversity of wildlife, the scenery was spectacular, the food delicious and we stayed in some wonderful places - all in all a perfect tour.

Memorable encounters with birds and wildlife are what we love to experince on our tours.

We also encountered female Capercaillies on a number of occasions.

In the forests of the south we had a magical day out with our friend Perrti, a legendary ornithologist and bird ringer. We had the privalage of accompanying Perrti to ring broods of Ural and Tawny Owl as part of his on going study of these beautiful birds. What a thrill and so interesting to hear about sixty years of studying owls in the forests of Finland, we could have listened for ever.

A wonderful Ural Owl stared down at us, this birds parents and grand parents had been ringed by Perrti!

We spent two nights watching European Brwon Bears from specially designed hides in a beautiful forest, the hides have a loo and bunk beds if you should want to sleep. These awesome animals come out of the forest in search of food and what a thrill it is to see them pretty close! Some folks decided one night was enough and stayed at the lodge the second night but others did both and were rewarded with more amazing bear sightings.

Further north we spent time in a hide, with adjcent cafe serving delicious dougnuts, to watch Pine Grosbeaks.

These northern forests provided wonderful encounters with singing Red-flanked Bluetails in a stunning setting, Siberian Jays so close, cute Siberian Tits, stunning breeding plumaged Black-throated Divers, amazing views of both Rustic and Little Buntings and more.

Further north we made a quick into Sweden to enjoy a wonderful breeding colony of Little Gulls, ok it was more to check off another country as we were so close to the border! But it also gave us the chance to have lunch at the famous Swedish store of IKEA - meatballs of course!

We were very lucky with Hawk Owl sightings - multiple birds enjoyed at several sites - suoperb birds.

Moving north again and crossing another border, all open borders just drive across, we reached Arctic Norway and had enthralling encounters with Hawk Owls - an amazing experince to watch these half hawk, half owls at close range. So many photographs were taken!

Hawk Owl in flight - a very well named bird it really is part owl, part hawk!

Onto the fells of Norway and here we had a fantastic array of breeding birds including - gorgeous displaying Ruff, stunning Dotterel, tiny Red-necked Phalaropes, Long-tailed and Arctic Skuas, Shore Larks, Lapland Buntings, Snow Buntings and Red-throated Pipits.

Reaching the Arctic ocean and the spectacular coastline a host of new birds were enjoyed! A boat trip to a seabird island was another major highlight of this tour where we wandered amongst Atlantic Puffins, Brunnich's Guillemots, masses of Common Guillemots, Razorbills, Shags and so many Kittiwakes, Ten White-tailed Eagles were in view at once from the island - what a experince!

Watching an awesone Gyr Falcon was yet another high, this superb falcon allowed us prolonged views both perched and in flight in the sunshine! Always a thrill to see this ultimate falcon in the wild spendour of the Arctic.

Just a few of the highlight birds and wildlife on this Finland and Arctic tour here, hopefully more blogs to follow soon!

We would love you to join us join us on one of our Birdwatching Trips Tours, check out the tours pages or drop us a line here and we can put together a tour perfect for you!

We look forward to sharing wonderful encounters with birds and wildlife with you!

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