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Birding in the Land of the Midnight Sun: Finland and Norway

Saturday 24 May – Friday 6 June 2014

Join us in Finland and Norway to experience some of Europe’s finest birdwatching as we journey north of the Arctic Circle. Northern Europe holds some of the most sought-after species and we will be searching for the cream of these. We will be accompanied by the very best local guides to ensure we have an excellent chance of encountering such amazing birds as Hawk Owl, Great Grey Owl, Hazel Hen, Capercaillie, Steller’s Eider, King Eider, Pine Grosbeak, Gyr Falcon, Three-toed Woodpecker and Black Woodpecker to name just a few.

Ural Owl Finland

Ural Owl, just one of our exciting owl target species

We will travel north through Finland visiting a variety of habitats including vast forests, lakes, rivers, marshes and moors to experience a wonderful mix of species. We hope to see around 180 species. We will cross the border into Norway and travel to the famous Varanger Fjord with its spectacular wild scenery and very special birds. Here we will take a boat trip out to an island with a huge breeding colony of seabirds including the much sought-after Brunnich’s Guillemot. The fjord also holds many other exciting species and we hope to see breeding-plumaged White-billed Divers, breeding Bluethroats, Red-throated Pipits and Arctic Redpolls.

Capercaillie Finland

Close encounter with a male Capercaillie


Day 1:

The tour begins at Helsinki International Airport. Transfer to our hotel. Local birding.

Day 2:

Our day will be spent in the forests around Hauho, searching out special breeding birds including owls, woodpeckers and grouse.

Day 3:

We drive north to Oulu birding en route. Cranes, Whooper Swans, Osprey are all possible today.

Day 4:

Birding around Oulu before moving on to Kuusamo. We look for flocks of breeding-plumaged Ruff, Broad-billed Sandpiper and with luck Terek Sandpiper.


Obliging Bluethroat poses for the camera!

Days 5 and 6:

Birding around Kuusamo, a superb area of forests and marshland. We will search for breeding birds including Black-throated Divers, Great Grey Owl, Pygmy Owl and Red-flanked Bluetail.

Day 7:

We move on to Luosto birding en route. For our afternoon birding, we will now be in the breeding area of Little and Rustic Buntings, also Rough-legged Buzzard and White-tailed Eagle.

Day 8:

Morning birding around Luosto. Afternoon drive north to Ivalo, birding en route.

Day 9:

Birding around Ivalo, our best chance for Pine Grosbeak and many other northern forest specialities.

Pine Grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak, one of our most-wanted species

Day 10:

Drive north over the high fells into Norway. Chances of Long-tailed Skua, Dotterel and Ptarmigan and perhaps even a Gyr Falcon.

Days 11 and 12:

Birding Varanger Fjiord, Charismatic birds including Steller’s Eider, King Eider, Brunnich’s Guillemot, White-billed Diver will be our main targets though almost anything is possible here! Weather permitting, we take a boat trip to a seabird colony.

Day 13:

Drive back to Ivalo looking for any species we may have missed on the way up.

Day 14:

Early morning birding around Ivalo. Fly to Helsinki to connect with our international flights home.

Tengmalms Owl Finland 2013

Tengmalm's Owl peers out at us

Our holiday includes 13 nights’ accommodation on a Dinner, Bed & Breakfast basis, guiding by Alan and Ruth and a professional local guide throughout the trip, transport in a minibus during the tour, boat trip at Varanger Fjiord (weather permitting), use of our field guide and optics, individual checklists.

The cost of the trip is £2,995 per person with a minimum of six participants, based on two people sharing an ensuite twin room. A small single room supplement will apply, please ask for details. This will be a small group to ensure everyone has individual attention and the best chance of catching up with some of the very special forest birds.

The cost does not include: international and internal flights, personal travel insurance, lunches, drinks, travel to and from your UK airport, any items of a personal nature.

Tem Stint 1 Finland 2013

How confiding do you like your Temminck's Stints?

During our tour we will be looking for:

White-billed Diver, Red-necked Grebe, Taiga Bean Goose, Tundra Bean Goose, King Eider, Steller’s Eider, Velvet Scoter, Smew, Honey Buzzard, White-tailed Eagle, Goshawk, Rough-legged Buzzard, Golden Eagle, Gyr Falcon, Hazel Grouse, Willow Grouse, Ptarmigan, Black Grouse, Capercaillie, Common Crane, Dotterel, Temminck’s Stint, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Terek Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Long-tailed Skua, Little Gull, Glaucous Gull, Caspian Tern, Brunnich’s Guillemot, Black Guillemot, Puffin, Eagle Owl, Hawk Owl, Pygmy Owl, Ural Owl, Great Grey Owl, Tengmalm’s Owl, Wryneck, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Shore Lark, Red-throated Pipit, Waxwing, Thrush Nightingale, Bluethroat, Red-flanked Bluetail, River Warbler, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Siberian Tit, Crested Tit, Great Grey Shrike, Siberian Jay, Arctic Redpoll, Two-barred Crossbill, Parrot Crossbill, Common Rosefinch, Pine Grosbeak, Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting, Rustic Bunting, Little Bunting, and any other scarce or rare birds that we may encounter.

Reindeer in  Finland

Looks like rain, dear!

To reserve your place on this tour or for more details, please call us on 01492 872407 or email us on as soon as possible. Good accommodation in the wilderness areas we will be visiting is very limited and we need to book quickly to ensure our places.

We look forward to hearing from you and sharing Finland and Norway’s fabulous birdlife with you!

threw auk

Come and join us!


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