Nature Photographer

BOREAL BIRD & WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHING  - FACTS

On this tour, you will visit IBAs and locally well-known birding areas near your accommodation. Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are achieved through the application of quantitative ornithological criteria, grounded in up-to-date knowledge of the sizes and trends of bird populations. 


Accommodation is arranged in our base camp, Taigalampi Cabin, with all the amenities you will need. A traditional Finnish log villa is located in a spectacular forest and fell landscape. A breathable and plastic-free wooden cabin invites you to spend your sustainable holiday near the Syöte National Park. The cottage has two three-room apartments and one two-bedroom separate compartment. There are three toilets and a maintenance room. The three-room apartments have their own toilet and shower facilities.


Other accommodation places are Kuikka Camp during the eagle, bear, wolf, and wolverine watching trip in Kuhmo near the Russian Border. The last day´s accommodation is in the hotel at Liminka Bay near the Oulu Airport. 


Site description


Syöte-Salmitunturi is one of the most important areas of boreal forest in the North-Ostrobothnia region. A 25-km chain of boreal forests lies at the core of the site, with additional forests extending eastwards. The landscape is hilly, with one peak reaching a height of 431 m. The forests are dominated by Picea, spruces, but deciduous forests cover the lower parts of the hills.
Key biodiversity: An important breeding area for boreal avifauna including Picoides tridactylus, Eurasian three-toed Woodpecker, Tetrao urogallus, Eurasian capercaillie, (500-1,000 pairs), Tarsiger cyanurus, red-flanked bluetail, (5-15 males), Perisoreus infaustus, Siberian jay, (100-200 pairs), Parus cinctus, Siberian tit, (50-100 pairs) and Pinicola enucleator, Pine grosbeak, (100-200 pairs). (BirdLife International, 2021. Important Bird Areas)


Olvassuo, a large wilderness area between the upper courses of the Iijoki and Kiiminkijoki rivers, with well-developed aapa mires and a multitude of streams and rivulets. Interspersed amongst the peatlands are small islands of mostly primeval boreal forest containing large amounts of dead wood. The area remains predominantly free of human activity.
Key biodiversity: An important breeding area for boreal avifauna, and one of the best breeding sites in Finland for large, shy species such as Cygnus cygnus, Whooper swan, Anser fabalis, Bean Goose and Grus grus, Common Crane. (BirdLife International, 2021. Important Bird Areas) 
Other species in Olvassuo: Common Redstart, Parrot Crossbill, Wood Sandpiper, etc.

 
Elimyssalo, near the Camp Kuikka, is known as the area where the wild forest reindeer returning to Finland first settled. All of Finland’s large predators – bears, wolves, lynxes, and wolverines – also roam there. If you move quietly in, you may see a swimming beaver or meet a capercaillie, bean goose, or a great grey owl. An inhabitant of the north, the Siberian jay may join a visitor by a campfire. Moreover, in Elimyssalo you may even encounter the red-flanked bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus). Variety is huge and we can promise nearly ten different species during one day in hide.  Lake Kuikka where the accommodation is arranged is also a place for fishing, canoeing and enjoying the refreshing sauna and lake swimming session

Before your stay in the shed, we check together your equipment, boots, and other necessary clothing before you get a short course of conduct in the hide and how to behave near the wildlife.


After this, we will do our best that you can concentrate on photographing during your stay in hide as good conditions as possible. The only things we can not control is the behavior of wild animals and weather conditions. 


One of our special skills is to make wonderful meals in nature! So, welcome and enjoy. Feel free to contact and tell us about your expectations and needs. We will make your wilderness holiday dreams come true!

  • Accommodation: Taigalampi Cabin in Syöte National Park, Kuikka Camp log cabin in Kuhmo, Hotel in Liminka Bay

  • Availability: From 1. May to 30. August

  • Guaranteed departures: 16.-23.5.2022 

  • Duration: 8 days, 7 nights

  • Number of participants: Min 1 persons, max 6 persons

  • Price - all inclusive tour: 2480 € / person 

  • Price - self guided tour: 1290 € / person

  • All-inclusive guided tour price includes: Airport transfers Oulu - Pudasjärvi - Oulu, guiding, accommodation, bed linen, transport and guidance to hides & towers, meals (breakfast, picnic lunch/soup lunch, dinner), plan for the week, tour map, entrance fees for the bear & eagle hides, transports between different accommodation. 

  • Self-drive / self-guided tour price includes: Plan for the week, tour map, 4 x accommodation in Taigalampi Cabin, 2 x Kuikka Camp Log cabin, 1 x Hotel at the Liminka Bay, entrance fees for the bear & eagle hides

  • Price doesn’t include: Flights 

  • Equipment: Participants have their warm own boots, clothing and warm underwear, etc. according to the possibly cold weather and staying in hide. Please ask for the whole list of equipment after booking.

  • Equipment included in the price: 

  • By additional cost:  Single room +20 €/night. Clothing set: Padded jacket and trousers, mittens, headwear, boots - 15 €/set/person/day. Camera equipment: We have different kinds of cameras and lenses for rent. Ask for availability. Floating photographing hide 80 € / day

  • Private hide 120 € / day

  • Payment: Invoice, cash, credit card

  • Tour level:  Easy. Normal physical condition is enough. You have to be able to keep silent for the whole stay in a hide. Swimming skills are obligatory if you rent the floating hide.

  • Languages: Finnish, English, Swedish

  • Insurance: We require participants to have their own insurance for outdoor activities in Finland and in arctic weather conditions.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRIP

PHOTOGRAPHING

During this tour you can photograph wild water birds, animals and other birds so much as you will! Enjoy, relax and have a good time in forests and the shores of swamps and ponds!

TRUE WILDERNESS

True wilderness means a lot of space. You can enjoy clean air, unspoiled nature and clean water outside of cities without noise or light pollution.

INTERESTING WILDLIFE

Combination of Eastern Finland near the Russian border and South Lapland in on one holiday and richest wildlife area in Finland. This is natural habitat for eagles, wolf, wolverine, lynx and brown bear.

COSY ACCOMMODATION

Taigalampi log cabin is attractive, warm, cosy and plastic free traditional log cabin in woods! You have all the amenities that you need during the accommodation.

 

ITINERARY

1st day, Monday 16.5.2022


Transport from Oulu / Arrival to Pudasjärvi, Taigalampi cabin. Information, maps, and dinner together. Relaxed walk along a nature trail. You can hike on the Pytkynharju esker and admire the Northern scenery and seek the wild birds during the hike. Pytkynharju has a public lean-to and fire pit. It is located in Kellarilampi pond and it is a great destination for a hike! The length of the one-way trail is four kilometers to the wooden shelter and the same distance back. Target species Goldeneye, Red crossbill, Redwing, Common redstart. 

Relaxing hot sauna, shower and dinner are available after a long traveling day. 


2nd day, Tuesday 17.5.


After a tasty breakfast guided birdwatching excursion with a local guide in Olvassuo wilderness area, region for a great variety of water birds and other birds. Lunch in the new day hut in the woods. In the evening, visit Syöte National Park Visitor Centre. Target species today Hen Harrier, Common Crane, and Whooper Swan. Dinner and shower in the cabin. Sauna is available. 


3rd day, Wednesday 18.5.


After breakfast in the cabin approximately 30 km drive to the bird watching tower and a hiking trail to Sarakylä village. Lake Juutislampi is classified as a nationally valuable bird lake in the area. 20-25 species typical of water birds nest in the area every year. Lunch by the open fire in a wooden shelter on the trail.


The most valuable nesting waterfowl species are the Tufted duck, Northern Lapwing, Goldeneye, Smew and Red-necked grebe. There are also about ten species of waders in the area. However, the most exciting species are Jacksnipe, the Common ringed plover, and the Spotted redshank.

Transport back to Syöte National Park and your cabin. Dinner, shower, sauna available. 

4th day, Thursday 19.5

Early breakfast—guided bird tower excursion with a local guide to Taivalkoski village. You will visit the first two different bird towers in the Taivalkoski region. Bird towers are located by nice wetlands and ponds in remote areas where you can spot water birds and if you are lucky, some vultures.


In Latva-Juurikka and Tyrälampi lakes nesting birds comprises at least 30 wetland species. The most common nesting waterfowls are Tufted duck, Teal, and Goldeneye. During the breeding season, birds of prey observed in Latva-Juurikka include e.g. Rough-legged buzzard, Hen harrier, Merlin, and occasionally sea eagle and Eurasian Marsh-harrier. 

Transport back to Syöte National Park and your cabin. Dinner, shower, sauna available. 


5th day, Friday 20.5.


Early breakfast. Guided bird tower and bear, wolf, and bird watching excursion with a local guide to the Russian border and Elimyssalo wilderness area. You will visit first a bird tower in the Suomussalmi region on the way to Kuikka Camp near Elimyssalo Wilderness area, where the bear watching happens. Bird tower is located by nice wetland and lake where you can spot water birds and if you are lucky, some vultures. In Joutenlampi lakes´ nesting birds comprises at least 15 wetland species. The most common nesting waterfowls are Tufted duck, Teal, and Goldeneye

 
In the evening you will get to bear watching hide. From the safe log cabin hide, you can watch and photograph Brown bears with possibilities for Sea Eagle, Crow, Raven, and Lesser Black-backed Gull. Local food delicacies after the bear hide evening!


Accommodation in Kuikka Camp in Kuhmo, near the Elimyssalo wilderness area. (Driving distance approximately 300 km from Pudasjärvi to Kuhmo with the visit at the bird tower)


6th day, Saturday 21.5.


After a tasty local breakfast in the morning, photograph birds in the camp yard and around it. Target species Great tit, Blackbird, Swan, Crane, Great spotted woodpecker, Bean goose. Accommodation and dinner in a Camp log house. After dinner, we make a snack with hot drinks with us and a short transport to the predator hides. Accommodation in the hide. Target species Wolf, Wolverine, Brown bear, Sea Eagle. There is a toilet and bed in the hide.


7th day, Sunday 22.5.

Beautiful morning light is available from the hide! Transport back to Camp Kuikka. After a tasty and nutritious breakfast transfer by car to Liminka Bay, near Oulu Airport. Liminka Bay is one of Europe’s most important bird wetlands. Tens of thousands of birds stop to rest, feed and nest in this area shaped by land uplift. Lunch on the way to Liminka. 

Liminka Bay is an internationally significant resting and nesting site for migratory birds. In addition, an area is a meeting place for many northern and southern bird and plant species. More than 160 bird species nest in the Liminka Bay area, and over the year, more than 200 species are sighted in the area.

Amongst the important nesting species are the greylag goose, the black-tailed godwit, and the western marsh harrier, and amongst the most visible migratory birds are the whooper swan, the bean goose, the common crane, and the ruff. 

Dinner in Liminganlahti visitor center.


Accommodation in Hotel at the Liminganlahti Bay. 

8th day, Monday 23.5.

Departure day. Breakfast and transport to Oulu Airport

We reserve all the rights to change the activities' order or the program's content if necessary due to the weather or other conditions.