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 Arola farm during the eagle and bear watching trip in Suomussalmi 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)

Martinselkonen 

It is said to be one of Finland's last wilderness areas.  You can explore the area by walking along marked trails, taking a refreshing break by a campfire, and then continuing your journey.  At Martinselkonen you can find watery bogs and small ponds, old-growth forest, moss-covered spruces.


At Martinselkonen you are outside of everything, part of nature as if the rest of the world would not exist. 

In the wilderness area, we find all four of our predators; wolverine, bear, wolf, and lynx. The American beaver (formerly the Canadian beaver) is familiar in the area. There are also reindeers in the Martinselkonen wilderness area. 


The species of birds are abundant. Among the birds of prey, the hawk family is represented by the bee eagle, the sparrow hawk, and the barn owl. Other owls are the sparrow owl and the boreal owl. In the bogs, you can see e.g. whooper swan. Martinselkonen's most common big waterbird might be a wild goose that nests and hides in remote ponds. Capercaillie leks in Martinselkonen area. The eastern bird species in the forest are e.g. red-breasted flycatcher and three-toed woodpecker. The common swift, familiar from the towns, can be heard in the evenings - a species that nests high in the log trees in Martinselkonen as well.

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!

  • Places: Syöte National Park area, Martinselkonen Wilderness area, Liminganlahti, Oulu

  • Accommodation: Taigalampi Cabin in Syöte National Park, Arola Farm in Juntusranta, Hotel in Liminka Bay

  • Availability: From 1. May to 30. August

  • Guaranteed departures: 13.-20.5., 20.-27.5.2023 

  • Duration: 8 days, 7 nights

  • Number of participants: Min 2 persons, max 6 persons

  • Price - all inclusive tour: 2480 € / 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, entrance fees for the hides, transports between different accommodation. 

  • 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 - 90 €/set/person/week. Camera equipment: We have different kinds of cameras and lenses for rent. Ask for availability. 

  • 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. 

  • 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, Saturday


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, Sunday


After a tasty breakfast a guided birdwatching excursion with a local guide in Syöte area, a region for a great variety of water birds and other birds. Lunch in the new day hut in the woods. In the evening, visit to Syöte National Park Visitor Centre. Target species today Hen Harrier, Common Crane, and Whooper Swan, Capercaillie. Dinner and shower in the cabin. Sauna is available. After the sauna, making of picnic food, and snacks for the morning.  2 hours transport to Posio, Lapland. Night at the capercaillie hide. Photographing capercaillies in the early morning. 


3rd day, Monday


After photographing capercaillies, approximately a 50 km drive to the bird 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, 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, and sauna available. 

4th day, Tuesday

Early breakfast at 3 am. —guided black grouse photographing excursion with a local guide in the Syöte area.

Transport back to your cabin. Lunch. Guided bird watching trip near Syöte Visitor center, target species red-flanked bluetail. Dinner, shower, and sauna are available. 


5th day, Wednesday


Early breakfast. Guided bird tower and bear and bird watching excursion with a local guide to the Martinselkonen wilderness area. You will visit first a bird tower in the Suomussalmi region on the way to Arola farm, where the bear watching happens. Bird tower is located by a nice wetland and lake where you can spot water birds and if you are lucky, some vultures. In Juntusjärvi lakes` nesting birds comprise 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 Arola Farm, near the Martinselkonen wilderness area. (Driving distance approximately 150 km from Pudasjärvi to Juntusranta with the visit to the bird tower)


6th day, Thursday


After a tasty local breakfast in the morning, photograph birds in the yard and around it. Target species Great tit, Blackbird, Swan, Crane, Great spotted woodpecker, Bean goose. Transport and guided owl photographing trip. Target species Great grey owl, ural owl, hawk owl. Transport back to Syöte and Taigalampi cabin after the trip. Dinner in the cabin. Accommodation in the cabin.


7th day, Friday

Beautiful morning light is available from the cabin! 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 or cabin near 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.