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) is 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 an old, renovated Hirvaskoski Manor with all the amenities you will need. There are four bedrooms downstairs and an attic room. The spacious bedrooms in the 19th century log framed manor house provide a good night’s sleep. In addition, the library room has a comfortable sofa bed that turns into a double bed. During the summer, another attic room with no heating is also available. Another accommodation places are Arola Farm during the bear watching trip near the Russian Border and Oulanka Research Center in Kuusamo for the visit in eagle hide in Oulanka National Park.
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.
Oulanka National Park: Golden eagles are living here so it is more than possible that you see these big birds gliding silently above the green forest and stop by to carrion at the feeding area. A lot of different birds are living in this old forests: Black woodpecker, siberian jay, crested tit, raven, black grouse, capercaillie etc. Variety is huge and we can promise nearly ten different species during one day in hide.
Hossa National Park and Juntusranta at the North-East part of Finland, is the huge wilderness area near the Russian Border. This is a kingdom of our four biggest predators, brown bear, wolverine, wolf and lynx. Our base camp is an old farm with rich cultural history because of the winter-war at 1939. The Arola Farm is located in the forest and countryside only couple of kilometres from the Russian border zone. Farm is on the shore of a beautiful wilderness lake. Lake 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 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 behaviour of wild animals and weather conditions.
One of our special skills is to make wonderful meals in the 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: Hirvaskoski Manor in Pudasjärvi, Arola Farm in Juntusranta, Oulanka Research Center in Kuusamo
Availability: From 1. May to 30. August
Guaranteed departures: 22.5-27.5., 29.5.-3.6., 5.-10.6.2021
Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
Number of participants: Min 1 persons, max 6 persons
Price - all inclusive tour: 1980 € / person
Price - self guided tour: 890 € / person
All inclusive tour price includes: Airport transfers Kuusamo - Pudasjärvi - Kuusamo, 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 guided tour price includes: 1. day Meeting & 4 x accommodation in Hirvaskoski manor, 1 x Arola Farm and 1 x Oulanka Research Center, plan for the week, tour map, entrance fees for the bear & eagle hides
Price doesn’t include: Flights and airport transfers.
Equipment: Participants have their warm own boots, clothing and warm underwear etc. according to the possibly cold weather and staying in hide. Please ask 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
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 means a lot of space. You can enjoy clean air, unspoiled nature and clean water outside of cities without noise or light pollution.
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.
Hirvaskoski Manor is attractive and renovated in few past years. You have all the amenities that you need during the accommodation.
Transport / Arrival to Pudasjärvi, Hirvaskoski Manor House where you meet the local guide. Information, maps and dinner together. Relaxed walk along a nature trail. You can hike to the top of the Rumavaara clifftop top admire the scenery and seek for the wild birds during the hike. Rumavaara has a public lean-to and fire pit. It is located within Hirvaskoski village area – it is a great destination for a hike! Length of the one way trail is 5 kilometres to the fire pit and shelter and 6 kilometres to the top of Rumavaara. Same distance back. Relaxing hot sauna and shover is available after a long travelling day.
After a tasty breakfast guided birdwatching excursion with local guide in Olvassuo wilderness area, region for great variety of water birds and other birds. In the evening, visit to Syöte National Park Visitor Centre. Target species Hen Harrier, Common Crane and Whooper Swan.
After a breakfast in manor drive to the local bird watching towers near the accommodation. Lake Sotkajärvi is classified as a nationally valuable bird lake in the bird water protection program. 30-35 species typical of bird waters nest in the area every year. The most valuable nesting waterfowl species are the Great crested grebe, Garganey and Northern Shoveler. There are also about 10 species of waders in the area. According to Bird Life Finland, their total number is 45-50. The most interesting species are Jacksnipe, the Common ringed plover and the Spotted redshank. An osprey nesting near Sotkajärvi regularly fishes on the lake.
Early breakfast. Guided bird tower and bear watching excursion with a local guide near the Russian border and Hossa National Park! You will visit first two different bird towers in Taivalkoski region on the way to to Arola Farm, where the bear watching happens. 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. Birds of prey observed in Latva-Juurikka during the breeding season include e.g. Rough-legged buzzard, Hen harrier, Merlin and occasionally sea eagle and Eurasian Marsh-harrier.
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 Osprey, Golden Eagle and Lesser Black-backed Gull. Great dinner and local food delicacies after the bear hide evening! Accommodation in Arola Farm.
After very tasty local breakfast in the morning, drive to Hossa National Park, visit to famous Julma-Ölkky. Sightseeing by the boat to the biggest canyon lake in Finland. After a visit driving continues to Kuusamo and to Oulanka National Park. Accommodation and dinner in Oulanka Research Station. (Distance 200 km with the visit at the canyon lake)
Early breakfast and drive with your local guide to the Eagle hides! We will do our best that you can concentrate on photographing during your last stay on your holiday in hide as good conditions as possible. The only things we can not control is the behaviour of wild animals and weather conditions but here you have really wonderful opportunities to spot our biggest bird of prey, Golden Eagle appears in it's own habitat and you will get wonderful eagle photos as the crown of your nature holiday in Northern Finland!
After the wonderful photographing day time for the departure or extra night in cottage or apartment in Kuusamo!