Saturday, 8 June 2013

Finland and Norway 2013 - in the beginning

The group; 3 Englishmen, an English women, a Scot, a Frenchman and a Turkish woman and our Finnature guide Harri Taaveeti met up at Oulu airport after our transfer from Helsinki. After checking in to the nearby Hotel we were out birding in the local area and then further afield after dinner. Birds included: Terek Sandpiper, Temmink's Stint, Pygmy Owl, Tengmalm's Owl, Common Rosefinch, Short eared Owls, Black Grouse, Common Crane, Black throated Diver, Whooper Swan, Little and Arctic tern.
Terek Sandpiper
Terek Sandpiper
Black Woodpecker
Whinchat, quite common on open fields
Common Crane
Tengmalm's Owl
Pygmy Owl
Over the next 2 days we explored the wider area around Oulu. The flat, damp grassland, fields and forest provided habitat for a wide range of species including: Black Woodpecker, Wryneck, Red backed Shrike, Crested Tit, Ortolan, Honey Buzzard, Montagues and Marsh Harriers along with the more common species. Highlights of our final day in the Oulu area were Slavonian Grebe and a Three toed Woodpecker but these were a prelude to a magical evening looking for Great grey Owl. We didnt find the Owl but the birdlife in the late evening light was amazing. In one field 16 or so Black Grouse were displaying while Woodcock roded and Common Snipe drummed above. A pair of Common Crane flew over silhouetted against the orange sky while Short eared Owls quartered close to the ground. Golden plover, Lapwings and the haunting calls of Curlew all contributed to the magical scene.

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