Exclusive to Shetland Wildlife and our good friends at Finnature. An extremely rewarding trip to photograph rare northern forest denizens such as Pine Grosbeaks, Siberian Jays and Siberian Tits. Then north to the wintering grounds of Steller's and King Eiders at the very top of Arctic Norway! PLUS a great chance to photograph the Aurora Borealis. A unique photographic holiday!


Arctic Redpoll

Pine Grosbeak

Siberian Tit

King Eider

Steller's Eiders

King Eider

Steller's Eider

Long-tailed Duck

Aurora Borealis

See our photo highlights from our 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 trips to Finland and northern Norway.

Day 1 Saturday 3 March 2018

This morning we will leave the UK and fly to Helsinki before transferring to our flight to Ivalo, Lapland. Here we will be met by our good friend and local guide Antero Topp who will take us to our hotel 70 kilometres to the north at Kaamanen, where we stay for the next two nights.

Day 2 Sunday 4 March 2018

We have chosen to stay at Kaamanen for one reason – its superb feeding station and thus its birds! A surprising number of species choose to remain in these seemingly barren boreal forests throughout the harsh winter months but finding them is another matter! Like anywhere else, birds are drawn to a food supply and there is no finer place in Lapland than here. Our lodge at Kaamanen has found notoriety in the last few years for being probably the best site in Europe to see Pine Grosbeak. These stunning birds (which are more akin to a cross between a finch and a crossbill) are typically highly secretive, but at Kaamanen up to twenty birds visit the feeders on a regular basis during the late winter. They are very approachable and thus we have the prospect of gaining some stunning images of this rarely photographed forest denizen.

We also have truly outstanding photographic opportunities to work with Siberian Tit, Siberian Jay, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, ‘northern’ Bullfinches, both Mealy and Arctic Redpolls, Greenfinches and Red Squirrels. We plan to spend the whole day at the feeding station safe in the knowledge that a warming ‘cuppa’ and a bite to eat is just a minute away! As night falls we have an excellent opportunity to photograph the Aurora Borealis, which can often give incredible ‘shows’ at this latitude. Overnight at Kaamanen.

Day 3 Monday 5 March 2018

As day breaks we will have another session at the feeders before making the long drive north along the Arctic highway into Norway. We'll be stopping for tundra landscapes and we'll also be keeping an eye out for both Elk and Reindeer and small parties of snowy-white Willow Grouse. We also have an excellent chance of seeing White-tailed Eagle and possibly grey-morph Gyrfalcons. As we reach Tana Bru we head off over some magnificent mountain scenery to reach the town of Batsfjord in the mid afternoon, home for the next three nights. Depending on our time of arrival there may be time for some late afternoon photography of Arctic seaduck around the harbour.

Days 4 - 5 Tuesday 6 & Wednesday 7 March 2018

We plan to spend two full days photographing majestic King, Steller's and Common Eiders in the harbour. With spring approaching many of the males will be performing their courtship displays and the choral cacophony of the eiders will fill the air and their antics will make for very special photographs. Long-tailed Ducks are also present here in good numbers and other photographic subjects include Kittiwakes, Purple Sandpipers, Glaucous and Iceland Gulls, silvery winter plumaged Black Guillemots, Ravens and, of course, the charismatic boats and houses so typical of a northern community. Since we first ran this trip in 2007 we have always have been treated to some awesome opportunities from the series of floating pontoons and the shoreline, as the birds here are very approachable and pretty unconcerned with human presence.

But even more exciting is the fact that we will have exclusive use of an innovative floating hide which we first used in 2013. The hide is situated only a few metres offshore and offers incredible opportunities for photography: flocks of King, Steller's and Common Eiders, along with Long-tailed Ducks, often swim just a few feet away and it is not unusual to have mixed flocks totalling a few hundred birds around the hide at any one time. It is possible to take general portrait, preening, wing-flapping, diving, displaying and flight shots - pretty much everything! The hide is comfortable for up to twelve photographers, and we will have exclusive use for our group over two consecutive mornings.

We will also be chartering a boat for our exclusive use in order to 'get in among' the eiders - something we have achieved for the last three years with great success. The boat trips also offer excellent opportunities to photograph Common, Black and Brunnich's Guillemots and with luck, White-billed Diver. From the shore we will also be able to photograph Purple Sandpipers. As the days turn to night we'll once again be looking skywards and hoping for clear skies to see nature's most prized gifts illuminating the night sky.

Day 6 Thursday 8 March 2018

After another session with the seaduck we plan to spend time photographing the incredible winter landscapes along the mountain road from Batsfjord to Tana Bru. We'll hopefully encounter a few herds of Reindeer and as always we will be on the look out for both Willow and snowy-white Rock Ptarmigans. On previous trips we have also been lucky enough to find Hawk Owls. We'll then head back to Lapland arriving at our accommodation at Kaamanen late in the afternoon.

Day 7 Friday 9 March 2018

We will spend the whole day photographing at the feeding station where we should once again be offered some terrific photographic opportunities. Pine Grosbeaks, Siberian Jays, Siberian Tits, and both Mealy and Arctic Redpolls will be the main focus and they will give us a great chance to perhaps improve on our images from the previous visit earlier in the week. As always we'll be paying particular attention to composition, background and lighting angles to try and help you master that perfect shot! Naturally we'll once again be looking skywards in the evening for the Aurora.

Day 8 Saturday 10 March 2018

Sadly, we must return to the airport at Ivalo for our morning flight to Helsinki from where we connect with our return flight to London, arriving in the late afternoon.

For those wishing to extend their holiday, we are happy to arrange individual extensions to photograph Golden Eagles at a baited feeding site, Black Grouse at the lek (in snow!), Siberian Jays and Dippers. There may also be opportunities with wintering owls - in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2014 participants on our extensions were able to achieve stunning photographs of Hawk, Great Grey and Snowy Owls. Please contact our office in the first instance if an extension interests you, as spaces are strictly limited.

 

Holiday Information 2018 Operating Dates

Sat 3rd March

-

Sat 10th March

 

COST

£2895

 

Single Supplement

£200

 

DEPOSIT

£500

Group Size - maximum 7 travellers

 


Need more Information?

No problem! We'd be delighted to discuss this holiday with you. Please call us on 01950 460939 or drop us an e mail.

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