See our photo highlights from our
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
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.
2018 Operating Dates
Sat 3rd March
Sat 10th March
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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