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Tours per country Finland & Finnmark

Finland & Finnmark

Finland is a country that has become a must-go place for all birdwatchers because of the long list of "mythical" species that are possible to find.

Along this tour we will explore Northern Finland and the Norwegian peninsula of Varanger (Finnmark), one of the Northernmost places in continental Europe. We will enjoy different boreal and subarctical habitats; untouched coniferous forests, bogs and marshy areas, intermareal flatlands, tundra plains and a dramatical coastline providing wonderful seawatching.

We will do an special effort to have most of the owls living in the region (6 species were appearing in our 2018 issue). In Varanger, we will look for scarce seabirds & tundra goodies! 

Day 1. Oulu

Afternoon arrival to Oulu, where all tour participants will assemble if not did it in Helsinki Airport (not many flights per day linking both cities).

Check in at our accommodation and some birding before going to bed. This first day we will have time to enjoy the wonderful "evening" light of the area while having first looks to summer plumaged Ruffs but also Reed Buntings, Sedge Warblers, Common Snipes, Little Gulls, Common Cranes, Whooper Swans. If being lucky we will enjoy one of the few Pallid Harriers nesting in Finland (10 pairs in 2018).

Here we will have also views on some common birds such as Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Starlings & Rook, absent from the rest of the itinerary!

Day 2. Oulu - Kuusamo

Early morning start. This day we will do some owling around Oulu, where we will have first chances for a number of species. Species are variable depending on the year but main targets here are Ural, Eurasian Pygmy & Great Grey Owl. Northern Hawk Owl is also possible. Still, we must advice that owl populations are highly variable depending on the year. We will so our best to have all species, although this is really difficult!

We will also visit a number of places offering good chances for Common Rosefinch, Velvet Scoter, Black-tailed Godwit and the extremelly scarce Terek's Sandpiper!

Afternoon transfer to Kuusamo and check-in in our hotel.

Days 3 & 4. Kuusamo

Two full days in Kuusamo to explore boreal forests looking for Red-flanked Bluetail, Hazel Grouse, Pygmy Owl, Capercaillie, Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker, Scandinavian Willow Tit, Arctic & Greenish Warblers, Bohemian Waxwing or Pine Grosbeak among other jewels.

During these days we will walk one or two trails to have better options for Red-flanked Bluetail and, if really lucky, Two-barred Crossbill.

Open areas would provide with Little Bunting, Rustic Bunting while the several lakes here can host Black-throated Diver, Smews, Velvet Scoters, Whooper Swans or Heuglhin's Gull.

Days 5 & 6. Kuusamo - Ivalo - Varanger (Norway)

After leaving Kuusamo during the morning we will head to Ivalo where we will have an overnight. 

During the morning day 6 we will explore boreal forests having good densities of Siberian Jay and Capercaillie. This area will also give us further options for Northern Hawk Owl while Siberian Tit, Bohemian Waxwing and Arctic Warbler are also possible around. 

Some exploring in different bogs will allow us chances for Northern Grey Shrike, Jack Snipe and Broad-billed Sandpiper.

Afternoon transfer to Varanger, in Norway, and check-in at our hotel.

Days 7, 8 & 9. Varanger (Finnmark, Norway)

During these three days we will explore Varanger. One of the mornings we will enjoy the amazing see bird colony at Hornoya, where tens of thousands of auks and see birds nest, including the scarce Brünnich's Guillemot. This is also an excellent place to see Gir Falcon!

The wonderful tundra areas here hosts good population of Lapland & Snow Buntings, Long-tailed & Arctic Skuas, Temminck's Stints, Red-throated Pipits, Horned Larks, Rock Ptarmigan, Willow Grouse, Dotterel while herds of Reindeers can be seen all around.

Low bushered areas host Arctic Redpoll and Bluethroats and, in the coastal areas we will enjoy with Red-throated Divers, Red-necked Phalaropes, Long-tailed Duck, Arctic Skuas, Black Guillemots, Water Pipits, Goosanders and Fulmars (blue form). White-tailed Eagles are a common view as it is Long-legged Buzzards.

But some of the main targets here will be Gyr Falcon along with the scarce King & Steller's Eiders and White-billed Divers. Chances for summer staying Glaucous or Iceland Gulls are also to take in count!

Afternoon day 9 transfer to Ivalo.

Day 10. Ivalo 

Very last morning of the trip. We will spend the last hours birdwatching in a pair of selected locations around Ivalo providing good chances for Broad-billed Sandpiper, Jack Snipe, Little Bunting and Rustic Bunting before our morning flight from Ivalo to Helsinki (normally fights are about 10:00).

tour info

per person


Next issue
 June 6th to 15,

Tour Lenght
 10 days, 9 nights 

Group size
 7 clients + 1 tour leader

Oulu / Ivalo (Finland)

Tour leader
Carles Oliver

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Group fares
(+3 bookings)

*price per person in twin/double room