Seven intrepid birders set off to meet in Oulu on 12th May for a five day birding trip. Mostly from Bucks (Buckinghamshire Bird Club), but also two from Yorkshire. We were met at the airport by Finnature's Harri Taavetti who was to be our guide for the next five days. Harri turned out to be an excellent guide, knowing the sites, the birds and their calls/songs. Finnature are also to be congratulated on their helpfulness and organisation. We had excellent food and accommodation throughout the trip.
Despite rain, snow and
freezing temperatures, we had a great trip and saw 146 species. The key birds were
the Owls and we were not disappointed. I addition we saw most of our Finnish target
birds, the most obvious dip was Siberian Jay, which is very difficult during the breeding
season. We were also a little early for some of the summer visitors but did get
excellent views of Bluethroat and Rustic Bunting.
The following pictures tell the rest of the story.
May in Finland - Spring had not quite arrived!
Great Grey Owl
Seen near Oulu, this was one of the most memorable sightings of the trip.
Sideways on the owl looked even bigger
Seen mid-morning, near Oulu, after heavy overnight rain. It was thought that this had forced the bird to hunt in the day. It had just brought prey back to the nest (note blood on bill).
It was not bothered by our presence!
Encountered at two separate
sites. Above bird was seen near Oulu.
The lower bird, near Kuusamo, was seen hovering.
This individual, seen near Oulu, was only interested in our presence for a short time.
Females were seen fairly
frequently by the side of woodland tracks.
Males were more elusive but we did see three.
The bird above was one of many seen during the trip. The lek below contained 11 birds.
All photos copyright 2006
Photos taken by Jim Rose, Mike Collard, Alan Miller and Ben Miller