Finland £1595++ May
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Great Grey Owl

There are some places which you must visit and Scandinavia in late spring/ early summer is one such place. In late May Gone Birding run a 6 day tour to central and Eastern Finland looking for all the speciality species to be found in this country of a 1000 lakes. With particular interest in the owls, where Great Grey Owl, Tengmalm's Owl, Hawk Owl and Eagle Owl will be priorities. We will also search for Siberian Tit and Siberian Jay.

++ Bed & breakfast only, lunch and main meal extra, please budget c£30-£40 per day.

Below the basic itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in Oulu airport. Drive to Liminka. Birding on our own today. Accommodation at Liminganlahti Visitor Centre in Liminka. Possibly have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Visitor Centre or go into town. Oulu area is best known for its breeding owls, which include Eagle Owl, Ural Owl, Great Grey Owl, Tengmalm's Owl, Short-eared Owl and Pygmy Owl, in most years also Hawk Owl and Long-eared Owl. The number of owls depends highly on the availability of voles and mice, the food of the owls, but in most years most of the species mentioned above can be seen (sometimes even all). We will spend most of today & tomorrow in the forests of Oulu. We have a good chance of seeing these special birds at close range. Other possible forest species here are Black Grouse, Capercaillie, Wryneck, Lesser Spotted, Black and Three-toed Woodpecker.

Day 2
Meet our guide at Liminganlahti Visitor Centre in Liminka. Birdwatching in the Oulu region. Early start around 08:00 for owls. We will also visit Finland's most important wetland, Liminka Bay, which is a good place especially for waterfowl and waders such as Curlew, Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Ruff, Little Ringed Plover, Caspian Tern, Black-tailed Godwit, Shoveler and Garganey. Bittern can be heard booming, and a few pairs of Red-backed Shrike breed. Numerous migratory birds come to rest and hundreds of young Cranes and Whooper Swans summer here. Here several observation towers provide ideal vantage points, with good chance of White-tailed Eagle, Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier or even Pallid Harrier, which is a rare breeding species in Finland. In the Oulu area we have good chance to see Red-throated Diver, Slavonian Grebe, Honey Buzzard, Kestrel, Corncrake, Caspian Tern, Crested Tit, Common Rosefinch, Ortolan Bunting and Icterine Warbler. Dinner and overnight at Liminganlahti Visitor Centre in Liminka

Day 3
Birding in the Oulu area then depart for Kuusamo. Today we drive eastwards through the beautiful northern landscape blanketed with forests and boglands, lakes and rivers, to Kuusamo, a small city by the Russian border. Birding en route; in open boglands we have fair chances to see (Taiga) Bean Goose, Cranes, Golden Eagle, Hobby, Merlin, Peregrine, Grey-headed Yellow Wagtail and Northern Grey Shrike. We can also visit some of the old taiga forest on the way, where we search for species like Two-barred Crossbill and Pine Grosbeak. Evening birding in the Kuusamo area. We will look for Red-necked Grebe, Black-throated Diver, Goosander and Little Gulls which nest on the lakes. From the boggy areas we will search for Broad-billed Sandpiper, Jack Snipe and Red-necked Phalarope, which are scarce species in bogs of Kuusamo.

Accommodation in Oivangin Lomakartano, Kuusamo.

Day 4
Birdwatching in Kuusamo region. Early morning visits to old expansive taiga forest where we can expect to encounter a feast of eastern specialities: Red-flanked Bluetail, Greenish Warbler, Two-barred Crossbill, Common Crossbill, Parrot Crossbill, Pine Grosbeak, Siberian Jay, Siberian Tit and Waxwing. Also Black Grouse, Willow Grouse, Hazelhen, Capercaillie, Three-toed Woodpecker and Black Woodpecker live in these forests. Bluethroat, Rustic Bunting and Little Buntings nest in the Kuusamo area in the boggy forests, often close to lakes and rivers. Dipper can be also seen here on some of the rivers. Golden Eagle and White-tailed Eagle are rare breeding species in Kuusamo, but Osprey is more common. In good vole years Rough-legged Buzzard and Hawk Owl can be seen in Kuusamo area. Dinner and accommodation at Oivangin Lomakartano in Oivanki, Kuusamo.

Day 5
Drive back to Oulu. Birding in Kuusamo area in the morning and on the way back, in the Oulu area looking for species we still might be missing. Accommodation in Liminka. Arrival late back to Oulu area to search for possible species missed earlier.

Day 6
After breakfast birding on our own then drive to Oulu airport to catch our homeward flight.

This includes:

Accommodation in Liminka, 2 nights, BB + linens and towels. Accommodation Kuusamo, 2 nights, BB + linens and towels. Accommodation in Liminka, 1 night, BB + linens and towels.


Cost: £1595++.

£230 deposit required at time of booking.

Duration: 6 days.

Group Size: Min: 6 Max: 12.

No. of Prev. Tours Here: 1.

Average Trip List: 134.

Included/ Not Included: Included-all ground transport, bed & breakfast accommodation, guiding, entrance fees & tips.

Not Included-flights, b+b only so lunches and main meals NOT INCLUDED, Insurance, transport to pickup point, drinks of a personal nature, laundry.

Depart From: Dinnington-pick up from 1-2 locations near Sheffield to London airport.

Accommodation: In a variety of well appointed and varied local lodges & hotels. Single travellers can share a twin or single room supplement at £200.

Ground Transport: Modern minibus and a saloon car. Room might be a little tight, so suggest travelling as light as possible.

Leader: Andy Hirst and local guide.

Target: The majority of the time will be spent in woodlands searching out the speciality species such as a variety of owls.

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Special Notice: Being a long way north it will be light for 20+ hours of the day. Being a short tour we will make the most of our time here so there will be several very early starts-c0330.