Tour to Finland/Finnmark

Due to its long list of sought-after specialities living there, Finland has become a must-go for all birdwatchers.
During 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, mild tundra hills and a dramatical coastline offering wonderful sea bird points.
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 see & tundra birds!

Barcelona Birding Point offers a tour every year to the country starting in very late May or early June, depending on the year.

General Information of the tour:

  • Length: 10 days, 9 nights
  • Starting city: Oulu. Ending city: Ivalo
  • 2020 dates: 5th to 14th June
  • Price per person: 2520€*
  • Deposit: 450€
  • Single room surcharge: 450€
  • Bookings: please mail us to info@barcelonabirdingpoint.com

Read the trip report of our last tour to Finland/Finnmark

*price in twin room. Flights to/from Finland not included. Price per person includes all ground services along the tour, fees to natural places, guiding, local guides (if necessary), transportation along the tour, accommodation in twin rooms, boat trip for sea birds, all meals along the tour and internal flight Salalah/Musqat.

Daily Planning of the tour or see it on our website

Day 1. 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 and Spotted Redshanks 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. 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.

Eurasian Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium passerinum) is one of the top target species in this tour. Image by Carles Oliver

Days 3 & 4. Kuusamo
Two full days in Kuusamo to explore boreal forests looking for Red-flanked Bluetail, Hazel Grouse, Pygmy Owl, Western Capercaillie, Rustic Bunting, Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker, Scandinavian Willow Tit, Arctic & Greenish Warblers, Bohemian Waxwing or Pine Grosbeak among other goodies.
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, Taiga Bean Goose or Baltic 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, Arctic Redpoll, Red-spotted Bluethroat, Jack Snipe and Broad-billed Sandpiper.
Afternoon transfer to Varanger, in Norway, and check-in at our hotel.

Hornoya is home to 50000+ pairs of Guillemots but also Atlantic Puffins, Black Guillemots and Brünnich’s Guillemots. Image by Carles Oliver

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, Rock 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.

Siberian Tit (Poecile cinctus) is a really sought-after bird having good densities in some areas in Northern Finland. Image by Carles Oliver

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).

Please note that this tour is run by Barcelona Birding Point, a full-licensed tour company based in Barcelona, offering tour since 2010 Read more about us

Additional information of this tour

WHAT’S INCLUDED
9 nights of accommodation in twin/double room, breakfasts, lunches and evening meals, birding guides, ground transport, boat tickets, reserve entrances/fees and travel insurace.
NOT INCLUDED
Flight tickets to Oulu / from Ivalo. Alcoholic and soft drinks are not included, any other item not listed as “INCLUDED”
ASSEMBLING
Tour participants will assemble in International Helsinki Airport for early afternoon flight to Oulu or in Oulu Airport itself. For American & Canadian clients we also offer the option to include flight tickets from Barcelona to Helsinki.
ACCOMMODATION
We will be sleeping in hotels and B&B along the itinerary. Hotel in Kuusamo (2 nights) being Original Sokos Hotel or similar. Hotel in Ivalo (overnight) is Ivalo Hotel or similar. Hotel in Batsfjord (overnight) is Batsfjord Brygge or similar. Rooms are always in-suite, comfortable and clean. Last overnight in B&B near Inari. Evening meals always in the accommodation.
WEATHER
Despite being June, temperarutes can be low. You can expect between 10ºC and 20ºC most of the days. Still, temperatures can also be below 5ºC. Weather is variable most of days and it is not uncommon to experience all four seasons in a single day. Anti-mosquitoe lotion is also important in some of the habitats, especially around Kuusamo & Ivalo.

For further information and bookings please mail to info@barcelonabirdingpoint.com

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