FINLAND & ARCTIC NORWAY

Pat and Brian Wetton went to Finland and Arctic Norway with Birdfinders from 26th May to 7th June 2006. The leaders were Toni Ussimaki and Peter Lansdown. In the 13 days we saw 186 species.

Itinerary and Sites:

We flew from Stansted on May 26th via Helsinki to Oulu(OU) where we spent three nights and birded the Oulu region including our hotel grounds at Kempele(KE), wet pastures at Teppolan(TE), forests at Lumijoki(LU), Silkajoki(SI), Liminka(LI) and round Oulu itself, marshes near Kempele, coastal habitats at Oulu and Liminka, the cemetery at Oulujoki(OJ) and Lake Nurmesjarvi(NU) at Karsamaki. The northern owls were the main target species here.

On May 29th we travelled to Kuusamo(KU) and spent another three nights. We birded the Kuusamo landfill site and forests around Kuusamo, Valtavarra(VA), Ruka(RK), Virkkula(VI) and Vuotunki(VU). We also climbed Iivaara Hill(IV) and birded the Oulanka National Park(OL) and lakes at Jayla(JA), Matolampi(MA) and Toranki(TO). The emphasis was on forest birds.

We travelled north visiting forests, bogs and hills near Sodankyla(SO), Peurasuvanto(PE), Purnumukka(PU) and Inari Kaunispaa(IK) to Ivalo(IL) where we spent one night.

Next day we set off to more bogs and forests at Koppelo(KO), Kaamasjoki(KA) and Saytsjarvi(SA) to the Norwegian border at Utsjoki(UT) and thence via the cliffs at Birkestrand(BK) and the upland tundra at Kongssfjordfjellet(KF) to Varanger Fjord(VF) and our base at Vardo(VO) where we spent the next three nights. We birded the Varanger north shore from Nesseby(NE) via Mortensnes(MO), Ekkeroy(EK), Vadso(VD), Komagvaer(KV), Svartnes(SV), Kranvik(KR) and Persfjorden(PE) to Hamningberg(HA) and one day went out to Hornoya Island(HO) to see the seabird cliffs. Arctic birds and shorebirds were the target species around Varanger.

We returned to Ivalo via the high moors at Nuorgam(NG) and Karigasniemi Ailigas(KG). After one more night at Ivalo we continued south via Inari(IN), Sodankyla, Alakyla(AK) and Merijarvi(ME) to Oulu for our final night before flying back to Stansted.

Birds recorded (see above for site codes):

Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Red-throated Diver 3 5 VF
Black-throated Diver 6 2 OU,JA,VF
White-billed Diver 1 2 PE
Great Crested Grebe 2 5 TO,OU
Red-necked Grebe 2 3 NU,TO
Northern Gannet 1 1 HA
Great Cormorant 5 10+ OU,VF
European Shag 3 50 HO,VF
Great Bittern 1 H TO
Whooper Swan 10 120 various
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Bean Goose 2 2 VF
Greylag Goose 5 9 OU,VF
Barnacle Goose 2 4 VF
Common Shelduck 2 1 VF
European Wigeon 6 6 NU,KU,TO,VF,OU
Mallard 11 50+ various
Gadwall 2 6 OU
Northern Pintail 5 30 OU,SO,VF
Northern Shoveler 7 12 various
Common Teal 8 8 various
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Garganey 3 8 OU,KU
Tufted Duck 12 50 various
King Eider 1 30 SV
Steller's Eider 4 100+ VF
Common Eider 4 300+ VF
Long-tailed Duck 4 50+ VF,KF
Velvet Scoter 4 16 KU,MA,TO,VF
Common Scoter 1 2 VF
Smew 2 1 MA,VF
Red-br. Merganser 8 50 various
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Goosander 10 200+ various
Hen Harrier 3 2 OU
Marsh Harrier 4 10 OU
Eur. Sparrowhawk 1 1 OU
Northern Goshawk 1 2 VU
Eur. Honey-Buzzard 1 1 KE
Rough-leg. Buzzard 9 15 various
White-tailed Eagle 5 10 VF,OU
Gt. Spotted Eagle 1 1 NU
Golden Eagle 1 1 VU
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Osprey 3 1 PE,OU
Common Kestrel 5 4 various
Merlin 2 2 VF,NG
Willow Grouse 2 2 KU,KF
Eur. Capercaillie 2 2 VI
Nthn. Black Grouse 1 4 VI
Hazel Grouse 2 2 VI
Grey Partridge 1 2 OU
Common Pheasant 4 1 OU
Corncrake 1 H LI
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Common Coot 1 2 OU
Common Crane 5 15 OU
Eur. Oystercatcher 7 100+ various
Com. Ringed Plover 7 50 various
L. Ringed Plover 2 2 LI,OU
Eurasian Dotterel 1 6 KG
Eur. Golden Plover 8 20+ various
Grey Plover 1 1 NE
Northern Lapwing 8 40 various
Ruddy Turnstone 2 9 HA,VD
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Red Knot 1 300 VD
Dunlin 4 100+ VF
Br-billed Sandpiper 1 1 SO
Purple Sandpiper 4 100+ VF,HO
Temminck's Stint 6 8 various
Ruff 7 50 various
Eurasian Curlew 11 200 various
Whimbrel 4 4 KU,IN,VF
Black-tailed Godwit 2 4 OU
Bar-tailed Godwit 3 12 VF
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Common Redshank 7 15 various
Spotted Redshank 1 2 IN
Com. Greenshank 3 2 OU,KU,TO
Wood Sandpiper 7 2 various
Common Sandpiper 7 2 various
Green Sandpiper 2 2 OU,NU
Terek Sandpiper 1 1 OU
Eurasian Woodcock 3 4 OU,KU
Common Snipe 9 3 various
Red-nck Phalarope 5 200+ VF
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Arctic Skua 4 20+ KF,VF
Long-tailed Skua 3 7 KF,VF,NG
Little Gull 7 250 various
Black-headed Gull 10 1000 various
Common Gull 10 100+ various
Black-lg. Kittiwake 4 1000+ VF,HO
Herring Gull 8 1000 various
Glaucous Gull 1 1 VO
Gr. Black-bck. Gull 5 100+ various
Siberian Gull 1 2 KU
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
L. Black-back. Gull 4 20 OU,KU
Common Tern 7 15 various
Arctic Tern 11 250+ various
Little Tern 2 2 OU
Caspian Tern 1 12 OU
Common Guillemot 3 500+ VF,HO
Brunnich Guillemot 1 20+ HO
Razorbill 1 250+ HO
Black Guillemot 4 20 VF, HO
Atlantic Puffin 2 100+ VF,HO
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Wood Pigeon 8 10 various
Stock Dove 1 1 OU
Feral Pigeon 3 10+ VF
Eur. Collared Dove 1 3 OU
Common Cuckoo 8 4 various
Short-eared Owl 7 4 various
Eurasian Eagle-Owl 1 1 OU
Northern Hawk-Owl 1 1 LU
Ural Owl 2 3 SI,LI
Great Grey Owl 2 3 SI
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Eur. Pygmy Owl 1 1+ OU
Tengmalm's Owl 1 1 SI
Common Swift 8 40 various
Eurasian Wryneck 2 2 OU,LI
Black Woodpecker 2 2 OJ,OU
Gr. Sp.Woodpecker 6 3 various
Eu. Th-toed W'pecker 1 1 OU
Skylark 4 10 OU
Shorelark 1 2 VF
Sand Martin 7 50 various
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Eurasian Swallow 11 30 various
House Martin 9 100 various
Rock Pipit 2 1 VF,HO
Tree Pipit 2 2 KU,IV
Meadow Pipit 8 10+ various
Red-throated Pipit 2 3+ VF
White Wagtail 13 10 various
Yellow Wagtail 6 10 various
Bohemian Waxwing 4 25 OU,KU,PU
Black-bellied Dipper 1 1 OL
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
European Robin 2 H OU,KU
Red-flanked Bluetail 1 1 IV
Thrush Nightingale 1 3H ME
Bluethroat 4 4 NG,VF
Common Redstart 3 3 KU
Whinchat 3 3 OU,KU
Northern Wheatear 6 10+ various
Fieldfare 10 40 various
Redwing 12 6+ various
Song Thrush 3 6 KU,PE
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Mistle Thrush 2 1 OU,KU
Sedge Warbler 5 6 OU
Blyth's Reed Warbler 1 1 ME
Garden Warbler 3 2 OU
Lesser Whitethroat 2 H OU
Common Whitethroat 1 1 OU
Wood Warbler 1 H NU
Willow Warbler 13 100 various
Common Chiffchaff 1 H PE
Pied Flycatcher 9 20 various
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Spotted Flycatcher 3 5+ OU
Siberian Tit 1 1 KU
Willow Tit 4 2 KU,VA
Crested Tit 1 1 AK
Eurasian Blue Tit 2 2 KU,AK
Great Tit 10 10 various
Coal Tit 1 2 OJ
Red-backed Shrike 1 2 LI
Great Grey Shrike 1 1 VF
Common Starling 1 1 OU
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Siberian Jay 1 5 VA,IV
Eurasian Magpie 13 30 various
Eurasian Jackdaw 5 100+ various
Common Raven 6 20 various
Hooded Crow 13 25 various
Rook 2 10+ OU
House Sparrow 9 10 various
Chaffinch 9 30+ various
Brambling 9 10 various
Eurasian Siskin 7 20 various
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Eurasian Greenfinch 10 20 various
Eurasian Bullfinch 5 2 KU,SO
Mealy Redpoll 11 10+ various
Arctic Redpoll 1 4 MO
Twite 1 2 HO
Common Rosefinch 6 4 various
Pine Grosbeak 2 1 IV,IN
Red Crossbill 4 3 OU,KU,PU
Parrot Crossbill 1 2 PU
Yellowhammer 5 6 OU
Species Days/13 Maximum Sites Recorded
Ortolan Bunting 1 1 OU
Little Bunting 2 1 VU,IN
Reed Bunting 6 5 various
Lapland Bunting 4 3 VF
Snow Bunting 2 3 VF

Mammals Recorded:

Arctic Hare, Brown Hare, Grey Seal, Moose, Otter, Red Squirrel and Reindeer

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