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Finland – Spring Birds & Mammals Photo Tour 2023

€4,790 person sharing

Spaces Available  

17 Apr 2023 – 26 Apr 2023

Finland is a small Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. Bordered by Sweden, Norway and Russia, it is particularly famous for its thousands of lakes and islands, while over 80% of the country remains covered in forest. Our Finland Photo Tour is perfectly timed to photograph a full array of Finnish wildlife and birds! Black Grouse are actively lekking, huge Golden Eagles are in residence, while the Oulu and Kuusamo areas are ideal for photographing a spectacular variety of magnificent owls, including Great Grey, Northern Hawk-, Eurasian Pygmy, Boreal and Ural. In eastern Finland we will focus our lenses on Finland Brown Bears, just awakened from their winter sleep. Finally, in Lieksa, our primary photographic target will be the elusive and unique Wolverine. With specialized photographic hides, and mouth-watering targets, this is a photographic adventure not to be missed!

Why this Photo Tour is for You

Month of Travel

Our photo tour takes place in April when the forest animals all come alive as the season changes from winter to spring.

Hide Photography

Specialized hides will be implemented in order to maximize photographic opportunities of birds and mammals.

Number of Species

The Finnish forests boast impressive numbers of specials, such as the Black Grouse, Great Grey Owl amongst four other owls, Wolf, Brown Bear and Wolverine.

Small Group Departures

Travel to this region with like-minded individuals and share your photographic bucket list together.

Guided experience

Local knowledge of the region and its wildlife is key to crafting the ultimate photography tour experience. Combined with the photographic expertise of your ORYX Photo Tour Leader, and you are in for an adventure that will further fuel your excitement for photography and the destination.

To be announced

12 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
  • Destination
  • Departure
  • person sharing
  • Single Supplement
  • Photographic Highlights
    Black Grouse Lekking; Brown Bear; Wolf; Wolverine; Eagle Owl; Whooper Swans; Golden and White-Tailed Eagles and Winter Wonderland Landscapes

Day 1: Arrival at Oulu Airport and transfer to hotel

Today is set aside an arrival day for our Finland photography tour. Time permitting, we will begin our photo safari with an evening excursion to an area that sometimes holds a number of striking owl species and, if luck is on our side, the magnificent Elk.

Day 2: Oulu region

We will depart very early in the mornings during our time in the Oulu area in order to arrive at our strategically placed hides in the Finnish wilds. From here we will spend time capturing the awe-inspiring display of Black Grouse. Not only do these open areas make for easy viewing and photography, but the early morning’s first light blankets this stage and illuminates the large males as they call, leap, dance and even spar in full view of the hides. After our early morning photography session, we will return to our accommodations for some editing and some relaxation before visiting some nearby forest feeders in Liminka, before we head to the hide for an evening of Eagle Owl photography.

Days 3 to 5: Oulu region

Over the next 3 days on our Finland photography tour we will aim to spend time not only in the hides but also by exploring the surrounding areas and photograph some of the other local creatures that splash the Finnish countryside with colour and form. The final photography plan will be determined by the bird situation at each locale.

Day 6: Drive Oulu to Martinselkonen

After breakfast at the hotel, we will make our way into Brown Bear country! En-route to Martinselkonen, we will indulge in some passerine photography at a feeding station and upon arrival and settling into our rooms, we will then undergo a photo workshop on the basics of how to photograph from a Brown Bear hide. Several professional hides may be used in order to obtain the best possible pictures of these highly impressive animals.  

Day 7: Martinselkonen

As on our previous days on our Finland photography tour, we will make use of the area’s hides; however, in contrast to previous days, we will spend most of our time positioned in the hides during darkness as a result of the bear’s largely nocturnal/crepuscular habits. Fortunately, with the spring daytime exceeding sixteen hours, there will be plenty of opportunities to photograph and observe these bears in the golden light of early morning and late afternoon. Once again, bears will not be the only subjects of our attention during our stay in the area and we can expect to photograph several other smaller denizens of the surrounding forest.

Day 8: Martinselkonen to Suomussalmi

While the Suomussalmi area may be the last stop on our journey, as the saying goes – it’s certainly not the least. With a density of Wolverines matching that of just about any other area in the world, Suomussalmi will no doubt be one of the major highlights on our tour! Our hides here will provide us with the perfect vantage point from which to photograph these ferocious and charismatic little beasts as they come to feed on scraps of food. In Finland, the Wolf mostly inhabits the central and western parts of the country, with approximately 200 roaming the wilderness areas here. While most Wolves live in packs, dispersing young or nomadic adults can be found throughout the country. While the Brown Bear and the Wolverine are regular visitors to the hides, Wolves tend to visit much more rarely as they tend to avoid conflicts with other carnivores and also because they have much larger territories. Wolves are most active during dusk and at night, which means we may spend a few hours in the evening waiting in the hide to see if they will visit us. Imagine the spine-tingling howl in the middle of the night coupled with a visual of the canine visitor all from the vantage point of our forest hide!

Day 9: Suomussalmi

After a night in a hide, we will head back to accommodation for breakfast, some editing and to catch up on some sleep. In the late afternoon, we will go back to the hide for our last photography session.   Sometimes the feeding site can attract more than one species, and we would be most fortunate to capture the unforgettable moments of an interspecies interaction involving Brown Bear / Wolverine / Wolf!

Day 10: Oulu and depart

After a final morning of photography, we will drive back to Oulu where we say our final goodbyes and our Finland photography tour comes to an end.
FinlandDavid Farmer, United Kingdom

This Finland photot tour was outstanding in every way. The photographic experience was superb, with magnificent opportunities for capturing images of whooper swans, grey geese and numerous other birds to the extraordinary sights and sounds of black grouse lekking, to eagles, to a magnificent great grey owl, to a close up experience with a bear and an even closer experience with a wolverine, along with many other creatures. The success of our trip was ensured by Jari Peltomaki, whose deep knowledge of, and commitment to conservation of the natural environment deepened our appreciation of what we saw. As you know, Jari has a well earned international reputation in wildlife photography and was very willing to pass on his experience and techniques. His swift reaction to our practical needs and his unfailing good humour made every day a warm and pleasurable experience. Altogether this was a memorable event in our lives.

FinlandGregory Cowle, Australia

The Finland photo tour with Jari was great. We spent a lot of time in hides, but saw all the targets and more. My favorite night was spent alone in a bear hide on a frozen lake, first a visit by a bear in the late sunshine, then a pair of white-tailed eagles and a pair of golden eagles came through, amongst other birds looking for scraps from the bear. After sundown another bear came by, and as midnight approached a wolverine ran around the area. Next morning we had a brilliant fiery dawn before being collected from the hide!

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