Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Update: Finland and Norway Winter Pho-tour 2010 - only ONE space remaining!

All the arrangements for the annual winter pho-tour to Finland and Arctic Norway are now in place and the trip will run from Saturday 13 - Saturday 20 March 2010. We have just ONE space left as of today, so if you are interested in joining this unique trip, please e mail Shetland Wildlife and include a daytime contact telephone number and postal address so we can contact you.

Once the last space is sold on the 13 - 20 March departure, it is likely that we will also run an additional week from 20 - 27 March 2010. Here is a brief resume of our 2009 trip and if you scroll down the page, you'll see how good the photo opportunities are!

"Our now legendary photography trip to Lapland and Arctic Norway proved to be another huge success. Our guest house feeding station in Lapland provided us with outstanding opportunities once again with the normally secretive Pine Grosbeak - at least a dozen birds were coming to the station along with Siberian Jays, Siberian Tits, Willow Tits, Common and Arctic Redpolls. Continuing into northern Norway and basing ourselves in the Varanger region we concentrated primarily on seabirds and sea duck, with an emphasis on capturing the two 'rarer' Eiders. In fact, we found something even rarer in the shape of an adult Kumlien's Gull - only the 16th-ever record for Norway! Excellent weather allowed us to take full advantage of the sea conditions and we managed no less than four boat trips to get in amongst the birds. Opportunities from land were also outstanding and the group pretty much all secured stunning shots of King, Steller's and Common Eiders, Long-tailed Ducks, Black, Common and Brunnich's Guillemots, Shags, Cormorant, Kittiwakes, Purple Sandpipers and both Iceland and Glaucous Gull. As in previous years, lady-luck was certainly on our side and during our quest to find a flock of several thousand King Eiders, we encountered a stunning pod of 6 - 8 Killer Whales! One of the animals was a calf estimated to be just a few feet in length and thus probably only around a month old! Four of the group took our extension to photograph Golden Eagles in Kuusamo region but despite two long days in the hides, the birds just didn't cooperate as well as we'd have wished. This was probably due to roaming birds being present in the territory of the 'usual' pair - that's wildlife photography for you! On the flip-side we had truly awesome opportunities to photograph a hunting Great Grey Owl near Tornio. To witness this giant owl of the North was a real treat and a memory that we will all savour for a very long time!"