Sunday, August 15, 2010

Inside the Circle Day 8 -Homeward Bound

It was with some sadness that I left the Varanger Pennisula and Norway behind as I could have quite happily spent another month there. I decided to take a different route back down in to Finland and followed the course of the mighty River Tana for a while before heading southward. My destination was the accommodation with the feeding station near Kaamanen where I was booked over night before the flight back to the UK the following day. The journey southward was fairly uneventful as the hours passed along with a millions of trees and and hundreds of lakes. I eventually stopped about an hour from the accommodation at a place I had been told might hold a few waders. A beautiful spot with a crystal clear stream where people were periodically stop to fill water containers. I managed to find another Wood Sandpiper which provided some fun but just got too close on occasions although another special moment being in such close proximity to this delicate wader.



By strange coincidence a Wood Sandpiper has appeared on a local pond during it migration south this weekend.

I carried on my journey and arrived at the accommodation. After a quick check-in I was straight around the back with the camera to the feeding station.
A rather scruffy looking Siberian Tit was occasionally appearing and it was good to have one in front of the camera. No doubt its tatty feathers a result of constant trips in and out of its nest hole.

The birds I really wanted to photograph some more were the Pine Grosbeaks. The first of these huge finches, a female, came in with the now characteristic thud on the branch.

At one point five females arrived all at once a wonderful sight.

However, it was the raspberry red male bird I really wanted to see but still no sign of one. After a short lull in activity another thud was heard to announce the arrival of a male.

and then a second one arrived.

What great looking birds they are and a memorable way to end the session at the feeders.

After some food and packing for the two flights home the following day the evening sun broke through and I could not resist going out with the camera for one last time. After a short drive I pulled in at the edge of a large lake and found a pair of Velvet Scoter. This was to be my last photo of the trip of the drake exploding out of the water and taken at 11:30pm!

I think it was at that point that I decided this would not be last trip to Finland and Norway and I am looking forward to some future trips. I guess its now time to roll some credits and give some thanks.
  • To Austin Thomas for his company on the trip.
  • To Jens for his hospitality at the Pikkuskitsi Guest House in Noway
  • To the very accommodating people at the Neljan Tuulen Tupa Motel in Finland
  • To Graham Catley, John Dempsey and Hugh Harrop for kindly providing some background info before the trip.
and finally to the Arctic birds for allowing me to share brief, intimate and wonderful moments with them.


Austin Thomas said...

Hi Rich,

Thanks for posting a great account of our travels in Finland and Norway. The smell of Ruff bay and the sound of a Willow Warbler singing outside of my bedroom window at 3am will stay with me for a long time !

I am looking forward to more trips with you in the future as personally I learned a lot, especially in the area of field craft.

Thanks for your company and for the organisation that you put into our adventure.



Rocket Man said...

Once again, stunning images!

Dan said...


Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful images.

Phil said...

Just stunning Richard

Mary Howell Cromer said...

What to say, your entries from your journey have been splendid and this one is right at the top as well. They are an incredible set of images of such varied species and I applaud you on a job well done~

Chris said...

What a splendid message Richard, the last shots from the tit to the grosbeak are perfect and fantastic! Well done!

Paul Foster said...

Well Richard,I congratulate you on an absolutely stunning account of your trip to Norway.It must have been hardwork doing all that driving and early starts,but your photographic skills are awe inspiring.I`ve only been at it myself about a year and a half now, but if I can get images half as good as yours,I`ll be more than happy.Thanks again for sharing!!!!!

Glen Webber (NZ Wildlife Photography) said...

Great photos and post Richard. The Pine Grosbeaks really are beautiful looking birds.

Rich Steel said...

Many thanks for your kind words. If any of you are ever thinking of a trip to Varanger then please drop me a line and I will try and help you out.



Friend of HK said...

The images are amazing! Thanks for sharing!


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