Whos keeping an eye on me....

Friday, 24 May 2013

Finland \ Norway 2013 Pt 3: Lapland - A cafe, deep snow and a Bluethroat

Neljan Tuulen Tupa - Pine Grosbeak Heaven so good I visited Twice.

A hostel, Café, Bird Paradise.

It has a reputation with Lapland bird travellers for getting close to Pine Grosbeak. It is true, but add Common Redpoll, Arctic Redpoll, Brambling, Waxwing, Siberian Jay and Red Squirrel. Other well seasoned travellers have used the café window feeders to get close views and to thaw out. No need for me as we arrived in warm un-seasonal weather.

Just before we arrived we stopped at a lake a few kilometres south to get stunning views of a male Smew.

please click on the images to enlarge them

meanwhile just down the road at Tuulen Tupa we didn't take long to locate the main target species.... male - Pine Grosbeak.
and the female
and some more ...... just because!
Not much snow about but enough to tempt them down to eat it
taking cover
ah sunshine

a return to the mound of snow

this time the female finds time for a preen

On the second visit there were good numbers of Brambling in superb summer plumage, too many and too active to count the numbers here. The males were very skittish and the females in small numbers.


Certainly one of the target birds of this trip was the Siberian Jay but one that I hadn't thought would cause us any sighting problems on this trip.
Well after day 6 it had risen to the top of the "wanted" list. Plenty of locations where these fellas should have been but weren't were visited, with a few locations revisited to try and connect with it. Plenty of other locations were they could have been were visited alas we still didn't connect..... until now. I had given myself an hours time-out here before having to set off on the road south again. With 15 minutes of this dedicated stop left, silently if not a little clumsily it appeared right in front of me. I was startled for a second then took it in for a moment and then remembered I had a camera so managed a few shots before it was gone, so with that in mind I am happy with these record portraits.
Maybe, just maybe the possible huge disappointment turned out to be the highlight of the trip......
what a stunner! 
certainly one of my highlights of this trip not only for the run-around it gave but also as it really is a lovely looking species.
I`m here ...... Siberian Jay
what you looking at?
simply gorgeous!

Redpolls galore
Hornemanns Arctic Redpoll (Carduelis hornemanni hornemanni)

Mealy Common Redpoll (Carduelis flammea)

This is Tuulen Tupa

A brilliant place and well deserving of a post to itself.
All was not quite done in this area though as just a few miles up the road we pulled into a layby when we discovered this Bluethroat skulking around a stream, it didn't play ball for 5 minutes as it snook in and out of bushes on the rocky margins only a few feet away but then sat out just long enough to get a single shot, a chance find and a brilliant addition to my life list and the trip list.
Throw in a wee bit of snow that ensured I could not get to the summit of Mt Kilopaan for Ptarmigan and Dotterel.... believe me I did try, probably too hard
it started off ok - honestly! the board walk looked navigable
however once the boardwalk ran out the snow got deeper....
and only once it reached my waist did I know I was beaten, I am sure Jeff has some images of me waist deep that may or may not find it onto these pages *** update***
not a problem from here .....
Yours truly heading for a dry patch
and then knee deep in the white stuff (with a polite two fingered salute)
Plenty of water from Jeff's Wellies after the aborted walk
only 5 minutes later did someone Ski down to the bottom of the mountain and wonder what idiots had made the prints in the snow..... he shook his head in disbelief and probably had a laugh at our expense over his diner.
Part 4 we cover Varangafjord in North Eastern Norway


Kusum said...

Lovely pictures of those little birds and what a journey!

Karen said...

What an awesome series of shots! Terrific birding opportunities on that trip! The bluethroat is gorgeous!

TexWisGirl said...

wow! just an awesome set of birds! from the smew all the way to the blue-throat!

Nora said...

lovely series of shots, my favorites are the Grosbeaks.
Really like your blog also.

Carletta said...

Awesome captures!
I enjoyed seeing the huge variety of birds from your part of the world.
Nice set of work!

Nette Cecilia said...

Lovley your birdphotos ,i have not been to the northern part of my country .I live in the middle on the sunnuy coast to day we have +27 so its hot .Nette

Pieni Lintu said...

Lovely photos!!! It's been several years since I visited Lapland. :)

Dave said...

Thanks everyone.

Nette you have more Sunshine than we do here in the UK.... its been raining non stop for 3 days now :(

maryrose said...

What an amazing assortment of joy!
I had such a wonderful time wondering through your photos and thoughts...!
Thank you for sharing
Take Care...

Honey from the Bee said...

Beautiful birds and shots! Thanks for stopping by so I could find your blog. ; )

eileeninmd said...

Wow, what a great outing! The birds are fantastic. Awesome photos.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, what a great outing! The birds are fantastic. Awesome photos.

NatureFootstep said...

great trip with lots of gorgeous birds. And your header is a very nice winter image.

Favourite birds for me is the Amew and the Siberian Jay. For different reasons obviously. :)

Carole M. said...

Dave what a treat; all these wonderful bird photographs. You sure were dedicated to trek knee-deep in the snow like you did; thanks for sharing...

Phil Slade said...

Looks like a super place to visit and explore Dave. You saw and photographed a number of brilliant species too. Great pics and thanks for the trip north.

Unknown said...

Awesome shots! Looks like you had a very interesting visit.

Irma said...

The birds are fantastic.
They are all great.
Regards, Irma

Liz said...

Beautiful series, Dave!! I particularly love the Redpolls and the Bluethroat!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What an amazing trip! The birds are stunning. Every one of them seems exotic and worth the trip (I'm not sure about the knee-deep in snow part, but other than that).

Stewart M said...

What a splendid set of birds - I did not know that the grosbeak made it to Scandinavia - more reading to be done!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Mary Howell Cromer said...

You are so blessed to have so many wonderful birds in your area and their beauty and your photography shares are grand!