Florence – 27/04/18: Day 1

Back in April last year I went of a solo trip to Florence & Pisa. I’ve been meaning to write a blog for ages, but never seemed to get round to it and I just found my travel journal and … Continue reading

Finland: 22/04/14 – Day 6

Woke up this morning to wolves! It pottered around for a bit, disappeared came back, got chased off by a bear they came back once the bears had gone but then got chased off again. But we did get to see 2 wolves! It was amazing. I could still see them walking around the parameter of the swamp, staying the trees. The bears finished off the remains and also left.

We got picked up, went back to the centre and had breakfast, showered and packed ready to leave for the station to go to Rovaniemi.

The drive was nice, I love looking out the window at the scenery there really is lots of trees! We sat in the station and waited for the train (people cross the train tracks to get to the next platform, I thought this was quite bizarre!) The first train was nice so was the second it was a double decker which is a first I’ve seen for a train! The view was nice out the window, I’m not sure why but it reminds me of Canada (not that I have ever been, just watch tons of Heartland!). Finland have these cute little houses with panelling, mostly in the middle of nowhere. When we got off the train at Rovaniemi it was quite bitter, no snow, and didn’t looked like what I had imagined. We found the guesthouse and walked into town to find somewhere to eat for dinner.

IMG_3010

IMG_3015First sighting of Grey Wolf (Canis lupus)

IMG_3062

Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) and Brown Bear (Ursus arctos)

IMG_3046

Grey Wolf (Canis lupus)IMG_3041

IMG_3028

Brown Bear (Ursus arctos)IMG_3078

 

Finland: 21/04/14 – Day 5

It’s freezing in the hide this morning, I am currently watching out the window – there is nothing apart from gulls and ravens….oh and one wagtail 🙂

We got picked up and drove back to the centre, we dropped our bags off and went over for breakfast. Whilst eating breakfast Kari (the professional photographer) spotted a wolverine in the trees near the yard! It moved around a bit and then tried to get into some feed bags near a shed, which was rather amusing watching it tug away. On the way out from breakfast it was still there so managed to get a closer look! We sat outside for awhile to see if it would come back, when we had our cameras. It didn’t come back, but I did managed to get a blurry blob of a creature taken on my phone.

IMG_2438

Afterwards we napped, went on a walk to the lake, came back and sat by the bird area where we saw a brambling, great spotted woodpecker and a red squirrel. We then had lunch and headed out for the hide for the night!

IMG_2491

Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

IMG_2555

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

IMG_2521-2

Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)

We waited quite awhile then the bears came! yay, the light was beautiful so I was rather chuffed! 🙂 Whilst waiting for the bears I did a bit of biding and saw white wagtail, green sandpiper and lapwing.

IMG_2924-2

Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)

IMG_3083

Yellowhammer (Emberiza citronella)

IMG_3084

White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)

The three bears stayed till dark which in when we went to sleep.

IMG_2699

Brown Bear (Ursus arctos)

Finland: 19/04/14 – Day 3

Woke up stiff, hip aching, and rather cold. It was not a comfy sleep it was like 3 peas in a pod…Looked out the hide windows, bitter cold but one bear was outside it looked as if he had not moved all night as he was in the same place as the previous night.

Got packed and dressed and after a bit more snapping it was time to leave the hide. It was very icy outside, there was bear prints and poo outside our hide (last night we heard a tapping/scratching on the hide door….a visitor perhaps?). Apparently a bear sniffed the sleigh and walked over the sleigh! Maybe he wanted a ride.

Once back in accommodation, we freshened up and packed as today we move to our next location, the Boreal Wildlife Centre in Viiksimo.

We left at 11am, the journey was good and scenic, I love looking out windows on journeys! Again loads and loads of tress and quite a few lakes! Though they do call it ‘The land of many lakes’. Once we arrived we relaxed in the room until lunch at 3pm which was chicken rides and salad and a berry dessert which was delicious!. After we looked around across the road, by the bird feeder and down by the lake which was completely frozen over for a big lake!  We then napped and woke up at 11am to get some night shots. The sky was slightly purple and green!

IMG_0863IMG_2087IMG_2000IMG_0857


For the first part of the trip we stayed at Martinselkosen in Pirttivaara, Suomussalmi and would defiantly recommend paying them a visit if you are ever going to Finland or looking for somewhere to go bear watching! Even though we went near the end of April when bears where just coming out of hibernation we saw plenty! The accommodation was lovely and the people very friendly and helpful!. You can visit their website here: http://www.martinselkonen.fi/index.php?id=7&la=en


 

Finland: 18/04/14 – Day 2

Fell asleep in the hide bunks last night, woke up around 4 as heard the guide saying that there is 2 bears outside. I dozed off again for a bit then woke up to ”3 bears”, I looked around no … Continue reading

Finland: 17/04/2014 – Day 1

Woke up feeling refreshed after all the traveling the day before, we looked out the window this morning and was fascinated by the amount of snow we could see! We could also see a frozen lake and it all looks very pretty. Stepped outside in my pj’s, I must say my first reaction was that it was a little bit nippy. Once showered, dressed, fed and watered (sugar and salt water is yucky….I was dehydrated still), we went to explore.

The snow is very deep, it comes up to my knees, wow!!. The scenery it very pretty, its lovely so much snow and so many trees!. The snow is also like ice not soft and fluffy, we explored opposite the centre down a path before trying to get down to the lake but found the snow got deeper and deeper so decided to backtrack.

After our explore, we packed our camera bags and rested until lunch (3pm…odd lunch time?). I think I may have eaten reindeer not sure what the burger meat was, tasted different but nice, with carrots, potatoes and salad.

At 4pm we set off to the hide! Started off in a jeep then swapped onto a snowmobile which was fun! I think I enjoyed that part a little too much. As soon as we got to the hide we had only just walked through the door and a bear had already come! Crazy!. The bears stayed a few hours, drifted away before coming back again. We saw 3 bears at once it was unbelievable, they are not as big as I would have thought either. We also saw a number of white tailed eagles too! They are huge!!!

Other birds seen today include: Great tit, marsh tit, bullfinch, chaffinch, crows, ravens and great spotted woodpecker.


I got trigger happy and took over 800 pictures (oops) so here is a couple 🙂

P.s – I will write next one in a couple of days time 🙂


IMG_0507

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

Brown Bear (Ursus arctos)

White Tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)

 

 

16/04/14 – Travel Day.

So the day has come, travel day. Woke up around 6ish got ready and double checked bags before leaving for the airport as the flight was at 10am. I felt sick with nerves and excitement in the car (or it was just because I was trying to finish my book in the car).

Check in was quick and bag was underweight limit (phew), waited around to board the plane with Katie and Hattie before our 3 hour flight to Helsinki. Once landed in Helsinki we had quite a bit of waiting around to do as our flight out to Kajaani left at 8.40pm. Our time was spent wandering the airport, finding somewhere to eat dinner (Pizza at a place called Caesars) and trying to hunt down the grocery shot to buy some supplies, I ended up getting apples, cucumber, water and a chocolate bar.

Soon enough it was time for our flight, I had trouble with my camera bag on this flight as it was too big for the overhead locker…we landed 1 hour and 15mins later at the rather small airport in Kajaani.

We was greeted by the transfer person and another guest staying with Martinselkonen. The place was a 2 hour drive away from the airport so we loaded up and set off. There is tons of trees over in Finland, I couldn’t quite believe it, when we were landed in Helsinki it looked really dry, flat and a bit like Spain…but now there is just trees, trees and more trees! At first I was really disappointed there wasn’t any snow but then about an hour into the drive there was snow! by the time we arrived there was tons of it!.

In the car the guide pointed out artic hare, slight northern lights and I think I may have saw a moose (it was a large animal near the side of the road but too dark to be certain). During the journey the guide got out the car and called to owls, the owls didn’t answer but it was rather nippy outside!

We arrived got shown the accommodation and headed off to bed.


So that’s a blog from about the travel day, unfortunately I haven’t got any pictures from this day so I will upload a picture separately this evening and will blog about day 1 in two days time :).