Lappland and Norway

Finland trip from 09.03 - 16.03.2019

The journey started on Saturday, March 9th from Vienna / Schwechat airport via Helsinki to Ivalo.

For the first time in my life in winter in the north of Scandinavia. Questions that preoccupied me are: How do I dress properly against the cold, how long do the cameras' batteries last, do I have enough with me?

In Vienna with plus 11C. flew away I arrive in the evening at minus 13C. in Ivalo. My brother picks me up there and drives almost two hours along the E75 to Kaamasentie to our first stop. The next day at 7 o'clock, temperature -17C. a dashing wind but a wonderful day with sunshine. After a hearty breakfast we start. The hooked bullfinch (Pinicola enucleator), the Lapland tits (Poecile cinctus) and the blue jay (Perisoreus infaustus) are fed here. Allegedly the largest occurrence of hooked chimney in Europe. And really a lot. Because these birds are fed, they are so tame that they can be photographed from a few meters away. So excellent with my 100-400mm. To sprinkle over it came the squirrels who were also very trusting. They have wonderful colors in winter. The body is gray and the rest is brown. At night it felt like -30C. and icy wind, amazed my first polar night and took photos. If possible without frostbite. The thermal pads are an excellent help here. Small hand warmers or insoles. One tip. Foot inserts between two pairs of socks and the small hand pads in a jacket pocket or in a glove. Lovely!

On March 11th, our rented VW bus with a total of 9 people taking part in this trip continues to Vadso Norway via the E75. Here we all spend the night together in a single-family house provided by the owner of Arntzen Adventures. The distance of more than 240km. Of course, it takes longer than we are used to in Central Europe, and we are always on the lookout for something interesting to photograph. There are always beautiful landscapes to marvel at. Every now and then reindeer and elk along the road. In the evening, take another photo of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights, Northern Lights) and off to dinner.

On the next day, March 12th, the following is on the program: Mountain hares, photo hut session for the black siskin, Lapland titmouse, willow tit and the Nordic bullfinch, as well as a foraging hut to take photos on the Varangerfjord. The mountain hares a dream to photograph, white hares on a snow-covered surface. As it should be. In the afternoon on the Varangerfjord the king eider (Somateria spectabilis) the long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis) the eider (Somateria mollissima) all in courtship dress. Unfortunately it was pretty rough and windy. The waves were a bit too high to take photos nice and quiet. On the other hand, very beautiful pictures can be created when a duck swims exactly on the tip of a wave. Blue whales and killer whales are also sighted here, but not today.

The next day, March 13th, on the snow scooter to the photo hut. Here you can find the black siskin (Acanthis flammea), the Lapland tits (Poecile cinctus), the willow tits (Poecile montanus) and, to the surprise, the Siberian (Nordic) great spotted woodpecker. And northern lights every night.

On March 13th we continue to Vardo to the Hornya bird island. No people live here on this island and the birds of the island rule here. A dream of every bird watcher and lover. As you know from documentaries.

March 14th, at 9 o'clock the boat goes to the island. After a 10 minute crossing we are already there. Within the first few minutes the gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) shows us what it can do. The moment you hit a guillemot. Gigantic. Unfortunately, since it happened within the first few minutes, no one had expected it and it was all over before we had finished the cameras. But the gyrfalcon came by regularly and was always on the hunt. She apparently had his nest on the opposite island. The common guillemots (Uria aalge), which belong to the genus Alken-like, and the shaggy (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), which look like the cormorant we know but with a crested head, have now arrived on the island. Unfortunately, the puffins only arrived three days after our departure.

On March 15th, back to the beginning of our journey, briefly take another photo of the hooked pennants and jays in snowfall.

On March 16 back via Finland to Vienna / Schwechat with Finnair. I arrive at home unshaven and tired but with a lot of lasting impressions. This is then about checking the many pictures and preparing them. Altogether 2000 pictures taken, the best 80 I show you in the lower section or photo album.

My special thanks go to the organizer of the trip at and to my brother for the good mood