Homeward Bound – Thank Goodness!
Finland can be really beautiful

Homeward Bound – Thank Goodness!

A 5.30 start was again scheduled – we didn’t go. Good move – bacon was back on the breakfast menu this morning and was still quite hot early on. Temperatures on the vans were -14 this morning and the only bird anyone saw was the red grouse, again. No Snowy Owls then (which was the one bird we had really both been hoping to see).

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Putting a Pin in the Map at the Arctic Circle
OK - Finland can be beautiful

Putting a Pin in the Map at the Arctic Circle

We drove right up to the Arctic Circle in the afternoon, which took a long time, but it was sort of satisfying to be able to say we had actually been there and could justifiably put a pin in the map. Scary thought – if I am getting satisfaction from putting a pin in a map, maybe there is something of a twitcher in me? Let’s move on …

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Can Finland get any worse? Yes – it can!
Another empty nest box - we saw an awful lot of these!

Can Finland get any worse? Yes – it can!

Can Finland get any worse?  Yes - it can!   I was still hoping that things might get better as we went further north and into the Kuusamo National Park…

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Owless Oulu
Help - I am on the wrong holiday!

Owless Oulu

It was hard to see how this trip could get any worse, but the suggestion was then made that a trip to the rubbish dump might be just the thing to raise the spirits. Seriously?! Yes – this was serious. Rubbish dumps are a food source of course, so there just may be some gulls there …  Yes, you guessed it, we waited two hours at the rubbish dump, but it was another no show.

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HELP! I am on the wrong holiday!
Finland has potential to be very pretty

HELP! I am on the wrong holiday!

HELP! I am on the wrong holiday! I could have chosen to stay at home, munched a few Easter eggs, dug the garden or just chilled out - but I…

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Arrival in Oulu
Northern Hawk Owl

Arrival in Oulu

Arrival in Oulu - The light was beginning to fade by the time we got to the snow covered forest. The Northern Hawk Owl sat obligingly at the top of one of the tallest fir trees in the forest and – despite the failing light – I did manage to get a photo of him, although it was so cold that I hard to work hard to make my finger press the shutter button. With hindsight, this eventually turned out to be the highlight of the whole trip!

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Easter on the Arctic Circle
Owl

Easter on the Arctic Circle

As the lengthening days of Spring signal the approach of Summer to the Arctic tundra, we are heading far north for a long week-end to Finland to spend Easter on the Arctic Circle in search of owls, many other birds and (hopefully) reindeers.

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