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kittykat23uk posted a topic in Your VideosMy Finland videos.. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL18hI7QD4gtJylkCWn1KX3ymPvx-0ycpe
I had in mind a number of different ideas for a short trip this year to Europe. My main goal was to see a wolverine, although other predators were also a draw. I initially got talking to some birders and we tentatively looked at Estonia as a cheaper wildlife destination. I was a little dubious because it meant dropping the idea of seeing wolverine in favour of bears, raccoon dog and possibly Lynx. Problems arose when we couldn't agree on a suitable date and the trip was finally cancelled altogether when we found out that one of the biggest peacetime exercises in NATO's history was happening in the forest where the bear hide was, scaring away the bears in the process! The guys decided to head to Lithuania for some birding instead, and so I decided to revisit my idea of finding a wolverine and began to look in earnest at the available options. Two countries and four locations seemed promising, Finland was traditionally the most reliable for this species but I also looked at Sweden as an alternative. I eventually discounted Sweden as, whilst the sightings had been of multiple animals, the hide location seemed to be a bit far from where the wolverines would be seen and I wasn't convinced I would get the experience I wanted. That left Finland; I looked at three different options, Era Eero, located in Lieksa which probably has the best record for wolverine - mainly because bear and wolf are seldom seen there. Boreal Wildlife Centre, Viiksimo, Kuhmo which seems to attract bears and wolverines and sometimes wolf. The other lodge was Kuikka Base Camp also located near Kuhmo. The hides themselves are located in No Man's Land between Finland and Russia. I was stunned by the quality and number of images on their website of wolves interacting with bears and this, along with the excellent communication from the owner Lassi, swung me to choose this operation. The hides were spread over three locations and seemed to give a decent chance of wolverine at one of these and bears and wolves at the others. This turned out to be an excellent choice! Five nights in the hide including all food and airport transfers came to 1430 Euros. I used some avios for my Heathrow to Helsinki flight.
Hi Safaritalkers First post for me. I had a trip last fall to the border between Finland and Russia, that I hope you can enjoy. This was to a place that for years have hides for photographers and they put out food to attract the the wild bears. I wrote this in swedish for my blog, and use google translate here. I´m to lazy to rewrite it all into my bad english. 14 to 18 August 2013 Vartius, Finland Traveling to Wild Brown Bear Lodge DAY 1 I met up with Roland, Petter, Lars and Johan at Arlanda airport in Stockholm. Roland has been twice to Finland and photographed the bears and is our "tour guide". Roland works as a lighting technician, and he mainly film. Petter has he been to this place once before, like Lars. Petter is active in Södertelge photoclub. Lars is John's father. They have for many years been avid ornithologists, and together riding kingdom and around the globe in search of to see and photograph birds. Thus, we are all quite serious in our intent as a hobby nature photographers. We started by taking a coffee break at the airport , waiting for boarding . I started by ordering a sandwich and chai tea . The girl who worked at the diner , asked my name. A little puzzled, I said my name to her. She said: "Would Gregor like to have a dirty chai " ? Surprised , I looked first at her and then at Roland who was standing beside me. We burst out in a big laughter . The girl, a very pretty black girl , laughed and tried lightly blushing declare what "dirty chai " is, this is when you have espresso in chai tea. This then set the level for the trip, very playful and good laughs . After an hour on the flight to Helsinki , one hour to Kajanni and then an hour to where we arrived at Wild Brown Bear in Vartius . This is a few kilometers from the Russian border in roughly the same latitude as Umeå (350 km south of arctic circle). Once we were there we were able to install our stuff in a quite ok, but somewhat spartan accommodations. The lodge is generally characterized by functionalism. A quick meal and then where it directly out to the hides . We walked about 700 meters through a typical Finnish primeval forest , the forest type that is most in Sweden . Nicely anyway. Since we came to an opening with marsh that stretched out as open fields , forest and a pond. Very beautiful and you could immediately see the potential for great photos . Bears coming out of the forest , reflecting in the pond, and sneaks away across the open marsh and into the fog. Dreaming can you do about wolves , lynx, wolverines and eagles. But getting to see any of them (exempt for bear) is very unusual. Me and Roland installed ourselves in a hide, and began to wait. While waiting in a hide is hard to describe. While it is always exciting and at any time can a bear or other animal to appear and present a photo opportunity, it is calm and relaxing. Sitting and doing nothing, really. We sat there and waited and whispered to each other, when suddenly we saw a bear! Targeted quickly up the camera and shot away. Composed and rattled off a new burst. But wait , what's that in the bear ears ? The bear is marked with large red plastic pieces , and has a large satellite transmitter around the neck. Awesome anyway, but it takes away a bit of the impression . Bear came back in the evening moved back and forth in the area. And we could take a lot of pictures. Darkness fell . Outside, we could hear the sound of the bear gnawed on the bone , but we saw nothing anymore. At half past eleven we fell asleep . Next morning at 4 am , we went up . And waited. Dawn thought I must be the best time. But Roland said he had never seen anything in the morning on his previous trips. It was only half an hour to go until 7 am and we were about to prepare to pack up , when a bear appeared on the scene . It took a turn and passed by us and away . Unmarked Bear this time . Could see the camera display that it looked promising and now it was fun to go back to the lodge to see the evening and the morning's pictures in the computer. Pretty cool actually . You can not guarantee to see anything at all. We're talking about relatively rare and elusive animals. And here I had pictures of two bears Lodge-life the days we were there was quite similar. We got there at half past eight, after leaving the hides at seven. Had breakfast, slept a few hours and then had a little "workshop" where we looked at each other's pictures, and gave each other small editing tips. At 19.00 pm it was back to the hides. DAY 2 to be continued...
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