Our inaugural tours to Finland and Scandinavia, led by David Hoddinott, were a remarkable success! We notched up a superb 138 bird species in Finland in five days and 210 species in Denmark & Sweden in only 13 days. Included in this suite were up-close-and-personal views of Western Capercaillie and Black Grouse in both Finland and Sweden, cracking views of Hazel Grouse and Willow Ptarmigan in Finland, and excellent sightings of Rock Ptarmigan in Sweden.
Further Finnish highlights included Barnacle Goose, a stunning male Smew, displaying Terek Sandpiper, 5 owls (Great Grey, Ural, Northern Hawk, Eurasian Pygmy and Boreal (Tengmalm’s)), Bohemian Waxwing, Siberian Jay, Grey-headed Chickadee, Red-flanked Bluetail and Rustic Bunting. In Sweden, our highlights included 8 species of owls (the previous 5 plus Tawny, Short-eared and Eurasian Eagle-), White-tailed & Golden Eagle, Red-throated & Black-throated Loon, Gyrfalcon, Corncrake (phenomenal views of a calling bird for 5 minutes), Spotted Crake (cracking views), Eurasian Dotterel, Eurasian Woodcock, a fabulous 9 Great Snipe displaying, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Ruff and Long-tailed Jaeger in breeding plumage, Razorbill, Black Guillemot, 6 species of woodpecker, Siberian Jay, European Crested Tit, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Barred Warbler, Ring Ouzel, Bluethroat, Thrush Nightingale and Lapland Longspur. We were also treated to a good selection of rarities that included only the 9th record of Common Squacco Heron for Denmark, whilst on Oland (an island off Sweden) we scored Red-footed Falcon, Red-rumped Swallow, Collared Pratincole (not seen on Oland since 1977!), Greenish Warbler, Red-breasted Flycatcher and Citrine Wagtail.
Comfortable accommodations, delicious food, friendly hosts, stunning scenery, specialty birds and mammals and a fun and enthusiastic group all combined to make this a fabulous and most memorable experience for all who were fortunate to be a part of this pioneering Rockjumper adventure!