I chose a parking spot just outside the village by a lake with 50 Whoopers on it, very picturesque but I'd forgotten how noisy a herd of Whooper Swan can be and they trumpeted on and of thought out the night, by 3am I'd had enough and decided to make an early start.
|Whooper Swans - note to self - don't park overnight near them!|
|The nature trail at Pyhatunturi|
|Greenshank - calling from the trees|
My next stop were the two hills of Kiilopaa and Kaunispaa. I walked up Kiilopaa late in the day first and saw nothing, apparently an early morning visit is called for. I parked up at Kaunispaa and in a short walk around midnight had brief views of two Dotterel in flight, these were my target for the following morning. It was T Shirt weather when I arrived but the weather changed overnight and it was just above freezing the following morning with a mist on the hill. I delayed my walk until about 07:00 by which time it had brightened a bit. It wasn't long before I could hear the pipping calls of the Dotterel and I located first one pair then two more.
|Dotterel - female making nest scrape|
I returned to Kiilopaa on the 13th June planning an early start but my phone packed in and the alarm never sounded so it was 06:30 when I rose not 04:00 as planned. Walking up the hill I met another Finnish birder who had made the early start and had been rewarded with Ptarmigan and Willow Grouse but both had disappeared. The Ptarmigan was a male still in all white plumage and with most of the snow gone he should certainly stand out if he was around. It took an hour but eventually he was located and I got some nice photos with a range of backgrounds but with a very overcast sky.
On the 12th June I tried again for Little Bunting on the outskirts of Ivalo and finally with success! I located a pair just off the Murmansk Road on the outskirts of town the male was in song but the female was also present so they had perhaps not completed a nest yet.