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Friday 28th May - Sunday 13th June 2010

Hannu Jännes

This year’s Birdquest to Estonia, Finland and Norway went smoothly despite some pretty cold and miserable weather in the Kuusamo area. Rodents were locally abundant both in the south of Finland and in the north, allowing truly memorable encounters with many of the owls, including the impressive Great Grey Owl, a magnificent female Ural Owl, the diminutive Pygmy Owl, and the fierce-eyed Northern Hawk Owl. In all we observed 219 species of birds including almost all the northern specialities. Other species worth mention were several Lesser Spotted Eagles, two Corncrakes having a territorial dispute in the middle of the road, many Black and White-winged Terns, a first-summer White-billed Diver, lovely views of Black Woodpeckers, a beautiful male Steller's Eider and many King Eiders including one splendid adult male, displaying male Capercaillie, what must have been the world's most approachable Ptarmigan, six Eurasian Dotterels in the midnight sun, a single Broad-billed Sandpiper, many Ruffs, displaying Jack and Great Snipe, the enigmatic and elusive Pine Grosbeak, a flock of Parrot Crossbills, two adult male Red-flanked Bluetails, male Citrine Wagtail, adult male Red-breasted Flycatcher, Icterine, Common Grasshopper, Blyth’s Reed, Marsh, Reed, Sedge, Great Reed and Greenish Warblers, Siberian Jay, Siberian Tit, Little, Rustic, Lapland, Ortolan and Snow Buntings.