“This year’s Birdquest tour to Finland and Norway was again a great success. Not only did we find the great majority of target birds, but we were able to see them against the stunning backdrop of the “Land of the midnight sun” with its seemingly endless boreal forests, countless lakes, wet bogs, mighty rivers, partly snow-covered fells and the rugged coast of the Arctic Ocean teeming with birdlife. As always owls were high on everyone’s wish list, and again we succeeded in obtaining really good sightings of all the target species withan impressive pair of Great Grey Owl’s at the nest (and the male of the pair even in the hand!), a splendid Ural Owl, a close encounter with the diminutive Eurasian Pygmy Owl, a cute Boreal (Tengmalm’s) Owl at the nest, and a Northern Hawk Owl glaring at us in typical fashion. In addition, we had an encounter with roosting Tawny Owl (a lifer to one of the participants) in the south and good Short-eared Owl action in the north. The grouses proved co-operative too and we had great views of Western Capercaillie, displaying Black Grouse, an unusually confiding Hazel Grouse and several Willow and Rock Ptarmigans. Other species worth a mention […].”