I've always been fond of birds, but picking up photography gave this passion a complete new dimension. Now I'm planning my trips for bird photography, trying to find places where I can not only see the birds but also create spectacular images.


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I come from France but I fell in love with Finland while studying here; I've lived in Helsinki for 1.5 years now, and I've enjoyed several trips to the far North, to Lapland and beyond it, Norway and the Arctic Ocean.

In winter, these cold regions host a surprising variety of birds, coming in all shapes and colors. That's what I want to show you.

The first habitat you'll encounter is the taiga, i.e. the forest. There, you'll essentially find small songbirds, though if you're lucky you may encounter a grouse or an owl. Small birds come to the feeders, and that's where you have the best chances to see them and make pictures.

The most prized birds for birders are the Pine grosbeak (a red monster, though the female is green-yellow), the Siberian tit (a cousin to the very common Blue and Great tits, but which lives only far in the north), the Arctic redpoll (very white, though difficult to separate from the Common redpoll), the Bohemian waxwing (a berry-eater gangster) and the Siberian jay (a lovely fella, very curious, which may come to your hand if you offer some food).

Apart from birds, you may meet squirrels and elks (mooses), and also enjoy stunning sunsets and wonderful aurora displays.

If you go further north, you'll cross the tundra, a tree-less heath that essentially devoid of visible life during winter (you'll see "a bit" of snow though), and then you'll reach the Arctic Ocean. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the Norwegian coast doesn't really freeze during winter, and lots of birds enjoy that.

Two special species attract visitors: King eider and Steller's eider. They both breed in the far north of Russia, but spend the winter months in milder places. They are also stunning, colorful birds with weird shapes and patterns painted on their bodies. They are a true treat to observe, and can be seen at close range in harbours like Båtsfjord. Often not far, Black-legged kittiwakes nest in cliffs but also on harbour buildings, occupying roofs and window ledges.

In special areas, usually remote cliffs and islands, alcids nest. These cute and clumsy birds, made for diving rather than flying or worse, walking, gather in huge colonies, their sheer number offering protection against predators; in Hornøya, 100,000 seabirds nest in the cliff. There you'll see kittiwakes again, but also Common guillemots (including many of the bridled form), the rarer Brünnich's guillemot (this one likes the steepest parts of the cliff), the European shag and the ultimate clown, the lovely Atlantic puffin.

In the Arctic regions, you'll face unforgiving conditions, with snow, wind and low temperatures, but if you are well equipped, you will witness a show like no other.

These pictures were made during two different trips.

More info: eiwawar.wordpress.com

#1 The Bohemian Waxwing, Gangster Of The North

The Bohemian Waxwing, Gangster Of The North

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Laugh Fan 4 months ago

The feathers looks so smooth and tidy. Beautiful.

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#2 The Prince Of The Woods, The Bright Pine Grosbeak

The Prince Of The Woods, The Bright Pine Grosbeak

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Laugh Fan 4 months ago

Lovely coloured bird, so pretty.

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#3 The Bullfinch Is Another Very Colourful Bird

The Bullfinch Is Another Very Colourful Bird

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Chicago Kitty 4 months ago

I just want to pet his velvety black head.

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#4 The Only King In The North

The Only King In The North

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Hope Floats 4 months ago

I've never seen this bird.. He is absolutely beautiful and such lovely pasta colouring... Such a great photo..

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#5 Atlantic Puffin, Nicknamed "Sea Parrot" In Several Languages

Atlantic Puffin, Nicknamed "Sea Parrot" In Several Languages

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sharron lynn parsons 4 months ago

The puffin is very unique, the nickname it ideal !!!

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#6 The Striking King Eider

The Striking King Eider

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sharron lynn parsons 4 months ago

Terrific shot !!!

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#7 Steller's Eider Is My New Favourite Bird! Look At These Colours, At This Small Piece Of Broccoli At The Back Of The Head... Amazing!

Steller's Eider Is My New Favourite Bird! Look At These Colours, At This Small Piece Of Broccoli At The Back Of The Head... Amazing!

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Laugh Fan 4 months ago

The 'broccoli' tuft! Wonderful.

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#8 The Willow Tit Is A Common Inhabitant Of The Forest

The Willow Tit Is A Common Inhabitant Of The Forest

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Chicago Kitty 4 months ago

Cutie-patootie!

#9 A Female Greenfinch Landing Next To Its Mate

A Female Greenfinch Landing Next To Its Mate

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#10 Puffin Landing

Puffin Landing

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Bobbi Newell 4 months ago

Great shot! I always assumed that puffins were flightless, like penguins are. This is my TIL for the day :D

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#11 Kittiwake Ballet

Kittiwake Ballet

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Laugh Fan 4 months ago

Wow. Beautifully captured.

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#12 Another Birder's Favourite - The Long-Tailed Duck

Another Birder's Favourite - The Long-Tailed Duck

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Full Name 4 months ago

Stunning.

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#13 Shag Close-Up

Shag Close-Up

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Chicago Kitty 4 months ago

That emerald eye!

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#14 A Male Greenfinch

A Male Greenfinch

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sharron lynn parsons 4 months ago

Looks like he would land on my hand, and sit for a bit !!!

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#15 Purple Sandpipers Taking Advantage Of Low-Tide To Forage On The Shore

Purple Sandpipers Taking Advantage Of Low-Tide To Forage On The Shore

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#16 Camouflage - That's A Mountain Hare

Camouflage - That's A Mountain Hare

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StrangeStars 4 months ago

bit of a funny looking bird...XD jk great shot

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#17 A Siberian Jay Eyeing Lunch At The Feeder In Kaamanen

A Siberian Jay Eyeing Lunch At The Feeder In Kaamanen

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sharron lynn parsons 4 months ago

I love this !!!

#18 In The Night, Northern Lights Appeared In The Sky (Then It Was Not Warm Anymore At All)

In The Night, Northern Lights Appeared In The Sky (Then It Was Not Warm Anymore At All)

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Janine B. 4 months ago

This is so stunning. Hope to see this with my own eyes someday.

#19 A Female King Eider Looking Straight At The Photographer

A Female King Eider Looking Straight At The Photographer

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Laugh Fan 4 months ago

Don't you take my photograph! I said - oh I give up. Take it and make it GOOD!

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#20 Eider Laughter

Eider Laughter

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sharron lynn parsons 4 months ago

This shot is priceless !!!

#21 A Red Squirrel In Light Snowfall, In The Norwegian Taiga

A Red Squirrel In Light Snowfall, In The Norwegian Taiga

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Janine B. 4 months ago

Never seen so much fur on their ears. Must be really really cold up there.

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#22 Northern Lights In The Sky Of Lapland

Northern Lights In The Sky Of Lapland

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Aahzmandus Pervect 4 months ago

Aurora borealis, the most amazing thing I've seen in my life.

#23 Probably An Arctic Redpoll In Sunset Light

Probably An Arctic Redpoll In Sunset Light

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#24 Drifting In The Reflections Of Harbour Lights, A Steller's Eider

Drifting In The Reflections Of Harbour Lights, A Steller's Eider

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sharron lynn parsons 4 months ago

EXCELLENT !!!

#25 This Cute Siberian Tit Looked Back At Me Before Flying Away

This Cute Siberian Tit Looked Back At Me Before Flying Away

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Paul Hutton 4 months ago

"how rude"

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#26 A Siberian Tit With Its Sunflower Seed

A Siberian Tit With Its Sunflower Seed

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diane a 4 months ago

awwww

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#27 Towards Light

Towards Light

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Paul Hutton 4 months ago

absolutely beautiful composition

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#28 A Young Glaucous Gull On A Windy Morning

A Young Glaucous Gull On A Windy Morning

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Laugh Fan 4 months ago

Looks all frilly.

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#29 Common Eider Portrait

Common Eider Portrait

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sharron lynn parsons 4 months ago

Oh my, such a beauty, wonderful shot !!!

#30 Long-Tailed Duck - The Female This Time, In Early Morning Light

Long-Tailed Duck - The Female This Time, In Early Morning Light

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sharron lynn parsons 4 months ago

She is beautiful !!!

#31 A Common Guillemot Coming Back From Its Fishing Stint

A Common Guillemot Coming Back From Its Fishing Stint

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boredkoala 4 months ago

Beautiful lighting!!

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#32 A Group Of King Eiders Cruises In Front Of The Hide, While Gulls Noisily Feed In The Background

A Group Of King Eiders Cruises In Front Of The Hide, While Gulls Noisily Feed In The Background

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#33 Puffin Take-Off!

Puffin Take-Off!

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sharron lynn parsons 4 months ago

Perfect shot !!!

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#34 After Shooting Birds, I Enjoyed Sunset - It Was Almost Warm!

After Shooting Birds, I Enjoyed Sunset - It Was Almost Warm!

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sharron lynn parsons 4 months ago

I do enjoy shots like this, simple beauty !!!

#35 A Kittiwake Grabs Something In Båtsfjord Harbour

A Kittiwake Grabs Something In Båtsfjord Harbour

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Laugh Fan 4 months ago

The water almost looks like oil - so smooth. Fantastic action shot.

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#36 A Pair Of Shags Played Hide And Seek With Me On The Pier

A Pair Of Shags Played Hide And Seek With Me On The Pier

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#37 Female Common Eider Before Sunrise

Female Common Eider Before Sunrise

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sharron lynn parsons 4 months ago

I love it !!!

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#38 Steilneset Memorial In Vardø, To The Victims Of Witchcraft Trials In Finnmark In The 17th Century

Steilneset Memorial In Vardø, To The Victims Of Witchcraft Trials In Finnmark In The 17th Century

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#39 Vardø Harbour, Famous For Its Graffiti

Vardø Harbour, Famous For Its Graffiti

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Alex Kovacheva 4 months ago

I definitely have the sea fever! Grew up by the sea, love it so much! Beautiful shot!

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