Photos of birding trip around the Baltic May-June 2014  
John van der Woude
See report for maps and species list.

18 May. Bird hide in West-Havelland 100 km west of Berlin, north of the hamlet of Parey. 29 White-winged Terns. Corn Bunting, Great Reed Warbler, Montagu's Harrier and Crested Lark nearby.

At Bialowieza in NE Poland. In the wet alder forest (point 9 on the map) we saw Black, Grey-headed and Middle Spotted Woodpecker and Collared Flycatcher. In the forest NE of the village (photo lower right, along the border of the strict reserve; point 6 on map ) Wood Warbler seems the commonest bird.

More from Bialowieza, east Poland. Bark impact from Three-toed Woodpecker (left), White-backed Woodpecker (middle), and a frost crack (right) inside the strict forest reserve. Bathing Pygmy Owl in public forest southwest of the village.

Views of Biebrza NP in NE Poland. Bird tower near Wizna.

Punas forest near Alytus in southern Lithuania.

Zuvintas lake near Alytus, southern Lithuania. View from bird tower/hide near 2 on map.

View of Kretuonas lake (at the back) and wetland (in front; 4 on map), in eastern Lithuania, east of Labanoras forest. Seen from the tower at 7 on map. Many good birds here: White-tailed Eagle (with fish), Ruff in breeding habitat, Barred Warbler, Common Rosefinch, Penduline Tit, Crane (a pair), all three marsh terns, Wryneck, River Warbler, Thrush Nightingale, and last but not least a Marsh Sandpiper (Poelruiter). 26 May.

Upper photo in Labanoras Forest, eastern Lithuania/Litouwen, at a breeding site of Green Sandpiper (Witgat; 27 May). The bird flew up into a large pine tree. Photo below of Kretuonas again, when Nollie tried to see the calling Penduline Tit.

Nagli fishponds near Lubans lake area, 28 May. Thunbergi Yellow Wagtail, still(?) rather south. Little Gull, Great Reed Warbler, Common Rosefinch, Red-necked Grebe, Osprey. A Bittern walking on a recently mown grassy dike between the ponds.

Another day at the Lubans lake area, eastern Latvia/Letland. Our favorite area in the Baltic states. Photo above of spot where we had Blyth's Reed Warbler (Struikrietzanger), in the bush on the foreground along the canal/river Malta (points 8 on map). Below: Citrine Wagtail, and habitat of several booming Bitterns. 29 May.

Same Malta river near Nagli (points 8 on Lubans map; Blyth's Reed Warbler and Penduline Tit). Ural Owl in forest reserve between Lubans lake area and Madona. Milestone for our good old Toyota Corolla.
Nollie just saw the Ural Owl perched not far from the sand road we tried for woodpeckers.

Emajögi river in Alam Pedja NP near Tartu, Estonia, 1 June. White-backed Woodpecker at this point 8 on Tartu map. This after a nice walk on the open bog at 7.

Above Booted Warbler near Lappeenranta, SE Finland. Below the surroundings of Räpina, southeastern Estonia, the day before.
Lower left and middle: excellent forest reserve at Järvselja, see map in report. Hazel Grouse and Greenish Warbler.
Lower right: view from bird tower in Räpina polder (point 5 on map). A pair of thunbergi Yellow Wagtail was displaying in this ditch. Several Blyth's Reed Warbler here too.

A beautiful morning at the foot of the Ivaara hill near Kuusamo, northeast Finland. Rustic Bunting here, and Red-flanked Bluetail uphill.

Today 9 June at the Barentz Sea near Hamningberg, Varanger peninsula, north Norway. A male Harlequin Duck happened to be nearby.
Photo below of the day before, still in Finland, at a café famous for its feeders: easy views of Pine Grosbeak (Haakbek). The café, Tuulen Tupa, is along the E75 between Inari and Utsjoki, at
69.182394, 27.215108. The whole road up to Utsjoki is interesting but we drove on as we knew there would be less good weather in a few days so we pressed on to the Varanger peninsula to have still good weather there.

In glorious weather on the Varanger plateau in north Norway on 10 June, with many Long-tailed Skuas, Lapland Buntings, Long-tailed Ducks, and displaying Dotterels.
In the Tana river valley (lowest photo) we had Arctic Redpoll (photo middle right).
At the north end of the plateau, in the fjord of Båtsfjord, we saw both King and Stellers Eider, thanks to Ed Opperman and his Inezia group, and we gave him the stake-out we had found of the displaying Dotterels.

At the Nordkyn peninsula in north Northway. The alternative Nordkapp.
View over the Barentz Sea by midnight, from the Sletness lighthouse at 71.088 degrees North. Many breeding Arctic Skuas there, in a reserve.
Below: Red Fox (not Arctic Fox), Red-throated Pipit and Long-tailed Skua in the great interior of this peninsula.

Still in Finnmarken, north Norway. Trip ticks nr. 240 Siberian Jay, 241 Slavonian Grebe, 242 Ringed Ouzel (in the gorge south of Alta).
Nollie at the largest bird feeder we have ever seen, in Stabbursdalen NP. Siberian Jay easy in that park.

Raised beach lines above and tundra polygons below. After the last glaciation, the earth rose because the heavy pressure of the ice was over, and so the successive beach lines were raised, up to 30 m above the present sea level. The polygons are an ongoing frost-and-thaw phenomenon typical for tundra soils, but I have rarely seen it so well as here.

In the Pallas-Yllästunturi national park in NW Finland, on 16 June.
The Crossbill guidebook was very useful here. Finally ticked Hawk Owl, in the open forest left. Upper right is Wood Sandpiper habitat. Snowfall now!

In Muddus national park, north Sweden, on 18 June. Had singing Greenish Warbler and Wood Warblers here, both far out of range! And when returning to Jokkmokk a Black Kite, also far from home.
Regular encounters with Waxwings in Muddus, like at the spot left. Upper right was habitat of breeding Greenshank. Wondering if the droppings are of bears.

In the Vindelfjällen area, north Sweden. We had a cottage at the campsite of Tärnaby, along the E12.
Pretty cold by now. Lapland Diapensia, Trollius (the yellow one), Trientalis (Zevenster), Cornus suecica (Zweedse Kornoelje).

In the birch tundra of Vindelfjällen, north Sweden. Young Hawk Owl, young Fieldfare.
Bartsia, Pinguicula, male Bullfinch road kill.

At Sånfjället national park, Jämtland, west central Sweden.
Three-toed Woodpecker here in the forest was trip tick nr. 245.
Young Song Thrush. Bullfinches on the dirt road.

Another day at Sånfjället NP, west central Sweden.
Black Grouse, Willow Grouse, Pyrola.
Displaying Whimbrel above the marsh of the middle photo.

Final stage of our trip around the Baltic: Tåkern and Store Mosse in Sweden, and a moor N of Kiel, Germany.
Osprey, White-tailed Eagle and Great Reed Warbler at Tåkern, which reportedly is the most important bird wetland in Sweden, just NE of the huge Vättern lake.
Several breeding Cranes in the large bog area of Store Mosse just NW of Värnamo in south Sweden.
A last trip tick, nr. 249, was Stonechat in the bog N of Kiel (lower photo).