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Ruff Oulu, Finland

Wetland Birds

Finland's vast wetlands and bogs maintain a variety of interesting birds

Finland is a land of bogs, mires and wetlands. In fact, after forests, bogs are the most common habitats in Finland. Most of the bogs are found in northern Finland. Wetlands and bogs are a home to a multitude of birds that offer interesting photography.


Ruff is a delightful bird. It is best-known of its special lek behavior which makes for interesting photography. Finnature has set up wonderful hides for Ruff photography in the internationally important Liminka Bay wetlands just south of Oulu. Here, Ruffs arrive in numbers from their migration in the beginning of May. While most of the birds stop here for a rest before carrying on to breeding grounds in the arctic, some stay and breed in Liminka Bay area. Either staying or continuing, all birds are filled with spring spirit and the lek is on!

We have set up Ruff photography hides in Liminka Bay wetlands. Our shore hides are located by a shallow flood pool. There are excellent chances for beautiful backlit images with reflections on water on clear nights here! The mornings are the most active time for spectacular Ruff lek. Other birds possible from these hides include Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit in their summer plumages. Even Marsh Sandpiper and Pallid Harrier has been photographed here! Ruff photography season lasts until early June. This season is simply great photography from great hides!

You can find more photos of Finnature’s Ruff photography hides at our Flickr gallery.

Whooper Swan and Common Crane

Whooper Swans and Common Cranes are not uncommon birds in Europe. Yet, in most times they may be difficult to photograph due to their timid natures. In the vast fields around Oulu, Whooper Swans and Cranes gather in big flocks during spring and autumn migration. These fields offer them a good resting place in spring when they wait for their breeding grounds to free from ice and snow. In autumn, they gather in flocks here before heading towards south. Especially in autumn, the evening flight of Cranes to their roost is a beautiful sight against the colors of the setting sun.

Other wetland birds

Black -throated Diver and Red-throated Diver are fairly common breeders in Finland’s lakes. However, these species are often difficult to photograph and photography opportunities arise only rarely. We announce Black-throated Diver and Red-throated Diver photography opportunities via our newsletter and at our Facebook site.

Slavonian Grebe is a small and adorable water bird with flashes of color. These birds are fearless and there are excellent sites near Oulu where to photograph this species without a hide.

Oulu area is an important resting area for almost all Goose species breeding in Finland. Bean Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, and Greylag Goose all stop to rest and feed in Oulu area on their migration in spring and autumn. Oulu is also the only known regular resting place in northern Europe for Fennoscandian Lesser White-fronted Goose population. In some years Finnature offers Goose photography from temporary/portable photography hides. We announce Goose photography opportunities then via our newsletter, at our Facebook site and on our Instagram account.

Ask for more about photography opportunities from Finnature office.

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