Finland is one of Europe’s least populated nations and as such is covered in large tracts of forest. This landscape provides the perfect refuge for iconic predators, including European brown bear, grey wolf and wolverine. Our Boreal Predators Photography tour has been designed to give you the very best opportunities to see and photograph all three of these species on one trip.
We base ourselves on the Finnish border with Russia where, between the two nations, there is a no man’s land. This neutral zone has become a wildlife haven, a sanctuary to these sought-after species.
It is here where we spend our nights in specially designed hides.
This year’s trip was up there with the very best; there is no other way to describe it. We were blessed to some truly remarkable sightings, fascinating behaviour and wonderful photography.
We had wolves seen by members of the group on each of the nights we were in the hides, wolverine were seen on the majority of hide sessions and the reliable bears were always present.
For the group I think it will be the last night that they will always remember, it was a very special evening. The sun was shining and the cotton grass was gently blowing in the breeze, the ravens were calling from the trees while a couple of white-tailed eagles squabbled over a few salmon scraps. As we settled in for the night, a large bear appeared on the edge of the tree line, only moments after a wolf trotted across the landscape in the distance. This was all just to whet our appetites.
As the large bear slowly made its way back into the forest, a smaller bear appeared on the edge of the clearing, nervous and tentative in its approach.
Eventually it came to the reindeer carcass that had also drawn in the larger bear. Just as it made its way towards the carcass, a different wolf appeared on the other side of the clearing. A young grey wolf, full of energy and enterprise, had joined the show and started to trot through the marshmallow like blooms of the cotton grass.
Occasionally stopping and making sure it was safe, the wolf decided it was time to compete with the bear. Over the next hour and a half we watched both bear and wolf chase one another, to and fro they went as they squabbled over the right to the carcass.
As the light started to fade to its lowest level (dusk is as dark as it gets in the summer months), the wolf and the bear melted away, blending into their forest realm. It seemed they put on a show just for us. It was a show that had all of us on the edge of our seats – it was certainly a last hurrah!
Join me in 2019 for our 6-day Boreal Predators Photography tour - the group size is limited to just 8 people.