Did Finland live up to my expectation?
I went to Finland in late April 2012. The plan was to photo Brown Bear from hides near the Russian border for three days with the possibility to also see and photo both Wolverine and Wolves. I had done some research, as I always seem to do, to get a feeling about the area and what to expect. My gut feeling told me that I certainly would get the Brown Bear photos and that the chance where high of getting the sought after Wolverine pictures, and if I was really lucky also Wolf pictures.
If you have followed my blog you already know the answers that I only missed the elusive Wolf at the trip to Finland. I also got lucky and had an extra night that I spent out photographing Black Grouse. It was a real pleasure to get this opportunity and I have to thank Finnair for this as their reschedule of flights forced me to travel from Sweden one day earlier than planned.
Everything in Finland went smoothly without much hassle. We slept out in the hides and I must say that I am a little thankful that I went early in the season so I got proper sleep each night. I didn´t stay up during the nights even if it was possible to sit there and listen to the sounds from outside. I was there to take photos and the next priority was sleep. This is of course something you have to think off if you are doing a trip like this. One could always catch up with sleep at the Lodge, but I didn´t have time for that as I was blogging and going thru the pictures from the day.
So did the trip live up to my expectations? Yes it did even if I didn´t get the bear fever that people seems to get. I spent three days in different hides with Jan-Olav Wedin, a professional photographer working for the Opera in Stockholm, and he gave me small hints that have been helpful for my photo editing during the year. That was an extra bonus that this trip brought me.
On the wild side we saw Brown Bear and Wolverines all of the days, but we had no luck with the Wolves. The complete setup of the site was good and I only found some small things that they have to look into to make WBB better. I would have liked some extra food in the hide and I suppose I would have gotten it if I had asked. I also think they should invest in a couple of monitors that that could be used by everyone. Some parts of the Lodge where a little run down, but a rebuilding project was already at hand and I suspect it will be in top shape soon.
I would happily recommend a visit to WBB to anyone that has an interesting in seeing Brown Bears, and Wolverine, in their natural habitat. The season starts in April and ends in September. When to go is of course your own preference but should I choose myself then I would go back when the cotton grass is in full bloom.
You can find my blog posts from the days in Finland here :