Finland is gaining popularity within the bird watching community for offering some of the best bird watching locations in Scandinavia. It contains unique landscapes and habitats that is home to diverse and rare species of birds. Most of the best bird watching locations however can be somewhat remote and there this article will aim to identify our best bird watching locations in Finland.
Finland is known for its cold climate and winter sports that attract visitors from around Europe. It is also a country with lush forests, beautiful natural landscapes, and is the home of Santa Claus. What you may not realise is that Finland is a great country for birdwatchers to seek out.
There are around 460 bird species in Finland with Snow Owls and Golden Eagles being two of the most sought-after by birdwatchers who visit the northern European country. Due to Finland’s location, you can find bird species that cannot be found anywhere else on the European continent.
Spring and autumn are the best times to visit Finland but summer’s unique midnight sun makes it possible to spend nearly 24-hours observing its wonderful bird species.
What is the best bird watching location in Finland?
1. Nuuksio National Park
Situated near Espoo, Nuuksio National Park provides birdwatchers the chance to see some of Finland’s rare bird species. The park has varying landscapes allowing you to see birds ranging from water fowls to bird species that live in the woodlands.
Espoo is located on Finland’s southern coast and is a region that is used as farmland. The area is low on people and high on bird species that call the Nuuksio National Park a permanent or temporary home. Some of the bird species available to see are the Asian Pygmy Owl, Boreal Owl, and the Red-breasted Flycatcher.
Nuuksio National Park is famed for the various owls and woodpeckers that can be spotted. The woods that make up the park provide a haven for these types of birds due to the shelter and food provided.
The park is around 35 kilometres (24 miles) from Helsinki. The short distance between Nuuksio National Park and the Finnish capital makes it easy to reach for a daytrip.
2. Harakka Nature Centre
The Harakka Nature Centre is located just off the coast of Helsinki on an island that provides a secluded destination for birdwatchers. Situated in the Baltic Sea, the island is a unique natural area near the country’s capital that offers a greenspace away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Compared to other European capitals, Helsinki isn’t the most built-up or highly populated, so you may be able to spot unique birds in the city’s parks.
Visitors to Harakka Nature Centre will find a trail to walk, hike, run, or cycle during a visit. The trail gives visitors the chance to explore the flora and fauna of the nature centre at their own pace. There are also specific birdwatching areas and hides. Some of Harakka Nature Centre is closed off during the year due to birds breeding and nesting. Birds that can be spotted in the nature centre include Barnacle Geese, Common Gulls, and Eiders. One of the popular reasons to descend on the park is to see hatching chicks.
The nature centre isn’t just about birdwatching as its exhibits give visitors insight into the Baltic Sea island’s past. The island has four protected areas due to animals and plants that call it home. There is an observation deck in the centre of the island that provides great views that span out to the Baltic Sea. You can take in views of the plants and wildlife from the central point as well.
3. Laajalahti Nature Reserve
The Laajalahti Nature Reserve can be found on Finland’s densely populated south coast. Its collection of low-lying wetlands makes it an optimal area to see various water birds that descend on Finland’s coastal area. Laajalahti Nature Reserve is ideal for viewing migratory birds thanks to its watchtowers. You can explore the various areas of the park including wetlands and meadows from the watchtowers without disturbing the wildlife below.
The reserve is close to Espoo, which mean you have a great base for your birdwatching trip to Finland. It is possible to visit both Nuuksio National Park and Laajalahti Nature Reserve in the same weekend to get the most out of your birdwatching experience. Shoreline groves, meadows, and reedbeds make up the Laajalahti Nature Reserve and thousands of birds can be found throughout the year.
The best times of the year to visit the nature reserve are April and May when the weather gets warmer and August and September when the temperatures cool. These are the migratory time periods of the year allowing you to see birds come and go to Finland’s south coast. The Blyth’s Reed Warbler is one of the birds that can be spotted in the Espoo region along with the Greenish Warbler. The Laajalahti Nature Reserve is definitely a place not to miss on a trip to the south coast of Finland.
Lapland is well-known for being the home of Santa Claus but it is also famous for being a great birdwatching region in Finland. Kaamanen is in the far north of Lapland near the Finnish city of Inari, which is a great base for visiting the birdwatching haven.
Some of the bird species in Kaamanen cannot be found anywhere else in Finland. Siberian Jays, Pine Grosbeaks, and Willow Grouse are three of the bird species that can be spotted. Finland’s owls are a rare sight but you have the opportunity to spot them in this remote section of the country.
One of the great aspects of visiting Kaamanen, is the local people. They love the regional wildlife and want to show it off to visitors from around the globe. Due to this, they set up feeding stations for birds and other animals making it possible for you to observe birds as they eat.
Finland is a magnificent country located in the north of Europe. It has a diverse bird population that is perfect for viewing and exploring. The spring and autumn are the best times to visit, so why not make Finland your birding destination this year?
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We are avid bird-watchers who recently retired, allowing us more time to travel the world. Fortunately, we have managed to visit numerous countries around Europe, Asia, and America. Watching and photographing birds has been a passion for many years and we are making the most of the extra time on our hands!