GYR FALCON Photo: Tero Niemi
Photo: Tero Niemi
Gyr Falcon

Taiga & Mountains, Sweden June

Breath-taking sceneries and charismatic birds.
Combining Västmanland and southern Lapland.

A trip combining some of the most charismatic birds and sceneries in Scandinavia. Yet without exhausting driving distances or costly domestic flights. We´ll use plenty of time to enjoy the nature and the birds. The trip includes some mountain trekking, no climbing, but you need to be fit. The pace is rather high compared to our birding trips in Svartådalen.

Day 1
Arrival: 14:50 to Västerås Airport
Meet & great stop with coffee/tea and sandwiches by a small wetland surrounded by Oak forest. We look at Slavonian Grebes and hopefully newly arrived Icterine Warblers.
Ortolan Bunting excursion.
Great Grey Owl & Pygmy Owl- evening excursion.
Dinner & Night at Fläckebo B&B.

Day 2
Early Woodpecker morning with Wrynecks, Three-toed–, Grey-headed–, and Black Woodpeckers. On top of that we join ringers when they carry out their work on Tengmalms Owls.
Black-throated Divers and Goshawk breeds in the area.
Lunch and short siesta
Ural Owl ringing excursion. Outdoor lunch.
Transfer towards Dalarna.
Species like Red-backed Shrike, Thrush Nightingale, Common Rosefinch, can be seen along the way.
Dinner & night at: Tre björnar B&B, Älvdalen (240 km)

Day 3
Breakfast and departure for Fulufjället National Park. We follow the boardwalk around the impressive forest and look for Crossbills, Siberian Jay, Siberian Tit, and Wood Sandpiper. Below an impressive waterfall we stand good chances of seeing Dipper, Rough-legged Buzzard and Ring Ouzel, while we enjoy the scenery. (70 km).
Of course we grab a coffee at the newly established visitors center of the National park. Stunning summer-plumaged Bramblings appear all around.
We will spend most part of the morning here and then leave for lunch near a nesting area of Siberian Tits. (80 km) Red-throated and Black-throated Divers, Common and Velvet Scoters, Long-tailed Ducks, Greenshanks and northern Yellow Wagtails are often seen in or by the lakes along the road.
After lunch we go to Funäsdalen to check in at our accommodation in Tännäs. (100 km) where Rough-legged Buzzard often breeds on the rocks just above the hotel.
Dinner and night at: Tännäsgården B&B, Tännäs. (200 km)

Day 4
We spend the whole day on different sites on Flatruet (70 km) – a high mountain plateau with interesting high alpine flora and fauna.
The species we´ll be searching for are among others Long-tailed Skua, Willow Grouse and Rock Ptarmigan, Dotterel, Snow Bunting, Lapland Bunting, Bluethroats, Red-necked Phalarope, Whimbrel, Temminck´s Stint, Ruff, Golden Eagle, Merlin, Rough-legged Buzzard and Gyrfalcon. There will also be mammals like Reindeer around.
Outdoor afternoon meal while we scan the mountain sides for raptors and await the Great Snipe leking party to start. Hawk Owl, Short-eared Owl and Hen Harrier might appear in the area, depending on the lemming-season.
Dinner and night at: Tännäsgården B&B (70 km)

Day 5
The weather in the mountains can often prevent birding on the high altitudes. An extra day will be saved for the parts we might not have been able to reach yet. Or we simple enjoy the most beautiful parts an extra time. You just can´t get enough of the scenery and the birds up here. Or how about second encounters with plenty of Bluethroats, Red-necked Phalaropes, Long-tailed Skuas or immaculate summer-plumaged Lapland Buntings and Dotterels.
Dinner and night at: Tännäsgården B&B

Day 6
This day will be spent mostly in the taiga forest by the feet of the mountains searching for Parrot Crossbills, Hawk Owl, Siberian Jay, Three-toed Woodpecker, Hazel Grouse and anything we have failed to see so far. If we didn’t see Gyrfalcon yesterday we will drive into Norway for a new attempt. (Bring your passports!)
In the afternoon we drive back to Idre.
We visit Nipfjället to look for Rock Ptarmigan, Ring Ouzel and Snow Bunting. Golden Eagle might visit us.
Dinner and night at: Idregarden. (119 km)

Day 7
Breakfast and optional early morning excursion if we need more time for Siberian Tit around the ancient mountainside forests around Nipfjället.
We will be moving slowly south stopping for Peregrine Falcon, Eagle Owl and Blyth´s Reed Warbler if they´ve arrived yet. If any of the lowland species were missed out before we get a second chance now.
A stop at one of Swedens most scenic places –Tällberg – overviewing the big lake Siljan is the perfect moment to celebrate with Waffles, whipped cream and cloudberries.
We will arrive to the Black River Valley in late afternoon.
Birdwatching by the wetlands of Lake Fläcksjön with breeding Black Terns, White-tailed Eagle, Osprey, Common Cranes, Yellow Wagtails of northern races, Waders and more.
Optional late night birding in the Black River Valley for wetland birds (Corncrake, Spotted Crake, Marsh Warbler, etc.) or last chance to clean-up the Owl section.
Night at Fläckebo B&B, 50 mil transfer. (350 km)

Day 8
Breakfast at Fläckebo B&B
Short birding trip by the lake Fläcksjön on request. We look for Wrynecks, Icterine Warblers, Red-backed Shrike and Honey Buzzard.
Transfer to Airport
Departure at 15.10

Note that: Some of the mountain parts requires rather steep or long walks. Nothing extreme but you need a generally good health for this trip. If you have any difficulties to walk far we can not recommend this trip for you.
Some parts of the mountains might be wet. We recommend you to bring Wellingtons as well as hiking boots. A set of waterproofs is also recommended.
Mosquito repellents can be useful some years, as can also an extra woollen sweater in case of cold weather. The temperature might change a lot this time of the year, from +25 °C, to below zero.

The journey is a collaboration between BirdSafarisweden and Karlmark Travel. (Karlmark Travels holds the travel warranty insurance that covers this trip)

SIBERIAN TIT Photo: Stefan 
Photo: Stefan Oscarsson
Siberian Tit
GREAT SNIPE Photo: Daniel Green
Photo: Daniel Green
Great Snipe
SHORTEARED OWL Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
Shorteared Owl
LAPLAND BUNTING Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
Lapland Bunting
SIBERIAN JAY Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
Siberian Jay
BLUETHROAT Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
DOTTEREL Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
WILLOW GROUSE Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
Willow Grouse
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
Red-necked Phalarope
LONG-TAILED SKUA Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
Long-tailed Skua
BRAMBLING Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson

Species list - pdf
What to bring - pdf
Trip report - pdf