nostromos bLog

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11(01), 10(02), 09(15), 08(01), 07(02), 06(04), 04(12), 01(06)
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12(01), 11(01), 10(07), 09(01), 08(04), 07(05), 06(04), 05(06), 04(01), 03(04), 02(06), 01(04)
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07(01), 05(01)

Mon, 25 Jul 2016
day 12 in scandinavia, finland (0 comments)
today i heard a police and later an ambulance siren for the first time during our stay in finland; i think this is a good sign. after breakfast we headed out to do some birdwatching in the liminka bay. the area is huge, and there are five birdwatching towers all together. since we had no plan or map, we decided to start with the first tower right at the tourist information centre. the information centre doubles as an exhibition centre, with information about all the birds you can see there including the habits of them, and much more on the bay and its birds. very interesting, and all for free. we even got our private film show, as we were the only guests, and the super friendly staff even allowed me to bring coffee to the movies. now that was really great. with a better overview on what we could do here, we went to birdwatching tower number 1 in liminganlahti, the virkulla tower[001-046].
while walking to the tower we spotted marsh harriers, but they were about to leave, so we did not see these birds again, unfortunately. instead we mainly saw ducks, but otherwise not many birds.
there is also an outside area on the roof of the tower where you have a wonderful overview over the entire area. but there is also an inside area that is a hide and gives you protection from bad weather. but it seems not only humans seek shelter inside the tower, but also a little robin[030-036,​038] found it convenient there. really cute, and he did not seem too shy. well, we could not have reached it anyway, so he was pretty safe from us. besides this one bird we got to see from close up, there were some swallows, and a few unknown ones spread over the marshland. especially the little swallows were circling us for a very long time. either because they were curious, or their nests were somewhere on the outside of the tower.
but because they are so fast and tiny, it was hard to get a few picture[022-024,​029] of them that were in focus. but i managed to do so - pretty lucky me. actually this applied to all the birds we saw. because most of them were simply just too fast, or they were perfectly camouflaged, so the auto focus of my camera had troubles focusing, or they were just too far away. my gear has met its limits.
after a while all the birds in the area knew there were humans around, and it seemed they all had fled or were ducking. in contrast to the millions of gnats that now were happily feeding on us. all the insect repellents we put on us did not help anymore after a while. so we decided to give up and drove to birdwatching tower number 2 in lumijoki, the sannanlahti tower[047-060]. again a bird was just about to leave when we arrived there, this time it was an eagle[047] (or at least it looked like one to us, so we were pretty sure about that). well, at least this one i caught on camera before it was totally gone, and never seen again by us. besides several flocks of geese[051-054] flying in formation, we did not spot any other birds. since the mosquitoes brutally started to attack again, we decided to also leave this tower behind and headed for the car.
it already got late, so we had to leave liminka bay, and headed to our accommodation for tonight. at first we missed the gravel road to it from the main road, because even our navigation system was unsure how to get there exactly. but a tiny little sign by the road then helped us to find the right way. the owner was already waiting for us, gave us a warm welcome and the keys, and then hopped into his car and asked us to follow him, so he can show us the cottage we will stay in. turns out besides us there was only a couple there, so we were almost alone. since this place looked so amazing and beautiful, we decided to take a stroll around the area near the cottage[061-084].
it was really amazing here, with beautiful woods, and again loads of ant hills[070]. we climbed down a hill, walked around there, then turned around and walked back again.
the mosquitoes were bearable as long as you kept on moving fast enough. then only half a million ones of them got to follow and bite you. so taking a picture always had to be considered and weighed up carefully: gaining pixels or loosing blood. although it seemed they always preferred my blood over ninas. grrrr...
when we came back to the cottage we noticed the sun began to set, and saw an amazing sunset in paltamo[085,​093,​095,​100-125]. it looked so breathtaking, we just had to walk around a little more, blood sucking midges or not.
we found the other accommodations that were scattered around this huge area. two smaller huts[110] were located on the top of a hill with an amazing view, and two chairs outside to enjoy this spectacular scenery. this place was really something very special.
on our way back to our cottage we went to the nearby restaurant/cafe where we were handed over the key before, and walked up a to an observation platform right on the roof of the restaurant. again we were the only ones here. it was a stunning spot, and we would not have minded, if these moments would have lasted forever, or at least a little longer.
but eventually, the sun had set, and it was time for us to get into our cabin, the "lacquer room" in the "forest spirit" villa, at the jättiliäisenmaa ("giant earth") holiday house in paltamo. we enjoyed our en suite sauna, and had dinner. and we even got the confirmation for the bear watching safari - yippieh, we had a booking for tomorrow night. what an absolutely wonderful day. today's high was around 25°C,​ and it was sunny all day long. track for day 12. track for day 12 hike.

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