birding sites in

south Finland

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At Martinselkonen you are close enough to the bears to photograph them even with a pocket digi-camera

All the sites in this section are treated, in detail and with precise maps and directions, in my book ‘Finding Birds in South Finland’

If you have any information which you feel would help to update the book, please email me at and I’ll add your observations to these pages

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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

There are now several sites in Finland where birders can be guaranteed seeing Brown Bears. The one at Martinselkonen has been established for several years and attracts up to 20 bears per night.

The seats in the main hide are exceptionally comfortable. The rear of the hide has bunk beds for sleeping overnight. Our guide, Mika (mid picture) was exceptionally knowledgeable and helped us to understand just what remarkable lives the bears lead.

In the morning we couldn’t leave the hide until Mika had shooed the bears away!

In addition to the main hide there are smaller ‘professional’ hides overlooking a marsh so the bears can be photographed in a more photogenic location - but you miss out on the expertise of the guides.

The centre used to be a frontier post but now provides meals and accommodation for tourists wanting to see bears. There’s a really good bird feeding station in the garden

The view from the tower at Hirvasjarvi. Good for cranes, gulls, ducks and waders

Not too far from Martinselkonen is a good bird lake- Hirvasjarvi. Waxwings were nesting in the trees by the tower