bird watching Vasterbotten tour – prices and itinerary

Bird watching Vasterbotten

2020 holiday packages run from Friday May 1st until Sunday October 4th.

An example itinerary:

Long weekend Friday to Tuesday.

Friday –

Arrive at Umea airport.

On collection it is possible to then eat a meal at the adjacent Avion shopping centre. Try the Scandinavian MAX burger restaurant or go international with Chinese, Japanese and Korean restaurants being available (at your own choice and cost).

Transfer to accommodation by 7 seat Volvo XC90 takes 1hr. The journey passes grassland, forest, rivers and lakes so the opportunity to spot birds or moose can be immediate. Settle into your new surroundings.

Saturday – Visit our forest on foot and a car trip to the UNESCO Vindeln River Biosphere Reserve.

The focus will be on finding owls. The Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) is the most likely one we will spot, but other Scandinavian owl species are very possible. The owls can be very aggressive and territorial towards one another and birds of prey. As such, we will need to visit a variety of locations to have a chance of finding different species of owl. We will do a late evening / night drive to maximise our chances of owl encounters. 

We will start with an easy morning walk through the taiga forest (coniferous forest created by boreal species of spruce, fir, larch, pine and silver birch) which we own near your lodgings. The walk will be around 1.5km and is full of places to stop deep in the forest, overlooking grassland and beside the river. We walk over flat grass tracks, which we maintain.

You will be shown access routes, viewing hot spots, bird hides and feeding trees and stations.  You can then revisit them in your own time during the rest of your stay. 

You can expect to see Hazel Hen / Hazel Grouse (Tetrastes bonasia), try to spot Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) visiting their regular feeding trees and hope to observe Spotted Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes), Siberian Jay (Perisoreus infaustus) or Grey-Headed Woodpecker plus more at our feeding station. Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor) are possible but elusive.

Close interactions with Red-breasted flycatcher among the wood piles is a highlight.

Grey-headed woodpecker (Picus canus canus) male by swedenfishingandbirding.net

 

Fantastic birding made easy in Sweden.
Fantastic birding made easy in Sweden.

 

Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) taken by sweden fishing and birding - Northern Sweden guided bird watching tour.
Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) taken by sweden fishing and birding – Northern Sweden guided bird watching tour.

 

Spotted nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes). Photo taken by sweden fishing and birding while bird watching near Vindeln, Vasterbotten, Sweden.
Spotted nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes). Photo taken by sweden fishing and birding while bird watching near Vindeln, Vasterbotten, Sweden.
Spotted nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes). Photo taken by sweden fishing and birding while bird watching near Vindeln, Vasterbotten, Sweden.
Spotted nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes). Photo taken by sweden fishing and birding while bird watching near Vindeln, Vasterbotten, Sweden.

Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) are common and Beaver (Castor fiber) possible with their felled trees and dam making efforts being ever visible. A close up experience with Moose (Alces alces) is possible and adrenaline inducing!

The forest is home to Eurasian Brown Bear (Ursus arctos arctos), Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx) and Pine Marten (Martes martes). However, they have a natural fear and aversion to people so a sighting would be a rare experience. We do find footprints and scat.

You can then utilize the adjacent shop to stock up with foods/drinks. It opens at 9:30am.

During the correct time of year we may wake early to listen for and find breeding Capercaillie and/or Black Grouse.
 
A walk during the hours of darkness can often be rewarded with the sound of calling owls. Indeed, when we go out to view the northern lights we often get a hooting owl come and investigate us!
 
DSC_0662 Kristin King great grey owl northern sweden birdwatching holidays
Great grey owl (Strix nebulosa) northern sweden bird watching tour photographed by swedenfishingandbirding.net
 
In the afternoon we can take a drive around Skivsjo Lake or ascend a local wooden bird viewing tower overlooking a lake and forest, take detours through forest tracks and drive towards Vindeln Nature Reserve.
 
Vindeln Nature Reserve Board
Vindeln Nature Reserve Board
 
Encounters with either Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix), Eurasian Crane (Grus grus), Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) or Northern Raven (Corvus corax) are anticipated. 
 
The Western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), also known as the wood grouse, heather cock, or just Capercaillie. Photo taken by sweden fishing and birding.
The Western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), also known as the wood grouse, heather cock, or just Capercaillie. Photo taken by sweden fishing and birding.
 
We are usually treated to the sight of other raptors and corvids. Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) are very rare but possible, Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus), Northern Hen harrier (Circus cyaneus) and Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) are ever present amongst the most noteworthy. 
 
The afternoon is a mixture of driving and walking very short distances to search for Scandinavian specialities (particularly owls, raptors, grouse and woodpeckers) culminating in our arrival at the beautiful Vindeln River where we hope to see White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla). Cross the river on an adrenaline inducing suspension bridge and observe a beautiful fast flowing salmon river from a whole new perspective. 
DSC_1047
Vindeln River suspension bridge.

Vindeln town offers some urban birding and a chance to use a large supermarket. Close views of Spotted Nutcracker are hoped for. Woodpeckers, Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus), Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea), Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) and many other passerine birds are very likely.

Driving to and from Vindeln will be dedicated to spotting Grouse, Capercaillie, owls and raptors. Moose and semi-wild Reindeer (owned by the indigenous Sami people) are possible. The area holds Lynx, Bear and Pine Martin but seeing one would be very lucky! Today offers terrific photo opportunities.

DSC_0688 Kristin King Ural owl birdwatching northern sweden holidays
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) bird watching northern sweden trips photographed by swedenfishingandbirding.net

We will keep a keen eye out for the very pale morph of Ural owl (Strix uralensis) that we have in the area. They mainly show along old growth forest edges on dull / overcast days.

We get sightings of Norther hawk-owl (Surnia ulula). It is one of the few owls that is neither nocturnal nor crepuscular, being active only during the day. We shall pause and view from the vehicle at one of their more frequent hunting spots.

Vindeln Nature Reserve has a specific bird watching educational forest trail. Feeding stations, a live webcam feed, bird boxes and numerous information boards and interactive bird call stations are present.

Vindeln Nature Reserve interactive audible bird singing board
Vindeln Nature Reserve interactive audible bird singing board

You wind the apparatus on the bottom right of the above photo to hear various recordings of singing birds.

Vindeln Nature Reserve bird species information board
Vindeln Nature Reserve bird species information board
Winter birds in Vindeln Nature Reserve
Winter birds in Vindeln Nature Reserve
Swedish bird houses in Vindeln Nature Reserve
Swedish bird houses in Vindeln Nature Reserve

We will take a late evening Owl targeted drive, park up and wait tour in the two hours before darkness.

This is a LOT to do in one day and offers the chance to see locations that you will want to revisit should you be staying extra days with us. Some can be see on foot from where you stay, others will require a hire car or we me be able to conduct additional visits in future days for a charge. These can be agreed, booked and paid for while you are staying with us. So, if you like what you see we can take you back!

Sunday – A car trip to Lycksele in Lapland.

Morning departure for Lycksele in Lapland (45 minutes drive away). Here we will ascend a wooden wildlife viewing tower, overlooking wet mire and forest. More often than not we see moose grazing. Bear, Pine Martin and Lynx are present but a very very rare find.

Moose calf (Alces alces). Photo taken by sweden fishing and birding in our forest.
Moose calf (Alces alces). Photo taken by sweden fishing and birding in our forest.

Travel to and from Lycksele provides the opportunity to spot Owls, Raptors, Ravens, Cranes and more. Capercaillie, Hazel Hen and Black Grouse are regularly seen at close quarters. The drive is through pine, birch, spruce forests bordering the Umea River and lakes.

Lunch (main meal, hot and cold drink) provided at Lappkatan Restaurant. They offer swedish cuisine and vegetarian options in a traditional wooden Sami inspired building.

DSC_0040
Capercaillie – Sami inspired restaurant Lycksele

If you want that Swedish souvenir (whether it be a moose bottle opener, swedish candy or reindeer antler handled cheese slicer) then Lycksele offers the chance to buy it. The town holds a terrific zoo showcasing indigenous species in their natural surroundings, an outdoor swimming pool complex and is a major stopping point for the camper van and caravan brigade passing between Norway and Sweden. It has a reputation for being a tourist destination.

A late evening owl watch close to home is viable in the two hours before darkness depending upon how long we stay in Lycksele.

 Monday – 

A day at leisure. Birdwatch around the local lake, forests and village. Revisit the areas you were shown on Saturday, in your own time and at your own pace on foot.

Waterways that enter the lake produce White-throated dipper (Cinclus cinclus) while Eurasian Crane (Grus grus), Black-Throated Diver (Gavia arctica), Red- Breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator), Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) and Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) are ever present.

During the late afternoon/early evening there will be the opportunity to take a car tour to look for owls and moose within a short drive (at no extra charge).  

Tuesday – Departure day. Transport provided to Umea airport. One last chance to spot during the drive!

DSC_1145 1
Female Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix) photographed by swedenfishingandbirding.net

 

A "ear-full" or "museum" of Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) taken by sweden fishing and birding - Northern Sweden umea vasterbotten birdwatching.
A “ear-full” or “museum” of Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) taken by sweden fishing and birding – Northern Sweden umea vasterbotten birdwatching.

Bird watching Vasterbotten Overview:

My tours are designed to be affordable and show you the spectacular, the rare and the most wanted. My intention is not to create a list of over 100 species (BUT we do supply a bird list containing 180 species!). You can do the latter yourself. My purpose is to narrow down the vast forest search area, have faith that what we want is there and will appear and most importantly to make sure you have a safe and memorable experience.

If your aim is to spend time with an exotic owl in the wild, watch a rare woodpecker tapping away and marvel at the size and pomp of a strutting Capercaillie then this is the tour for you.

LET US HELP YOU SPOT THEM

BEFORE THEY SPOT YOU

The cost is:

Single guest – £600. Total cost £600 or 660 Euros or 6 900 SEK.

Two guests – £350 each. Total cost £700 or 770 Euros or 8 050 SEK.

Three guests – £300 each.  Total cost £900 or 990 Euros or 10 350 SEK.

Four guests – £250 each. Total cost £1000 or 1 100 Euros or 11 500 SEK. Keep in mind that one bed is a double and two will sleep in it! 

The package includes;

Pick up and drop off at Umea airport. Collection and drop off times to be agreed at time of booking.

Four nights accommodation in the caravan.

One restaurant lunch meal in Lycksele (main meal, hot drink and soft drink included).

Guided tours as described.

Extending your trip to being a full week stay (Friday to Friday):

SPECIAL OFFER – We only charge an additional £150 for you to stay with us for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night with a return drop off at Umea airport on Friday. The cost of £150 is for groups of up to 3 people. So a group of 3 pays just £50 each for an extra 3 nights in Sweden! During this time you are left to “go it alone”. A fourth guest costs an additional £50.

Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) taken by sweden fishing and birding - Northern Sweden guided birding trip. Late September is best!
Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) taken by sweden fishing and birding – Northern Sweden guided birding trip. Late September is best!

 

Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) by swedenfishingandbirding.
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) by swedenfishingandbirding.

If you wish to stay for a full week then we DO offer an extra day tours.

We head coastwards to Umea (1 hour drive away) to a large freshwater lake offering Red necked grebe and Smew. We observe from a wooden viewing tower and walkways. This affords an excellent chance to encounter the species covered earlier in different surroundings, plus waders, geese, gulls and ducks. This tour couples nicely with the chance to visit the city of Umea. Prices are dependent on your specific requirements and number of guests. This can be agreed during your stay. Return via Umea airport is on Friday. 

OR

You may wish to book a trip on our boat to visit the islands in the lake and view birds out on the lake. Ducks, geese, gulls, terns, waders and raptors are ever present. Trip costs, departure times and duration can be agreed during your stay with us. This affords the best opportunity to encounter Beaver (sometimes on land but usually swimming in the lake). 

OR

We can rise early for a short drive to look for hormonal / displaying Black Grouse and Capercaillie in the forest (Spring only).

Playing peek a boo with Great grey owl by sweden fishing and birding, Vasterbotten, Northern Sweden.
Playing peek a boo with Great grey owl by sweden fishing and birding, Vasterbotten, Northern Sweden.

NEW! We have a secret winter location just over an hours drive away offering huge bird species diversity and photography potential. This place is top secret and requires a drive of just over an hour to reach. We shall be adding our photos from this location to our blog. This is where we see the colourful scandinavian bird species and some amazing raptor activity (including Golden Eagle).

WE AIM TO PLEASE. IF YOU HAVE ANY SPECIFIC QUERIES OR DESIRES OF PLACES TO VISIT OR THINGS TO SEE THEN FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME THE DETAILS. I SHALL ENDEAVOUR TO ADVISE AND ASSIST YOU WITH YOUR CHOSEN ITINERARY.

Hawk owl Surnia ulula birdwatching northern sweden holidays
Northern Hawk owl (Surnia ulula) northern sweden birdwatching holidays photographed by swedenfishingandbirding.net

WE ALSO OFFER SINGLE OR MULTIPLE DAYS GUIDED BIRD AND WILDLIFE WATCHING TRIPS (WITH OR WITHOUT ACCOMMODATION).

PLEASE EMAIL US WITH YOUR REQUEST FOR SINGLE DAY BIRD AND WILDLIFE WATCHING TRIPS; STATING THE DATE YOU WOULD LIKE TO GO, WHICH SPECIES YOU ARE KEEN TO SEE AND HOW MANY ARE IN YOUR GROUP.

PICK UP MAY BE AVAILABLE IF YOU ARE STAYING IN GRANO, VINDELN OR THE SURROUNDING AREA. PRICES WILL BE SUPPLIED ON REQUEST.

Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) taken by sweden fishing and birding - Northern Sweden guided birding trip. Late September sees huge irruptions in our garden.
Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) taken by sweden fishing and birding – Northern Sweden guided birding trip. Late September sees huge irruptions in our garden.
Curlew (Numenius arquata) by swedenfishingandbirding
We have breeding Curlew (Numenius arquata) visible from where you stay. Photo by swedenfishingandbirding.

 

Red-breasted merganser (Mergus serrator) female on our lake. Photo by sweden fishing and birding. Bird watching Northern Sweden.
Red-breasted merganser (Mergus serrator) female on our lake. Photo by sweden fishing and birding. Bird watching Northern Sweden.
White-throated dipper (Cinclus cinclus) by swedenfishingandbirding in Northern Sweden
White-throated dipper (Cinclus cinclus) by swedenfishingandbirding in Northern Sweden.
Male Black grouse or blackgame or blackcock (Tetrao tetrix) in our forest. Photo by sweden fishing and birding.
Male Black grouse or blackgame or blackcock (Tetrao tetrix) in our forest. Photo by sweden fishing and birding.

 

The short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) hunting over our grassland. Photo taken by sweden fishing and birding. Bird watching Northern Sweden.
Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) hunting over our grassland. Photo taken by sweden fishing and birding. Bird watching Northern Sweden tour.

 

Nymphalis antiopa, known as the Mourning Cloak or Camberwell Beauty or Swedish "Sorgmantel" - photo by sweden fishing and birding, Vasterbotten, Northern Sweden holidays and tours.
Nymphalis antiopa, known as the Mourning Cloak or Camberwell Beauty or Swedish “Sorgmantel” – photo by sweden fishing and birding, Vasterbotten, Northern Sweden holidays and tours.

 

Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) photo by sweden fishing and birding.
Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) photo by sweden fishing and birding.

 

Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) on the sweden fishing and birding feeders.
Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) on the sweden fishing and birding feeders. Some have pure white underparts, others reddish.

 

Northern sweden guided bird watching tour.
Great grey shrike (Lanius excubitor) photographed by sweden fishing and birding visiting our bird feeding station. Northern sweden guided bird watching tour.
Great grey shrike (Lanius excubitor) photographed by sweden fishing and birding visiting our bird feeding station. Northern sweden guided bird watching tour.
Great grey shrike (Lanius excubitor) photographed by sweden fishing and birding visiting our bird feeding station. Northern sweden guided bird watching tour.
Northern sweden bird photography by sweden fishing and birding.
Northern sweden bird photography by sweden fishing and birding.

Bird watching Vasterbotten links to bird watching places of interest:

Umea River Delta – ducks, geese, waders

https://www.lansstyrelsen.se/vasterbotten/besok-och-upptack/naturreservat/umealvens-delta.html

 

Grossjon Nature Reserve

https://www.visitumea.se/en/book/to-do/a481605/gr%C3%B6ssj%C3%B6n-nature-reserve/showdetails

 

Gammplatsen – 500 year old pine tree nature reserve

https://naturkartan.se/vasterbotten/gammplatsen

 

Destinations in the county of Vasterbotten

http://www2.visitvasterbotten.se/en/about-vasterbotten/destinations/

 

Bjornlandet National Park – Bears

https://www.sverigesnationalparker.se/park/bjornlandets-nationalpark/

Sweden fishing and birding - we are always on the look out.
Sweden fishing and birding – we are always on the look out.

 

We have breeding crane on site at sweden fishing and birding.
We have breeding crane on site at sweden fishing and birding.

 

Spotting shy birds on a guided tour in Northern Sweden with sweden fishing and birding
Spotting shy birds on a guided tour in Northern Sweden with sweden fishing and birding

 

sweden fishing and birding lunchtime walk photos
sweden fishing and birding

 

We offer bird watching tours on our boat. Visit the islands in the 900 hectare (8km long lake) in our back garden.
We offer bird watching tours on our boat. Visit the islands in the 900 hectare (8km long lake) in our back garden. Get up close and personal to swedish wildlife.

 

We live here.
We live here.

 

We have lots of woodpecker on site.
We have lots of woodpecker on site.

 

Capercaillie in our forest Tetrao urogallus
Capercaillie in our forest (Tetrao urogallus)

 

Helping our wonderful owls.
Helping our wonderful owls.

 

DSC_0692 Kristin King Ural owl birdwatching northern sweden holidays
Looking at you looking at me. Ural owl (Strix uralensis) bird watching northern sweden tour.

 

Hawk owl birdwatching northern sweden holidays
Northern Hawk owl (Surnia ulula) birding northern sweden trips

 

Meet the King of the forest.
Meet the King of the forest.

 

You never know who you meet!
You never know who you may meet!

Sweden is famed as a great place for photography.

Guided bird watching in Northern Sweden.
Guided bird watching in Northern Sweden.

Waxwing - guided birding in Northern sweden.
Waxwing – guided birding in Northern sweden.
Umea bird watching tour
Umea bird watching tour
Sweden bird watching trip.
Sweden bird watching trip.
sweden fishing and birding
sweden fishing and birding

 

 

Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) in our garden by swedenfishingandbirding
Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) in our garden by swedenfishingandbirding

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