Tag Archives: northern Finland

Liminganlahti birdwatcher’s bay

Liminganlahti nature center is in northern Finland near the city of Oulu. In mid September I passed by the area so decided to have a stop to see if cranes migration was still going on. I found out that the main migration of cranes to the south had happened the day before. The crane (grus grus), kurki in Finnish is the biggest bird of Finland. Cranes’ plough formed flocks on the sky and their loud voices is always an event to worth observing.

I did not see many birds on my stop but I was lucky to see a White-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), merikotka in Finnish flying in the distance. The bay areas around Oulu are popular spots for birdwatching, there are many observer decks and towers in the area. The most popular time is in spring when flocks of different birds migrate to Finland and have a stop-over at nearby bays.

Path leading to the observer hut by the sea
A view from the observer hut to the sea
A view to the bay
The observer hut offers shelter from wind and is quite big with opening windows to three sides
Nearby cows for observation
Wooden deck from the observer hut
On the other side there is a observer tower
Reeds at early evening sun
The only bird caught in picture - curious young Pied Wagtail (motacilla alba), västäräkki in Finnish
Nature Center was closed and under repair

Canoeing in Oulanka national park

One of the best places I have paddled in Finland is Oulanka river which is quite popular among paddlers. The most suitable part of the river for beginners and those who like less white water is from below Kiutaköngäs rapids to Jäkälämutka. Starting place for 25 km route is after Kiutaköngäs rapids near Mataraniemi fire site.

In May after river is freed of ice it is still quite wild but in June water level goes lower and stream is easy even for beginners. More experienced paddlers can try upper part of river from Savilampi to Oulanka Visitor Center before Kiutaköngäs rapids. There are also several rapids where river rafting trips go but Kiutaköngäs rapids is not one of them and not to be entered.

The easy route from Kiutaköngäs to Jäkälämutka can be paddled in a few hours but to enjoy the trip and nature more it is advised to stay a night either in Ansakämppä wilderness hut or on the opposite shore in Nurmisaarenniemi in a tent. There is also a nice fire site along sandy beach in Alaniemi near Jäkälämutka.

Paddling on the route you will probably see all kinds of wildlife; eagles, reindeer, tracks of bear perhaps? If you pass Jäkälämutka stop point by accident you will run to rope across the river indicating border zone. See more info of canoeing routes and rental services from nationalparks.fi.

Part of Kiutaköngäs rapids - not for paddling
View from the starting place to last rapids of Kiutaköngäs
Last streams of Kiutaköngäs are much wilder in May
Reindeer with a baby
Very easy flowing river
Fisherman near Nurmisaari fire site
Sandy beach at Nurmisaari fire site
Sandy beaches are easy to land
Sun bathing reindeer style
Sand banks of Oulanka river
Lean-to and good camping site at Alaniemi
Not too much crowd at the river in June
Sandy bottom revealed when water is low