BLACK GROUSE, WILLOW GROUSE, MOOSE, OSPREY, OWLS, FINCHES AND MUCH MORE.
When: From the 1st until the 6th of May. (2 spots available again for 2018)
Length: 6 days
Where: The accommodation is located in Deset, a small town surrounded by beautiful wilderness, about 25 km North from the city Rena in Hedmark county.
Number of participants: 2-4
Price: 15.500,- NOK (+/- 1.650,- Euro) per person (16.500,- NOK from 2020)
Accommodation: You will have your own small apartment with bathroom, small kitchen and Wi-Fi. Bed sheets will be provided.
Transport: You will be picked up and dropped off at Oslo Gardermoen airport.
Food: Food and drinks for during the day will be provided for you, including a fresh cooked dinner every evening.
Tips for photographing black grouse and capercaillie during display.
Hides: Each photographer will have his / her own tent to photograph from. For the grouse, the tents are rather large (2.10mx2.10m) to provide you as much comfort as possible.
Flight: It is the easiest to fly to Oslo Gardermoen.
Alcohol: Alcohol is quite expensive in Norway. If you want to drink alcohol, I advise you to buy it at the airport before coming to Norway.
Travel insurance: All participants are responsible for their own travel insurance.
The first week of May might be one of the best periods of the black grouse lekking season. The females are ready to get mated, which makes the males lose their minds. Additionally to the high activity, the early morning light is spectacular and perfect for back-light photography. When the first light hits the lekking site the whole area lights up bright orange for about 30 minutes, creating a magical scenery.
Photographing black grouse:
You can choose to be brought to your photo tent in the late evening or early morning (02:00). If you are in the tent from the late evening, you will sleep in the tent until you get woken up by the black grouse arriving on the display area (somewhere between 2:00 and 4:30). The birds will stay in front of the photo tents until somewhere between 8:00 and 10:00. We work with tents, so that we can change the position of the tents between the different days. In this way you can have different distances, positions or angle of light. This is perfect for making those special back light pictures!
Other species we will focus on:
-Moose. In the evenings we will make some driven moose "safaris". We will photograph the animals from the car. During these drives, we will have a good chance to also photograph roe deer, crane, mountain hare, black grouse and capercaillie.
-Willow grouse. One day we will drive high up into a mountain area. Here we will search for willow grouse. We will photograph from the car. Next to the grouse, we will have a chance to spot wild reindeer, red deer, roe deer, moose, crane, mountain hare, black grouse and capercaillie. On our way back to our accommodation, we make a stop at a second area where we will have the chance to photograph the dipper. On this day we also have a good chance of finding the northern hawk owl and boreal owl.
-Osprey. Not too far from our accommodation, a pair of ospreys is nesting. From photo tents we will photograph how the pair builds the nest, mates and eat fish.
-Small singing birds. In the backyard of the accommodation are birdfeeders which attract several species of small singing birds, such as birch finch, bull finch, green finch and nuthatch.
-Owl species. From year to year there are many owls to be found in the surroundings of our accommodation. In 2015 there were no owls in the area, because the vole population collapsed. In 2014 and 2013 we photographed the great grey ow, northern hawk owl and the boreal owl in this area. There is no guarantee that there will be any owls in the area, but the chances are good.
Camera equipment needed:
Usage of objectives of 300mm or more is advised, tripod is needed, enough memory cards and batteries! Batteries can be recharged in your accommodation.
Important things to bring:
High rubber boots, warm sleeping bag for in the hide (-5 / 0 comfort zone) and warm clothing. High quality winter sleeping bags can be rented for 10 euro per night.
Important to know:
For some of the display areas we have to walk about 20 minutes through the forest to get to the hides. There are display areas closer to roads, but there are fewer birds displaying.
We photograph wild animals in natural situations. So no guarantees can be given. But I guarantee that the chances are incredible high.
No smoking in the hides and cars.