Great snipe courtship display
Tour dates 2020: 11 -14 June
Tour dates 2021: Coming soon
Where: Levanger (north from Trondheim)
Length: 4 days, 3 night sessions in the hide
Tour guide: Terje Kolaas
Number of participants: 2 - 3
Price: 11.000,- NOK
Last date to register: 30th of May 2020
Accommodation: Cozy shared double bedroom in an beautiful farm stay, just outside Levanger, surrounded by nature.
Breakfast at accommodation
Transport: All local transport, including the pick-up and drop off at Trondheim airport.
Tips for photographing the Great snipe during their display.
Hides: Each photographer will have his / her own tent to photograph from.
Single room fee: 2100,- NOK.
Price does not include
Flights to and from Trondheim airport
Lunch and diners (these can be bought at the accommodation)
Photographing the Great snipe
From photo hides you will photograph and experience the impressive courtship display of the Great Snipe.
Getting to the hides
The display arena is about a 45 minute walk from the road. The distance is a little bit less than 3 km. Most of the way we will follow a well marked track. The last part is pretty steep, but no worry, we will take it slow. The bog will be wet, so water proof shoes are absolutely necessary. We recommend to dress light for the walk, but to bring more clothing to wear when settled in the hide.
The courtship display
Depending on their mood, they start the lekking anytime between 20:00 and 23:00. The birds will show up in any type of weather, even snow and wind won't keep them from appearing on their lekking grounds. Their entrance can be as good as invisible, they are just suddenly there. The first hour the birds can be heard singing from a hidden position in the grass or in the willow in the outskirts of the arena. The darker it gets, the more active the birds gets and at midnight they go crazy. The birds are not shy, so you are welcome to have all windows and doors open, without disturbing the birds. The lekking will fade out anytime between 04 and 08 in the morning. Once in a while the birds pauses their lekking. This is normal behavior and they will soon take up the activity again. The females are watching the show from the outskirt of the arena and are very, very rarely seen from the hides.
Day 1. Pick up at Trondheim airport. The guide will bring you to your accommodation and will give you a short introduction for the coming days. In the evening you will be brought to the hides for the first Great snipe photography session. You will spend the night in the hide.
Day 2 and 3. You will stay until about 8:00 in the morning in the hide. The guide will pick you up and drive you back to the accommodation. Here you can have your breakfast, back-up your images and get some sleep. In the evening you will be brought back to the Great snipe hides. You will spend the night in the hide.
Day 4. You will stay until about 8:00 in the morning in the hide. The guide will pick you up and drive you back to the accommodation. Here you can have your breakfast, back up your images and pack your bags. The guide will pick you uap at the accommodation and bring you to Trondheim airport.
The hides are DOG-HOUSE pop-up-blinds with a ground square of 170x170 cm. They are equipped with a camping chair, a plastic floor and a sleeping pad. The hide is not heated, so the temperature inside will be equal to the one outside (0 to +10 degrees Celsius). It is an absolutely must to bring a sleeping bag to keep warm. We`re glad to provide a warm sleeping bag for an additional cost of 500 NOK on request. The hide has no toilet facilities, so please bring your preferred facility (bottle or "Travel John") or prepare the way that suit you most. It is not possible to leave the hide during night, so prepare for 10 hours. There is marginal cell phone connection on the site (with Telenor), but calls and sms are possible.
It is always a matter of your own taste, with how many mm you want to photograph the birds. Even if it results in a heavy backpack, we recommend to bring both a short and your longest lenses. Since light is limited, fast lenses (f2.8-4) are recommended. Also a tripod is essential for getting good images in low light conditions.
Some of the birds can be as close as 1 meter away from the hide, so even wide angels can be useful. The birds are not sensitive for movements and sounds, so you can switch lenses and use all the windows in the hide during the night.
The temperature around this time of the year can still vary a lot. Bring plenty of layers so you can dress accordingly. During the nights in the hide, the temperature will most likely be somewhere between 0 and +10 degrees Celsius. Thin gloves and a warm hat won't be luxury.
Water proof boots and anything that keeps you warm through the night is necessary. If you prefer to photograph on a low level you have to lay down on the wet floor and water proof trousers and a water proof jacket is needed to keep you dry.