BLACK GROUSE AND CAPERCAILLIE PHOTO TOUR
Tour dates 2020.
-Tour 1: from the 8th until the 12th of April (Fully booked)
-Tour 2: from the 15th until the 21th of April. (1 spots remaining)
-Tour 3: from the 24th until the 30th of April. (Fully booked)
-Tour 4: from the 1st until the 6th of May (The capercaillie have finished their display by this time). (Fully booked)
Tour dates 2021.
-Tour 1: from the 8th until the 12th of April (Reserved)
-Tour 2: from the 15th until the 21th of April. (6 spots remaining)
-Tour 3: from the 24th until the 30th of April. (6 spot sremaining)
-Tour 4: from the 1st until the 6th of May (The capercaillie have finished their display by this time). (Reserved)
Length: 7 days, 6 photo hide sessions (Tours 2 & 3)
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: 2-6
Price: 18.500,- NOK (+/- 1850,- euro) (19.500,- NOK from 2021)
Tour guide: Floris Smeets
Accommodation: Based on twin bedrooms, with each their own bathroom, small kitchen and living room. Wi-Fi is available for free. Bed sheets will be provided. Please bring your own bath towel.
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.
6 photo sessions from our hides. Each photographer will have his / her own tent to photograph from. For the black grouse, the tents are rather large (2.10mx2.10m) to provide you as much comfort as possible. The capercaillie hides vary in size.
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.
Photographing black grouse:
You will be brought to the hides in the late evening. The hides are 2x2 meter, which offers enough space to sleep comfortably. Sleeping mats are provided and warm sleeping bags can be rented on location. 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. You have to stay in the hides until the guide will pick you up after the birds have left. We work with tents so that we can easily pick the best photo spots. The tents allow you to put your lens at any height between 0 and 80cm above the ground. This will allow you to pick an high angle in order to get the ground as background or an extreme low angle in order to get those intense low angle shots which you need for photographing with back light. Some of the hides are positioned with the rising sun in the back and others are positioned facing towards the sunrise. This is perfect for making those special back light pictures!
The male capercaillie gather at the display area already in the evening. Here they sit in the trees and keep a close eye on the area. If the birds have not spotted any danger, they will start their display between +/- 02:00 and 04:00. The display normally lasts until around 10:00. The females arrive around 05:00 at the display area and gather in the territory of the most dominant male.
You will be brought to your photo hide between 18:00 and 19:00. Here you will spend the night until you get woken up by the males displaying on the ground. The display is for a large part a vocal play. This means that the males are constantly listening to the sounds coming from the surroundings. It is very important that you are quite! Also sudden movements with the camera can scare them off! We work with tents, so that we can change the position of the tents between the different days, if needed.
Other species which can be seen and photographed:
-Moose. On some evenings there is the possibility to look for moose. 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.
-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 bird feeders 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 2013, 2014 and 2018 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. A 500mm on a full frame body is enough. You need to bring your own tripod for in the hides. Please also bring 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 (-10 / -5 comfort zone for mid-April, -5 / 0 comfort zone for May) and warm clothing. High quality winter sleeping bags can be rented for 10 euro per night or 50,- euro per week.
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. In the past 10 years we have had a 100% success rate with the black grouse.
No smoking in the hides and cars!
Read here the testimonials from our previous guests.