Finland

I have been out of Somerset for a couple of weeks on holiday where I discovered the wonderful Finland archipelago.

Finland Archipelago

Finland Archipelago

A family holiday following the route of the viking sagas across Scandinavia and Russia offered some great opportunities for nature photography especially when we stayed with friends on a small island in the Finland archipelago.

Dawn

Finding time for landscape and nature photography on a family holiday can be challenge.  The best option is to get up earlier than everyone else – if only the sunrise was not at 4:50 am.

Dawn - Finland

Dawn – Finland

Even earlier at 4:30 I peeked through the bed-cabin window to a see this glorious red sky.

Dawn - Finland

Dawn – Finland

The soft morning light reflected off the Baltic Sea.

Canada Geese at Dawn - Finland. ID IMG_2645

Canada Geese at Dawn – Finland. ID IMG_2645

Canada geese passed by the archipelago.

Red-breasted merganser (Mergus serrator) - Finland. ID IMG_2685

Red-breasted merganser (Mergus serrator) – Finland. ID IMG_2685

A family of red-breasted merganser visited the beach.

By 5:30am I was back in bed.

Bicycle Ride

Pick a quite time and get a way for hour on your own.  Obviously, your best option is a cycle ride.  Cycling is slow enough to spot things and fast enough to get to those things you wanted to spot.

The roadside verges on the islands were a full of colour.  I continuously scanned them as I cycled along.

Roadside Verge - Finland. ID IMG_2007

Roadside Verge – Finland. ID IMG_2007

Each time my eye caught a butterfly I stopped and photographed it before continuing down the island.

Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus) - Finland. ID IMG_2162

Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus) – Finland. ID IMG_2162

Butterflies such as this ringlet were familiar but slightly different to those in Somerset.  These were much paler.

Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus) - Finland. ID IMG_2244

Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus) – Finland. ID IMG_2244

There were lots of silver-studded blues, or perhaps they are Amanda’s blues?

Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus) - Finland. ID IMG_2697

Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus) – Finland. ID IMG_2697

These dark-green fritillary butterflies looked different, until a friend back at work pointed out they were lesser marbled fritillaries.

Lesser marbled fritillary (Brenthis ino) - Finland.

Lesser marbled fritillary (Brenthis ino) – Finland.

Red Squirrels

Only red squirrels live on the islands, not the grey ones we get in Somerset.

A saw some run across the road on my bike ride but I had little hope of photographing them.  Instead a park in Russia made red squirrel photography as simple as it can be.  They are so fast!

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

And finally…

Look out for some strange creatures.

Strange Creature

Thats my arms!

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