While standing in the Finish taiga, I hear nothing. There was no wind, so water running, no cars, snow scooters or other human sounds, only the occasional chirping of a cross-country skier passing by. And there were no birds or other animals making a sound. A deafening silence.
With temperatures regularly plummeting to well below -30ºC and the ground being covered in over a meter of snow, there is very little food available for any animals, so most of them leave the area during winter. When I continue my walk through the snow, I come to a clearing with a small wilderness cafe.
There, in a tree next to the little cabin, I see some movement! Finally, a bird, attracted by a doughnut put in the tree by the owners of the cafe. The next two hours I spent alternating between walking outside, taking pictures of the Siberian and Willow Tits and Siberian Jays and getting warm again inside the cafe with a nice cup of hot chocolate and one of their splendid cakes.
For me, it’s only the second time I see the Siberian Tit, a species that can only be found in the taiga in the northern parts of Scandinavia and it’s the first time I could take pictures of it. Needless to say, I was very thrilled with this opportunity to add these species in nice winter conditions to my taiga species collection.