The silent forest

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.

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Siberian Jay, one of the few birds in the winter taiga

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.

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Siberian Tit 

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.

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Siberian Tit in a pine tree

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.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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