Photographing season: 10.4.-31.5.
Photographing session: 12-14 hours
Capacity: 9 people
Capercaillie cock is the largest European grouse. This three-foot-tall majestic bird’s primitive courting sounds guarantee an unforgettable experience. The cocks settle out their superiority in ardent courting games on their lekking ground – and we are the front seat spectators. By the end of April, before the ”hen week”, the alpha cock has prevailed and will couple with all the hens of the area. In the early morning, the lek is visited usually by three to five cocks, with the dominating alpha-cock often only thirty feet from the hides. Our hides are specially designed for professional bird photographers and those are located in an area that has been visited by the birds for decades.
The Capercaillie lek lies in a light coniferous forest, and three to five cocks lek at the site every year. The hens arrive at the edges of the lek at the end of April, and the “hen week” usually takes place in early May. The snow at the site usually melts around mid-May.
Hide information: The hides have six to eight shooting holes, which offer a shooting sector of almost 360 degrees. Cameras can be attached on tripod heads, which are tightened on a wooden plank. The hides are equipped with pillows and sleeping bags and a terrain toilet.
Photo session: 12-14 hours. The entrance to the hides must be the previous evening, before the arrival of the cocks. The session ends in the morning after the departure of the cocks from the lek. During the photographing session is not allowed to come out of the hiding place, because Capercaillies can be disturbed.
Location: 30 minutes by car from the centre of Kuusamo, and about 100-meter walk.
Weather: Spring in Kuusamo can still be quite cold, with temperatures dropping below zero during nighttime. Sometimes very heavy snow showers can occur even in early May.
Heating: Gel fuel heater
Distance to subjects: at closest 5-10 metres, but usually 20-40 metres
Recommended lenses: 70-200/300mm for birds on landscapes shots, 300-600mm for portraits
Orientation: Variable as Capercaillies will move around the hides.
Mobile phone coverage: Yes
Meals: You will have early dinner before departing from the accommodation. We will provide packed lunch and coffee/tea for your stay in the hide.
Prices: 150 euros/person/day. The first photographing session requires an orientation of how to handle everything in there. It has a cost of 100 euros/group.
Check more photos taken from the hides at our Flickr –gallery