2016 - April/May
Varanger (Norway) and Oulu (Finland)
I spent two weeks at these two sites. The main targets were the Eiders (Steller's and King) in Varanger. The first cited was common around Vadso, while the second one was very hard to find until I found a small group at sea from Ekkeroy.
The Varanger part was excellent, although it was too soon in the season (most migratory birds had not come back).
The island of Hornoya, off the East coast of Varanger, was already full of breeding Seabird, including a few Brunnich's Guillemots.
Although the coast of Varanger was devoid of ice, most of the Peninsula, and all the way from Rovaniemi to Varanger, was completely covered by snow.
Liminka Bay (near Oulu) was interesting, but I left only days before the mass arrival of waders. Nevertheless, a Short-eared Owl showed very well from a hide, as well flying Common snipes.
The other targets were the Grouses. I only managed to see 3 species (Capercaillie, Black grouse and Ptarmigan), but seeing a displaying male Capercaillie was a fantastic end to the trip.
2016 - April
Bioparc de Doué-la-Fontaine
This park is one of the most brilliant I have visited. It is well known for its troglodyt setting, which is used to model the enclosures.
The newest exhibit is the very large and luxuriant African aviary (4000 m2), filled with Birds (especially Turacos, 7 species) and Okapis.
From this aviary you can access the largest aviary in Europe (10 000 m2), focusing on South-American avifauna. It is the only aviary I know where you can actually see Parrots flying in a flock above your head.
And yes, the Bird on the upper left side of the photo is a Condor.
Another exhibit of special interest is the African savannah. The enclosure was built in a quarry, where you cannot find typical Antelope species, but only Black Rhinoceros, and Dorcas Gazelles. Huge surface for a few animals.