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Oulanka National Park
In north-east Finland, just outside Arctic Circle and close to the Russian border, the main feature of this park is the spectacular Oulankajoki River. Flowing east through the park this river rushes through deep valleys and ravines with white-water rapids and waterfalls. In some parts the river flows more slowly and passes through areas of flower-filled meadows and eventually flows out of the park and into Russia.
 Notable Species
The remainder of the park is largely forested, mainly pine and spruce but also birch, rowan and aspen, the typical birds include Brambling, Crested Tit and Siberian Tit, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Great Grey Owl and Tengmalm's Owl and Siberian Jay.
In the north of the park there are wetter areas and bogs with alder and Myrtle-leaved Willow and these areas are home to breeding waders and ducks.
Birds you can see here include:
Black-throated Diver, Whooper Swan, Taiga Bean Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Common Goldeneye, Smew, European Honey Buzzard, Hen Harrier, Common Buzzard, Rough-legged Buzzard, Golden Eagle, Hazel Grouse, Willow Grouse, Black Grouse, Western Capercaillie, Common Crane, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Ruff, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Common Cuckoo, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Great Grey Owl, Tengmalm's Owl, Black Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, Bohemian Waxwing, Common Dipper, Red-spotted Bluethroat, Red-flanked Bluetail, Common Redstart, Song Thrush, Arctic Warbler, Greenish Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Siberian Tit, Crested Tit, Siberian Jay, Northern Raven, Brambling, Northern Redpoll, Two-barred Crossbill, Common Crossbill, Parrot Crossbill, Pine Grosbeak, Little Bunting, Rustic Bunting
 Other Wildlife
Among the scrub vegetation is an immensely rich flora with over 40 orchid species identified and several interesting alpines grow on the escarpments of the mountains.
 Site Information
 History and Use
Inhabited by man since prehistoric times visitors can see tumuli, megaliths, dolmens and other archaeological remains.
 Areas of Interest
The speciality that many birders come here for is the Red-flanked Bluetail. The Ristikallio Gorge is one of the best areas for this sought after species.
 Access and Facilities
There is an information centre, marked hiking trails and lodges and campsites within the park as well as accommodation in nearby Kuusamo.
 Contact Details
 External Links
Content and images originally posted by Steve