King Eider Harbour

Båtsfjord: the King’s Harbour

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Twice I have donned brightly coloured Arctic jumpsuits and headed out in a zodiac from a base in Båtsfjord Harbour on the exposed northern fringe of Varanger, Arctic Norway. Both represent unique Arctic experiences. The first was the ‘Blue Fulmar Pelagic’ in May 2011. The second, (last week) was one of the closest encounters with Arctic Sea Duck currently available on the planet. Båtsfjord kinda means ‘innermost part of the fjord’. It could also be dubbed ‘THE KING’S HARBOUR’.

Both events involve local ex-fisherman turned bird guide, Ørjan Hansen and of course Tormod Amundsen. Here’s a wee vid explaining what’s happened from inside the magic floating bird hide. You’ll hopefully get a ‘real time’ feel of what the views and experience is like:

Tormod’s post here is well worth a read with full detail of the vision developing and how the hide eventually went from crazy idea to awesome reality. READ here

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King eider fem

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This video show just how close the birds can be:

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King Eider imm maleA first summer male (2cy) King Eider

Steller's Eider ad male 2 smallerTrying to photograph a male Steller’s Eider but the male King kept trying to butt in in on the action!

Steller's Eider ad male

steller's Eider female 2

steller's Eider female 5female Steller’s Eider have a marvelously richly patterned plumage and the bill looks liquid with a fish lips bill tip. Positively prehistoric appearance at times.

Long-tailed DUCK MALLong-tailed Duck  ad male

Long-tailed Duck 2Male and female Long-tailed Duck were part of the action too

common eiderdrake Common Eider. Plenty of these completed the seaduck set.

Little auk 22 Little Auk were close in the harbour and had begun moulting into breeding plumage.

Glaucous Gulls ad and juvThese Glaucous Gulls, and Iceland Gull and bunch of Northern Herring Gulls were amoung the larids present.

The harbour, though, still belonged to the KING:

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One thought on “King Eider Harbour

  1. Jørn

    While obviously enjoying yourselves in the midst of the Varanger nature in the midts of a fantastic birdlife, you all do a fantastic job in promoting Varanger even more. Thanks to you all, you are fantastic people. Jørn

    Reply

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