Saturday, 19 April 2008

Between Vadsø and Ekkerøy, Norway

While driving along the coast of the Varanger fjord it is wise to keep one eye on the open water (and the other eye on the road of course). Dense groups of Steller's Eiders (polysticta stelleri/Stellers Eider) can turn up everywhere. Often they are far out in the sea, but sometimes with a bit of luck, you see them quite close to the shore in a characteristic circular communal fishing formation.
Purple Sandpipers (Calidris maritima/Paarse Strandloper) are common residents in the Varanger fjord. In this picture I especially like the natural habitat, i.e. rocks covered with acorn-shells and green slippery seaweed.
Have you ever laid down on an icy-floor between a group of 500+ Snow Buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis/Sneeuwgors)? No? I did! A wonderful experience. The birds were very hungry, and eagerly returned to those few places in the field were the thaw revealed some grass. The white blobs in the background are also Snow Buntings.

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