We followed the River Tana with clusters of fishermen on the shore where the river narrowed forming rapids and stopped at Tana Bru. Norway is even more expensive than Finland so we made do with a Pizza to share at the equivalent of 14€ which, when delivered was plenty for two anyway. Fuel was about 150€/litre but fortunately we had filled up in Inari at 129€/litre.
We quickly arrived at Varangerbotn and our first sighting of the Arctic Ocean. The rain had just about stopped but it was still cold. Pam spotted the first White-tailed Eagle on the shore and we saw four more as we drove towards Nesseby.
At Nesseby there were 3 summer plumaged Little Stint feeding on the shoreline and several Arctic Skua and a single adult Long-tailed past along the coast.
|Little Stint - summer plumage|
We stopped overnight at JV Camping at Vestre Jakobselv. There were bird feeders by the reception with more Redpoll but again all Mealy. The occasional Willow Tit made a visit but otherwise it was House Sparrows and Greenfinch. Around the harbour we had Temminck's and Little Stint, more Goosander and small parties of Long-tailed Duck.
We stopped at Vadso and had a good look around Vadsoya Island. The Mountain Hares were the highlight, the birding was difficult in the cold N wind but again there were Wheatear and Meadow Pipits and 8 Red-necked Phalarope on the pool.
|Kittiwake on Ekkeroy|
It was another cold night, I got up around 06:00 and did another check of the harbour but the tide was out now and the birds were even further away.
The cold, rain and dark sky was getting a bit oppressive but we pressed on. My spirits were lifted when at Pam's suggestion we stopped on the first decent bog area north of Vardo and had several Lapland Bunting.
The drive around the coast towards Hamnigsberg is spectacular. We saw several groups of Reindeer feeding by the roadside and large groups of Goosander offshore at Persfjord there were some closer eider. The first ones I looked at, a group of half a dozen, looked like King I scanned for more Eider for comparison and came across a group of about 100 but scanning through these they looked the same as the first group then I saw a fine male King Eider.
|King Eider - male|
|King Eider - part of flock|
There were gulls on the rocks at Sandfjord and included ad adult Iceland, first for the trip.
|Iceland Gull -adult|
With the weather forecast still poor we decided to head back towards Finland, as we drove between Tana Bru and Utsoki we saw a Rough-legged Buzzard hovering over the hillside then Pam called out Moose and sure enough there it was stood in a field by the roadside, starring at us. It looked like a young male with horns starting to appear on its head. It starred at us for perhaps 5 minutes before slowly walking back in to the forest.
|Moose or Elk as they are sometimes called|
I'll add some scenic shots when I get chance.