The drive to Båtsfjord is supposed to last 2 1/2 hours. However, the weather became so bad that Båtsfjordfjellet (the only road to Båtsfjord passes here) had to close. Some time in the evening the cars were allowed to drive in a line behind a large snow-showeler. The weather was terrible, and both the window-lashes and tires did not always respond the way I wanted.
After a pretty devastating ride I met up with Ørjan Hansen, the director of Arctic Tourist. He offers several birding products, ranging from eagle safaris to close-up photography of sought-after species. Most famous is his floating hide targeted at Arctic seaducks such as King and Steller's Eider. Tomorrows todo!
Ørjan picked me up at 5 a.m. and we, a woman from southeastern Norway with an interest for photography and myself, went directly to the hide. Just minutes after our entry the ducks came! It was still rather dark, but despite of the blizzard and extreme wind conditions nearby, the hide was impressively stable. The light was not good at all, but the shapes and colors of the King Eiders compensate for whatever I lost. Being present in the hide without disturbing the feeding eiders at all, felt completely unreal when parties of all three eiders passed just an arm-length away. Here are some pictures of different drakes, all shot with 400 mm and Canon 7d or 5d mk II. Click to view large.