04 March 2012

Båtsfjord Kings - a room with a view

King Eider Somateria spectabilis, adult male in Båtsfjord harbour, Northern Varanger Peninsula - 04.03.2012 

We have just been on a two day trip to the northern part of the Varanger Peninsula. One of our main goals was to test a floating photo hide prototype made by fisherman and nature guide Ørjan Hansen in Båtsfjord. The harbour in Båtsfjord must surely be the worlds best place to experience King Eider (and more!) at close range.

A room with a view. young male Common Eider Somateria mollissima, 2cy 

This too is ´another-day-at-the-office´ article: Our engagements let us meet, in our opinion, some of the finest people in Finnmark! Ørjan in Båtsfjord is one of those creative just-do-it-people we like to join forces with. The new floating hide was finished the night before we arrived Båtsfjord. The idea was to
test how an electrical outboard motor would function togheter with a photo hide. The set up was very basic, but efficient: a 1 m3 fish container to sit in, a wooden top - with curtains to make it a bird photo hide and an el-motor on a car battery. As far from a yacht as you can possibly come, but it could not have surved its purpose better! I spent about two hours in this vessel, and I think it is safe to say that an upgraded model will be built!  

Stellers Eiders Polysticta stelleri, note the 2cy bird to the left (coming up later with an article on young Stellers E)

Elin took the photos below from the harbour, close to Ørjans base camp. The hide was easily manouvered, silent, and most importantly - the birds didnt mind.

Ørjan have also built another Arctic seaduck photo hide. Already quite a few bird photographers have visited his hide. We are very much looking forward to see the results on various websites and blogs in the coming months. You are adviced to bring a wide angle lens for this experience! The birds come very close. Birder Gunnar from Southern Norway spent two hours in this hide. He was amazed by the experience and his only regret was to bring ´only´ 64 gigabytes for his camera.. 

Exellent photo opportunities, both by hide and by doing the harbour and surrounding waters by RIB.

Very satisfied bird photographers. Ørjan to the right - fisherman, nature guide and fixer.  

Photos below taken from the prototype fish-container-electric-photo-hide. We predict that next winter will see quite a lot of bird photographers in Båtsfjord. With these new facilities in place, and new and improved hides to come, this will be a world top site to photograph arctic seaducks. By the way Ørjan will also contribute to the upcoming GullFest. Be adviced.

We had a great day in Båtsfjord - with extraordinary nature experiences. It was smiles all around. Thanks Ørjan for this - and we are looking forward to next years deluxe photo hide versions!

Båtsfjord is a true fishing port - and hence a very attractive place for arctic seaducks. 

In August 2010 I rented a small plane and flew all over the Varanger Peninsula to get a birds eye view of all the best bird sites in Varanger. This is Båtsfjord harbour, where Ørjan is king..

Tormod A. / Biotope