Musk Ox & Sea Eagles – Norway – 2017

Overview

At the end of the last Ice Age northern Europe was dominated by the large mammals that roamed the arctic tundra. Sharing this land with the prehistoric animals was the impressive Musk Ox. Now it is confined to the remote arctic lands but a small number can be found in the beautiful Dovre Mountain range of central Norway. We have timed this trip to coincide with the riot of autumn colours that occur during the early part of September. This stunning backdrop will play a key part as we search for the Musk Ox which will also be at the height of their annual rut. The second part of the trip will see us head to Flatanger. This pristine coastline is the home of the White-tailed Sea Eagle. Without doubt one of the most exciting wildlife photography opportunities that has emerged over the recent years has been the chance to photograph the majesty and grace of White-tailed Eagles as they dive to snatch a fish from the water beside your boat.  The experience itself is amazing with stunning images to match and with just 4 guests this is a truly exclusive experience as well. Ole-Martin Dahle’s Norwegian set-up was the pioneering (and still by a clear distance the best) in this field and you will have all the advice and opportunity you need to get your own spectacular shots.  We’ve scheduled early morning and evening trips for the best light conditions throughout our trip.

Itinerary Open +Close -

Day 1: We are due to arrive at Trondheim Airport in Norway at roughly the same time where you will be greeted by the host for the trip Ole Martin. It is then a three and a half hours drive to our base in the beautiful Dovre Mountain range. Once we are there it will be a case of settling into the comfortable lodge for the next three nights.

Day 2: We would like to point out for the duration of this trip that you are governed by the weather conditions throughout, so the itinerary could change at any time and we need to be flexible at all times to make the most of the photographic opportunities. The first day is an early start for breakfast and we will then drive up the military road up into the high ground of the Dovre Mountains. Once we are up there it is then a longish walk to the valleys where the musk ox can be found at this time of the year. The autumn colours should be at their peak so the drive itself will be memorable. We will spend all day looking for the musk ox and also stopping for any landscape opportunities. We then head back down for a well-earned hearty meal.

Day 3: We will again be heading up to the mountains in the Dovrefjell national Park looking for our main target the musk ox. We could also encounter other wildlife along the way like mountain fox, ptarmigan and thrushes feeding on the cloud berries. The first two days will be long but the effort is really worth it as to spend time in these beautiful mountains with one of the most impressive animals you will encounter.

Day 4: After a leisurely start we will then head up to our base at Flatanger where we will spend the second part of our trip. It will be a long drive on this day but we will stop of along the way and look out for large flocks of pink-footed geese and common eiders.

Days 5-7: If the weather is in our favour it will be an early morning start where we will be heading out to the fjords looking for the sea eagles. Once we have located an eagle, a fish is thrown overboard to try and entice the bird to come down and grab it from the surface; the action can be fast and furious so you need to be well prepared! We will stay out in the boat until 10.00am and then back to our base for breakfast and rest. You will have dinner at about 3.00pm and then ready to be back on the boat for the evening session. The evenings can be even better because the light just gets better as the session progresses and also the eagles seem more interested in the fish that Ole throws over board, so be prepared with fully charged batteries and plenty of memory cards. The evening session goes on until dusk which will be around 9.00ish. Everyday then will follow the pattern of the first full day as you will be doing two sessions a day. During your time you will also get the chance to photograph other species of birds mainly gulls and terns but you also may get the chance for species like arctic skua and black guillemot.

Day 8: Sadly we will return back to Trondheim Airport for your return flights back home.

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