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Norway’s winter eagles

Posted on February 10, 2017
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Weather is such a massive factor when considering planning a trip. However, the best laid plans of mice and men can be sadly thrown out of kilter when the weather gods decide not to play ball!

Winter in Norway should be cold and snowy. Unfortunately, the warm south-west gales that wracked the UK took a perverse swing west to the coast of Norway and warmed up what should have been a landscape that resembled a winter wonderland!

Golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, adult female on fox kill, Norway, Nr Trondheim.

Golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, adult female on fox kill, Norway, Nr Trondheim.

Saying this however, the experienced wildlife photographer always knows there are shots to be won. True, they may be a little harder to initially see, but imagination is often best fired by grey skies and wet days. The aim of this trip was to work with both species of European eagles – golden and white-tailed. The goldies were photographed from a hide using bait in the form of a dead fox. Long days in the hide became the norm and at times spirits may have flagged but, when the adult female landed at the end of our fourth day in stunning evening light reflected from a reddish cloud base, those flagging spirits quickly soared.

Golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, adult female on fox kill, Norway, Nr Trondheim.

Golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, adult female on fox kill, Norway, Nr Trondheim.

Golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, adult female on fox kill, Norway, Nr Trondheim.

Golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, adult female on fox kill, Norway, Nr Trondheim.

The white-tailed eagles were much easier to photograph and we had two superb days out in the boat with Ole. A mixture of light and Ole’s experience allowed us to capture a fantastic range of images, as these magnificent hunters of the sky dived for fish right next to our boat.

White-tailed eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla, diving for fish, sunset silhouette, Norway coast, Nr Trondheim.

White-tailed eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla, diving for fish, sunset silhouette, Norway coast, Nr Trondheim.

White-tailed eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla, in flight, Norway coast, Nr Trondheim.

White-tailed eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla, in flight, Norway coast, Nr Trondheim.

White-tailed eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla, diving for fish, Norway coast, Nr Trondheim.

White-tailed eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla, diving for fish, Norway coast, Nr Trondheim.

White-tailed eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla, diving for fish, Norway coast, Nr Trondheim.

White-tailed eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla, diving for fish, Norway coast, Nr Trondheim.

White-tailed eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla, diving for fish, Norway coast, Nr Trondheim.

White-tailed eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla, diving for fish, Norway coast, Nr Trondheim.

So, on reflection, whilst the trip didn’t supply the snowy white backdrops we’d hoped for, a mixture of light and perseverance, dashed with imagination, did mean that we produced some fantastic images.

Herring gull, Larus argentatus, in dark water, landing-taking of, flight, Norway coast, Nr Trondheim.

Herring gull, Larus argentatus, in dark water, landing-taking of, flight, Norway coast, Nr Trondheim.

Herring gull, Larus argentatus, in dark water, Norway coast, Nr Trondheim.

Herring gull, Larus argentatus, in dark water, Norway coast, Nr Trondheim.

Herring gull, Larus argentatus, in dark water, landing-taking of, flight, Norway coast, Nr Trondheim.

Herring gull, Larus argentatus, in dark water, landing-taking of, flight, Norway coast, Nr Trondheim.

And last but not least, a great group of guests to work with, calm, collected with super banter! Thank you Lesley, Eric, Charles and Richard.

Paul

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