Arctic Norway, Day 7, 12 May 2011 - Batsfjord to Kirkenes
Now, today was supposed to start with a breakfast and leisurely 10 minute drive to Batsfjord airport to start the journey home. What actually happened was a little different. Halfway through breakfast Tormod comes in to announce our flight from Batsfjord to Kirkenes had been cancelled due to illness in the crew and we had no option but to drive it in the minibus and hope we had enough time! A few minutes later we were in the bus with bread in hand and 'enjoying' a rather quick drive over the snow covered roads of the central Varanger Peninsular! 200 Snow Buntings were a blur from the window and then I got onto a Ptarmigan close to the road which luckily most people managed to see. It was going to have to be something exceptional for Hans to stop the bus as we were is so much of a hurry! And special it was when Ruud shouted 'stop the bus - Hawk Owl!' We all scrambled out and feasted our eyes on this beauty in the same area we'd been looking a few days previously. Amazingly another was then seen on the roof of a house a few miles further on. Never had the saying 'every cloud has a silver lining' been so true!
As a postscript we made our flight with time to spare.
Hawk Owl, Tana Valley (copyright Hans Ueli Grutter)