Image: Reindeer grazing in the tundra along the highway to Hamningberg, Norway, Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 mm at 200 mm, f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 800, hand-held
As part of our adventure to find birds, we headed to Sandfjord in the Batsfjord province in northeastern Norway over the weekend. We made one attempt earlier last week during a bout of high winds, rain and snow, but we turned around at the edge of the province when we realized that we were running out of gas and the only village in the province was abandoned.
Image: A stormy first try to get to Sandfjord in Batsfjord province, Norway, iPhone 7 Plus
We checked the weather forecast for round two and waited until the winds and weather calmed a bit. Our second attempt was successful, and although we didn’t find many birds close enough to photograph, the scenery was amazing!
Image: The scenic view of Sandfjord in Batsfjord province, Norway, Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 48 mm, f/13, 1/250 sec, ISO 400, hand-held
To get to this region, we headed east out of Vadso, past the bird cliffs of Ekkeroy to Vardo (the easternmost town in Norway). From there, we headed north on the road to Hamningberg. The road started as a two lane road with no dividing line that soon gave way to a narrow road supposedly wide enough for both directions.
Image: Artie walking down the narrow “two-lane” highway in Batsfjord province, Norway, iPhone 7 Plus
As we climbed the edge of the mountains and cliffs, we stopped at various scenic overlooks to capture the jagged rocks against the tundra and sea.
Image: The jagged rocks along the highway that make up Sandfjord in Batsfjord province, Norway, Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO 400, hand-held
We saw reindeer and sheep roaming the tundra at times and an occasional house.
Image: Reindeer grazing in the tundra along the highway to Hamningberg, Norway, Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 mm at 400 mm, f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 800, hand-held
The 35 km drive from Vardo took a couple hours with all our stops to gape at the gorgeous scenery.
Image: A sheep and her lambs graze and drink from a stream in Batsfjord province, Norway, Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 31 mm, f/16, 1/250 sec, ISO 400, hand-held
When we got to Sandfjord, we didn’t see any small shorebirds that the area is known for so either they weren’t out or had migrated further north already. We did see some gulls on the boulders far off in the distance. We had 5 km more to go to get to Hamningberg, the end of the road on the east coast of Norway. The town had a few houses that appeared to be second homes for Norwegian families but the town was said to be abandoned.
Image: A few houses in the town of Hamningberg, Norway, Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 mm at 200 mm, f/8, 1/1000 sec, ISO 800, hand-held
We came to the end of the road and enjoyed this old barn and a couple boulders with resting gulls. It was a bit anti-climatic but just perfect for the quaintness of the area.
Image: An old barn at the end of the highway in Hamningberg, Norway, Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 55 mm, f/13, 1/160 sec, ISO 400, hand-held
Despite the lack of birds, we (even Artie at times) enjoyed a day of landscape photography and exploring the eastern coast.