Foroya Island, Norway – 2014 – White-tailed Eagle

We visited with one of my wife Sue’s old university friends from when she was in France, Gunne, in Tromso, Norway.

On the weekend most people head to their cottages, Gunne suggested we visit her friend’s Pol and Sissel’s cottage about an hours drive along the coast. When we got there Pol suggested we go for a boat ride and see if there were any Eagles on a nearby island.

It was overcast, windy and very choppy but the prospect of seeing a White-tailed Eagle was too much for me to resist. I went down to the shoreline, expecting a wharf or dock but I was in for a surprise when my host pulled a 6 foot dinghy down to the shore and got inside to row to his boat that was moored out some 40 feet. While he prepped the boat I tried to find the furthest rock jutting out so I could climb in. With the slippery rocks, the bobbing boat, and a senior moment, I almost ended up in the water but managed to use my “catlike reflexes” to get in the boat with only a slightly swollen thumb to show for it for my efforts. But get in I did.

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I really didn’t hold out any hope of seeing the eagle, as the visibility sucked. As we circled the island, not much was visible but when we got to the lee side, there was the White-tailed Eagle, on the cliffs.

Rain, fog and a rocking boat are not the best conditions for photography but I boosted my ISO to 5000 and managed to take a few images before the eagle launched itself and disappeared into the fogbank.

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We crossed the channel to the far shore and searched for the bird where I managed another few images with less than stellar results. Thanks goodness I take raw images which let me process them later and recover some of the missing details.

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I wish to thank Sissel and Pol for inviting us into their home, the boat ride and the marvelous Norwegian pancakes.

Pol, is an avid mountain climber, having scaled 6 of the worlds top peaks. Later this year he will attempt to scale Mount Everest. Good luck and safe travels. It was nice to meet someone whose bucket list is crazier than mine.

Ciao for now.

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