Let’s see which animals I got to see under my journey Nordkalotten 2015:
Moose (Elch, älg)
Three moose. The first one I saw from the inside of a house. A big male that walked on the road with a car slowly following. The other two I saw from the car.
Article: Where to go? Undecided yet …
Reindeer (Rentier, ren)
Countless reindeers. Reindeers are so common that I saw them many, many times (and I don’t count the tame or the fenced in ones). Several times I had to slow down or to stop because of reindeers being on the road. Sometimes they do not leave the road but instead start to flee. It’s a bit funny to follow the tails of four galloping reindeers with the car but it must be exhausting for them and I’m always glad when they leave the road.
The reindeers in Northern Scandinavia aren’t wild animals, they always belong to a Sámi family. You see them pulling sleds, posing for photos or even participate in sledge-races.
Fox (Fuchs, räv)
The first fox I saw as a pair of eyes glimmering in the darkness while I drove car. The second one I saw from the car, too on my journey to Kirkenes. I took first same photos from the inside of my car. I tried to get nearer, but the fox went away and disappeared soon.
Mountain hare (Schneehase, skogshare)
I saw a mountain hare near Abisko. It looked at me from a hill above. I didn’t even try to follow, since mountain hares are a zillion times faster than me with skis in deep snow on hilly and forestry terrain. No photos therefore.
Seal (Robbe, säl)
We saw a seal in the harbour when we started the whale safari in Andenes. Since we were told to protect our cameras from spray and waves we all had our cameras in. No photo neither.
Whale (Wal, val)
Yes I saw whales and more than expected. A great experience!
Article: Whale watching in Andenes.
Eagle (Adler, örn)
Some. A pair sitting on the breakwater in Andenes. It was too dark for taking photos. I saw some flying here and there but too far away.
Ptarmigan (Schneehuhn, ripa)
Only two (which is a sign that I’ve been less out in nature as planned). One from the car, one in the valley Vistasdalen on a ski tour with Annika.
Purple sandpiper (Meerstrandläufer, skärsnäppa)
Twice. Some at the shore in Tromsø and a larger group in Olderfjord. This was a short but awesome experience seeing them fly away and return to the same place again.
Siberian jay (Unglückshäher, Lavskrika)
Twice. Some at the Polcirceln and two near Kirkenes. They were much to shy for me to get good photos, so I publish a bad one ;-)
Of course there are many, many more species in Northern Scandinavia but especially the big carnivores – bear, lynx, wolf and wolverine – are extremely rare to see. Most bears are seen from the car, but not in wintertime when they have winter rest. And to be honest, I don’t want to meet a bear when hiking in the forest.
I didn’t mention the Huskies, of course they are animals, too. But I thought more about the animals found in the wilderness, when I wrote this article. Anyway, some links to articles with photos of huskies:
Postscript 2: The Old Norwegian Sheep
These curious, cuddly fellows belong to the Nøisomhed Gård in Haukenes, where I stayed right in the beginning of my journey.