Grey skies and a light drizzle began the fourth day. I was starting to wonder if the sun would ever show or if a week of persistant gloom was on the cards. Don't ask me how or whose it was but I managed to pick up a WIFI signal in the accommodation on the Netbook and online local forecast indicated an improvement in weather was due. I thought it was time to head up to the upland tundra to see what was on offer, following the River Tana valley and then heading upwards on the road to Batsfjord. The River Tana offers some wonderful scenery but as the journey progressed upwards the weather deteriorated to horizontal sleet and the amounts of laying snow deepened.
I pulled over where two smalls lakes were on either side of the road a few birds were present. I decided to come back for those later and headed out straight through the sleet across the tundra. Having walked for quite a while the only bird I encountered was a distant male Lapland Bunting but I was not surprised how quiet it was given the grim conditions and circled back towards the car and the partly frozen ponds. It looked as if Spring was slightly delayed here as it seemed to be in the UK this year and the expected abundant fly life was absent. On each pond there was a pair of wary Long-tailed Duck, in their summer colours. After a bit of careful stalking I managed to get a couple of photos.
It was time to try a different area and as I headed off along the road, I noticed that the fuel was fairly low in the car. The Sat Nav had identified the nearest petrol station to be a Batsfjord so I made that my next destination of the day which would also give the opportunity to see what else the rest of the tundra road had to offer. The short answer to that was not a great deal, except some distant Shorelark, Snow Bunting and acrobatic Skuas. Mind you spotting birds in this habitat from a moving car is not that easy and the birds tend to be only revealed when you stop and start looking. After refuelling both car and myself at Batsfjord, it was time to start making tracks back. On leaving the town a bird was spotted speeding low and hawk-like along the side of the road before alighting on a bush. It turned out to be a cuckoo, not a bird I was expecting to find this far north and a welcome bonus.