We asked Marten for his opinion on the best wildlife to keep an eye out for on Andenes, why it is best, and when would be a good time to see it?
"Sightings of natural phenomena, wildlife's most beautiful moments, are best realized in Vesteralen, because, as with all animals.... you look for them where the food is."
The photogenic puffins, visit Andenes, in their thousands. They feast on the fish, but in turn they provide food for the equally interesting eagles. Vesteralen is one of the best places in Europe to see them. It is the most normal thing in the world, to come across at least a handful every day. It is almost like being in your own nature documentary.
The local nickname for the herring. Mind you, we are talking about the great Norwegian herring and not small guppies! Every winter, the "pegs" seek shelter in the Norwegian fjords south of Tromsø and north of Andenes. The result is that orca, fin and humpback whales regularly put in an appearance. In Andfjord, in particular, over the last three years, the herring catch by whales has been recorded by many a photographer.
Getting the perfect whale picture is best done in Andfjord, on a RIB boat, at sea level, with the beautiful backdrop of fjords and snowy peaked mountains as a backdrop. You are closer to the whales. You are at their level! Your adrenaline level rises when you're surrounded by killer whales and humpback whales waving their impressive tail to the boat (without touching it, incidentally).
Your whales pictures will have a variety of different backgrounds, a red horizon, purples, pastels and blues, or gray if it is cloudy. I've never seen a photographer come off the boat bored and they "fizz" with excitement when they dive or snorkel with them. You might not think it, but photographers also have feelings, and they often have to wipe the tears of joy from their masks so they can see :)."
So what times of year should I go?
"For Whales: Spring and summer: Whale safaris are best from early May until September. At this time, the male sperm whales forage around Andenes, and you also have a chance to see fin and humpback whales and dolphins, sometimes even killer whales. Autumn and winter: killer whales, fin whales and humpback whales follow the herring towards Andfjord. So when the herring are seen swimming into the fjords, the whales are there to be seen. Best between mid-November and mid-February, while January, because the days are getting longer, is a top month!
For Birds: Spring and summer: puffins, eagles, several species of other predators, guillemots, kittiwakes, owls and more.
Autumn and winter: eagles, owls and king eider."