Saturday, July 10, 2010

Walrus at Pashytten

Last Sunday, I went on a small overnight trip to a little old trapping hut called Pashytten. It is a so-called travel hut used in the fox trapping era. Now it has been nicely restored by our neighbours the Sirius dog sledge patrol. The reason for going there was that I wanted to check a fox den nearby. I needed to make a slight detour passing the mountain Cardiocerasbjerg 1km inland from the shore as we keep a protection zone for the moulting geese. They are easily disturbed while they are getting new feathers. The weather was great and I had a good time relaxing outside on the lee side of the tiny hut. I had noticed a big seal on the ice some 700m from the house and attached my telescope adapter to the rear of the big lens to have a closer look. The seal had two big tusks. It was indeed a walrus. First it seemed motionless. But then it gave a loud sound and scratched its head with a front flipper. Suddenly it was gone - only to emerge at the shore now about 50m from the hut, blowing air and setting the water and ice floes in movement. It must have surfaced behind one of the ice floes and only briefly because I did not manage to see it up close but it was nevertheless a very nice experience. Later in the season, we may go to Sand√łen where walrus haul out on the beach. We have a special permit to go ashore to count them.