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Nature Hot Spot: 
Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park

The Dovrefjell-Sundalsfjella National Park is certainly best know for its population of musk oxen, that had been introduced here from Greenland. We didn't have much time on our trip in Norway, so to spot animals as quick as possible we decided to book a guided tour via Dovre & Lesja Aktiv, and the tour was well worth its money. The guide gave a lot of useful background on the animals, their behavior and guidelines for watching them, and most importantly. Today a healthy population that is kept at approximately 250 individuals is living in the National Park. To not disturb the animal (and risk to upset it), a minimum distance of 200 meters must be kept. We had to stay in the group, so I could not photograph the ox from too many different angles, but still got away quite happy with the result.

During our hike on the St. Olavs pilgrim trail, we crossed the Dovrefjell mountains in 4 days stages. Certainly, the Fjell is one of the trail's highlights. The vastness of the area and mountains are simply spectular. There is a very rich wildlife in the National Park, besides the musk oxen, moose, wolverines and even arctic foxes can be observed, while of course rather rare and not easy to spot. I was impressed by getting to see a lot of wading birds in the Fjell, that come here to breed. There is a good chance to spot moose nearby the Fokstumyra Nature Reserve (which is also famous as a bird sanctuary), but unfortunately we only saw them in the area from the train on our way back :). Bluethroats seem to be quite common in the area, and can be observed also above the tree line (which admittedly, starts at quite low altitudes of approx. 1000m above sea level in Norway). We travelled the area by end of July, durch which I saw a lot of young blue throats, few females, but only one male unfortunately (assumably as they are less active after the breeding season) - which happened to be in very short distance, but unfortunately I only had my wide zoom mounted on the camera.

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