fredag 29. april 2011

April 28th

Today I was supposed to be catching my first Glaucous Gulls (Polarmåke), but the gulls didnt like the mesh of fishingline over teh trap. This resulted in several gulls sat on top of the trap, but none inside it. The good things of the day though were three new color ringed gulls of the year, and the highest count of birds on site. There were 83 adult Glaucous Gulls at the garbage dump. In addition a female Northern Wheatear (Steinskvett) flew by, this was a possible subspecies leucorrhoa due to the dark coloration of the bird. The gulls were quite amorous today, and I saw three matings, and several couples that were flirting.

Red RJ

The next four pictures are of Red HF showing courtship behaviour with her mate. You can see that she is a female due to teh much larger size of the male.

April 27th

Today I got my new camera, a Nikon D300s. The old D200 will now be equipped with one of the smaller lenses while the new camera will be used mainly with the 50-500. Excited like a little kid at Christmas I set out with my new camera to visit my friends at the garbage deposit. The result was much better pictures in poor light than what the D200 would have managed, and three new color ringed gulls present. I have now read teh rings of 16 different Glaucous Gulls (Polarmaake) this year, and I guess that there will be more to come. Hopefully I will be able to use the camera a bit better after a while so that I can use it to its full potential. As the first photo shows it can be quite violent at times when the Glaucous Gulls are feeding. It is probably this gull that has taken a beating inside my trap, since this was the only bloody gull, and there were drops of blood on the snow both inside and outside the trap.

Red HF with unringed mate.

Red XK

tirsdag 26. april 2011

April 26th

Today started of as a dark and grey day, but during the day the sun got through the clouds and the birds started to show. I started my gull-catching today, without any luck, but I got to see the first Herring Gull (Gråmåke) of the year and photographed this and some previously ringed Glaucous Gulls (Polarmåke). I also took a few photos of one of the Snow Buntings (Snøspurv) that were singing next to my gull-trap.

mandag 25. april 2011

Number 61!

Today was a cloudy day with light rain. But to get up early in the morning paid off! I first heard some strange sounds that I couldnt quite place at a specific bird, but after about 20 seconds a very familiar sound appeared. My bird-species number 61 on Svalbard! My colleague that stood next too me said it in a nice way: Thats the bird that makes lots of noice at my mother-in-law". It was an Oystercatcher (Tjeld) that had taken a wrong turn somewhere, and had ended up in Longyearbyen. When the bird came into view it was not difficult to see what species it was, even though it was long distance. It then disappeared, and I did not manage to find it again to get photos. But I didn manage to get better photos of one of the Mallards (Stokkand) that are around here. And I also got a photo of a Brünnick's Guillemot (Polarlomvi). The Glaucous Gulls (Polarmåke) has also started to really feast inside my trap, so I will probably start trapping them tomorow. This is when the fun starts!!! Keep following the blog for more updates soon!

fredag 22. april 2011

My species number 60 for Svalbard!

One would think that a place as far north as Svalbard wouldnt be the place to see the everyday birds that are common in parks and ponds throughout Europe. But my 60th species on Svalbard is just this. I got a text from a friend saying that there was MALLARD (Stokkand) in the delta. I still had twenty minutes left at work, and was waiting impatiently for the time to go, and for my girlfriend to come and pick me up. Once at home i called my friend who was still sat in the delta looking at them. I jumped into my snowmobilesuit and drove off. Three minutes later I was photographing three male mallards! This is a species that I have been looking for since I came up here in 2009, and finally I could put it on my list of seen birds. I will post two poor pictures of the three sat sleeping on the ice. Hopefully they will stay around for a little while so that I can get better photos of them.

torsdag 21. april 2011

The birds are back!

The last few days have been very nice. There are actually birds up here again! To be stood in strong wind, trying to avoid being sprayed by the waves that hit onto the icy shore, while trying to photograph feeding Kittiwakes (Krykkje) is something I have been waiting for. And when the first flock of more than 50 Common Eiders (Ærfugl) are present at the same site, together with two pairs of King Eider (Praktærfugl). Lots of BLack Guilemots (Teist) are feeding all over the fiord and Brünnick's Guillemots (Polarlomvi) and Glaucous Gulls (Polarmåke) are flying around wherever I look. In town the Snow Buntings (Snøspurv) have started to sing, and the gulls have finally figured out that my trap is a good feeding area. In addition to the birds we got a visit of a Whalruss (Hvalross) one of the days, and I am not the one to let an oppostunity to photograph such an animal pass me by. Al in all it seems like spring finally have arrived in Longyearbyen, and I am now just looking forward to see all of the coming migrants and welcome them up north!

onsdag 6. april 2011

April 6th

Finally I managed to get some photos of birds up here again. The winter is very long when I cant use my camera, but the spring just feels so much better when I finally can go out and take photos of my feathered friends again. Today I managed to find 40 + Black Guillemots (Teist), 2 Brünnick's Guillemot (Polarlomvi) and four Glaucous Gulls (Polarmåke). It may not be the largest number of birds anyone have heard about, but for me this is the start of a new fantastic season on Svalbard. My gull-trap has been visited, and now I am just awaiting the color-rings that I will be using, and then ringing-season will start. From now on I will probably be posting quite regularly on the blog, so dont forget about it.

lørdag 2. april 2011

2nd April

The first bird-trip of the year was not quite a huge success regarding the number of birds that were seen. I was joined today by Knut Olsen, who is also from the very south of Norway, and the two of us could only manage to find one (1) Glaucous Gull. Exept for a couple of reindeer, the only other wildlife we managed to find today was this Arctic fox. It is my first time of getting to take photos of a white Arctic Fox on snow, so it made my day a really good one.

White colors

Who ever said that snow was only a dull white? Now that the sun has finaly arrived back up here again, and the colors it brings along makes the landscape into the most beautiful painting you will ever see. Pinks, purples, reds and oranges try to compete with the blue and the white. With the sun came the reindeers, and we have now got a reindeer trying to find food in between the snowmobiles on the outside of the house. It might sound exotic with a reindeer feeding just outide youre bedroom window, but when theire antlers grow out again the scraping sound against the wall makes my girlfriend go mad. But until the antlers have grown out, and the snow has disappeared, I will be enjoying the wonderful landscape. Hope you people out there will enjoy my pictures. > > >