lørdag 28. mai 2011

May 27th

Yet another day in the world of ducks and geese, with a couple of additional nice birds. Ill start off todays blog with some pictures of the Canada Goose (Kanadagås) which spent most of the day feeding next to the dogyard next to town. This is probably one of the pair that we found a few days ago. There has been quite a bit of conversations about the which subspecies these birds belong to. There were two ssp that were looked upon as most possible, interior and parvipes. Due to the long neck, and a size similar or larger to Pink-footed Goose (Kortnebbgås), parvipes was soon removed from the short-list, and we now think this might be interior. I would be very happy if anyone with knowledge would comment on which ssp this one might belong to. I tried to get pictures where its possible to compare the size with Barnacle Goose (Hvitkinngås) and Pink-footed Goose.

One of the less frequent visitors among the breeding birds of Svalbard is the Brent Goose (Ringgås). Today there were two pairs at the lagoon at Hotellneset. These nice, small geese are allways nice to see. I even got to see some action, the male of one of the pairs chased off the other male when he came a bit to close to his female. Then the first pair followed up with some courting behaviour.

We are not quite sure where this Greylag Goose (Grågås) comes from. The first Greylag that came up this year was a lone bird, then there was a pair of Greylags that stayed at Hotellneset and at the airport. This lone bird might be one of these, or it might be a new bird. Anyway it is a nice sight in among all the Pink-foots and Barnacles.

Also in the same place as the Canada and the Greylag Goose the two Mallard (Stokkand) males were feeding along. Allways nice to see uncommon birds in the sunshine.

Other than these birds, the only birds that I can recall that are worth mentioning are a female Red-necked Phalarope (Svømmesnipe) and an adult Iceland Gull (Grønlandsmåke).

torsdag 26. mai 2011

May 24th

This was a day dominated by ducks and geese. First out today I have got this picture of two male Mallards (Stokkand). This might two of the three males that came up here some weeks ago. But nobody knows, the birds have got wings and can fly pretty much where they want.

Finally I also managed to get a photo of the Bean Goose (Sædgås) at Hotellneset. To find one goose with orange legs in amongst 70 others with pink feet is not as simple as it may seem, but I did manage to get of some record-shots of it.

Another pleasant bird to get on my list of birds on Svalbard was these Canada Geese (Kanadagås). This was my species number 36 (!) on Svalbard in 2011, and my species number 63 on Svalbard in total. Unfortunately these two are probably of subspecies interior, but anyway it is nice to be able to put another species on my list here, way up north on 78 degrees North.

May 23rd

The day started very good! I did some midnight-birding, and when I was heading to work I got stopped by a friend. He asked if I had seen the Bean Goose (Sædgås) that has been staying at Hotellneset for a while. Off course I had not been able to find it among the Pink-footed Geese (Kortnebbgås), but two minutes with Georg resulted in great views of the goose. This is pretty typical of my luck with geese, they tend to elude me. Another bird that Georg managed to find today was this nice Pectoral Sandpiper (Alaskasnipe) male. It was feeding along with a group of Purple Sandpipers (Fjæreplytt), Dunlins (Myrsnipe) and Ringed Plovers (Sandlo). It gave great views at around twenty meters distance, and I even managed to take som video of it. I will start posting videos when I have got an understanding of how i edit them.

Another nice sight today was my first two Ivory Gulls (Ismåke) of the year. I had put food in the gull-trap, and suddenly there were two small white gulls in among the Glaucous Gulls (Polarmåke). They were soon chased off by a dominant male Glaucous Gull, but I manged to get som quite nice shots of one of them when they came flying by.

I also got a nice picture of one of the adult Glaucous Gulls.

Todays catch of gulls ended at eight new birds, and one color-ringed bird, which was ringed in 2007 by Bjørn Frantzen at the garbage dump. One of the new birds that I caught today was a 3cy/4k-bird, and underneath are some photos of wing and head to show some of the features of it. These birds are quite big, weighing between 1400 to 1800 grams, with winglengths of 45 to 49 cm.

onsdag 25. mai 2011

May 22nd

Another day with nice birds, although without any of the big surprises. The most exclusive today by Svalbard-standard was the pair of Greylag Goose (Grågås) that has been here for some time. I managed to find my first Long-tailed Ducks (Havelle) of the year. Both were in breeding plumage, dark chocolate with honney-stripes, and vanilla ice-cream underneath. At least that was what I came to think of when I was looking at them since I was quite peckish at the time.....

The Dunlins (Myrsnipe) were showing of quite well today, and I managed to take a few OK pictures of them. I never get tired of watching these small waders. Hopefully they stay in the delta since we will start the ringing-season next week, and Dunlins are one of the target-species this year.

The Ringed Plovers (Sandlo) are increasing in number, and there are now more than ten in the delta. This carismatic little bird is not too common up here, but I usually manage to find one when I feel like watching restless birds.