onsdag 11. mai 2011

May 10th

A slow start of the birding today. There were almost no birds present at all. The drift-ice had compacted in the fiord, and all the Common Eiders (Ærfugl) and King Eiders (Praktærfugl) had moved out into open water. The only birds present were the usual Snow Buntings (Snøspurv) and I found the Greylag Goose (Grågås) sleepign next to the road. I didnt feel like disturbing it, and instead of stopping to photograph it I went to work. In the afternoon I first took a trip to the garbage dump to check on the gull-trap and to look for color-ringed Glaucous Gulls (Polarmåke). Even though it was about 40 gulls there, none of them had rings on. I did take some photos of the gulls there to make a comparison between "feminine" Glaucous Gulls and "masculine" Iceland Gulls (Grønlandsmåke) at some point when I get the time. In places where the Iceland Gull is scarce it can be very difficult to distinguish these species if you dont have extencive knowledge of them. They have teh same colors, and overlap somewhat in size, so I am actually looking forward to that.

After I had eaten my dinner, and my girlfriend had gone to a friend I had an evening trip to look for birds along the fiord. I first stopped to have a look at the Greylag Goose, and to my surprise it was now feeding together with a Pink-footed Goose (Kortnebbgås). This is the first one of this species that I have seen this year, and it became my species number 19 on Svalbard in 2011. Despite photographing at an angle towards the low sun, I did manage to get some photos that show the caracters that are needed to show the species. When I started up the car again, and was on my way to depart I saw a little dabbling duck (gressand) coming in to land. I said to myself that this looked very much like a Teal (Krikkand), and re-arranged the car so that I could see it better. And yes, it was a Teal. A beautiful male which tried to walk around on the slippery ice, and was using its wings to keep on foot. Again the sun was not very cooperative, and I had to be satisfied with the pictures that I could manage to get. With this one my species number 20 for 2011 on Svalbard was photographed.

Greylag Goose with Pink-footed Goose

Pink-footed Goose

Greylag Goose

Teal resting in the sun

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