Yet another good day for migrants up here in the frozen north! I was hoping for some new pictures of the Iceland Gulls (Grønlandsmåke) and the Golden Plover (Heilo) in the sunshine, but noen of them were to be found. But on the other hand I found even more interesting birds, at least to me they are. In the morning I had seen a brown bunting (buskspurv) amongst one of the flocks of Snowbuntings (Snøspurv), but I couldnt really see which species it was due to the distance of the observation. So this was my main goal of the afternoon bird-trip. And on the second stop that I did, I found him! A beautiful male Lappland Longspur (Lappspurv). It was feeding in the distance in between a flock of Snowbuntings. I managed to get off a few poor record-shots before a tractor came by and scared it off together with the Snow Buntings. I was pretty pleased with my observation and started driving again. When I came to the dung-heap outside of the stable I stopped on old habit to have a look there as well. First there was nothing, then I got to see the Lappland Longspur feeding in the horse-droppings, then I saw a female Lappland Longspur, nad two minutes later a third one, a male, appeared. Here I was sat looking at three (!) Lappland Longspurs, a rare visitor to Svalbard, which only a very few have ever seen up here. Even though the distance was a bit to long, my camera got to shoot off many pictures to make sure I at least had a chance of getting a useable picture of the buntings. After having sat ten minutes looking at these ones I decided to go look for the Iceland Gulls again, but of course they werent there. So after having scanned through the flocks of Eiders and King Eiders I started driving towards home. And there, in the middle of nowhere, there was a Greylag Goose(Grågås)! I have heard rumors about that a Pink-footed Goose (Kortnebbgås) is suppoesde to be up here already, but this was most definitely not a Pink-footed one! It was just gently grazing next to the road, but of course with the sun directly behind it and at a bit too long distance. But at least there is not any doubt about which species it was. None of todays pictures are of very good quality, but there is a real chance thet these will be the only pictures of these two species this season so I am posting them anyway.
Lappland Longspur, female
Lappland Longspur, male 1
Brownsea Island - Stilt Sandpiper 17/12/17.
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