This was a busy day with work of many kinds, and only one bird managed to get onto my memorycard. This was a Great Black-backed Gull (Svartbak) in its second calendar year. This is a rather rare bird to see up here, only my second Great Black-back this year, and it is even rarer to see such young birds. It was sat with about 12 Glaucous Gulls (Polarmåke). It was not pleased with me coming to take pictures of it, and flew over me, before it disappeared over the city.
There is not much to report from today, and I have even less to show! An Ivory Gull (Ismåke) on a post in the dogyard did not make me want to take out the camera, I have seen it and photofgraphed a few too many times! But the years first brood of Common Eider (Ærfugl) chicks made me smile, and they were awarded some time and place on my camera.
Yet another beautiful day in the Arctic wilderness! Even though I spent most of the day sat in the delta trying to catch Glaucous Gulls (Polarmåke) I enjoyed the day. The species-diversity was rather poor today, without even a single King Eider (Praktærfugl) in the delta. But the birds that did show up was even more welcome. I lay down in the gravel and got some quite nice pictures of the Red/Grey Phalarope (Polarsnipe) feeding along the shore. This might mean that it is thinking of leaving these areas, and will be heading down into the Atlantic Ocean to spend the next months before returning up here to breed again next year?
The Purple Sandpipers (Fjæreplytt) were trying their best to look like stones when the Arctic Skua (Tyvjo) came flying by, just three or four meters above my head. But soon they started to feed again.
The star of the day was the Arctic Terns (Rødnebbterne). I tried to get some nice pictures of them when they came flying in with fish, but I was usually occupied with explaining about the birds in the area to tourists when they came flying in with prey. But I did manage to get some rather good pictures of them when they were feeding in the rather strong South-Easterly winds that were blowing all day. I even got a few dives for food, and some water-action! I hope that you will be able to enjoy the pictures as much as I do! These little birds really make me envy them for their ability to fly!
First of today are a couple of pictures of a local rarity: The Wigeon (Brunnakke). Even though it is a common sight at times in different parts of Europe, up here in the Arctic Ocean we are not blessed with the sight of this charming duck every day. And when it still keeps its breeding plumage I could not let an opportunity to photograph it pass!
This and the next picture shows how difficult to see the birds that are breeding on the tundra around Longyearbyen and elsewhere on Svalbard. In the middle of the upper photo lies a female Common Eider (Ærfugl), which the bottom picture clearly shows. This also shows the difference of taking a poicture with 150 mm and 500 mm zoom!
A few of the birds I saw today is allowed space on my blog today. To begin with this Arctic Tern (Rødnebbterne) is one of the many with territory in the delta at the time. I found a good place to stand, and ended up with a few OK pictures when they came flying by at short distances.
The King Eider (Praktærfugl) in Tuedammene is still giving great views, and even though teh strong sun did not suit my photography too much today, I am posting this picture.
To see a Teal (Krikand) is allways a nice thing up here. These small dabbling ducks are more or less allways present, but they can be difficult to find.
The Red/Grey Phalaropes (Polarsvømmesnipe) that are seen nowadays are mostly females like this one. I am fairly certain that there is at least five pairs on this side of the river this year, based on the amount of females that are lying steady in different areas.
This is y 90th blog-post, and since I did not find any more interesting birds to photograph today, I spent my time out to read flags of Purple Sandpipers (Fjæreplytt). I managed to read twelve different individuals on the tundra, and I am quite pleased with this. The first picture shows the flag-type that we are using this year, dark green with white letters (AMA). The second picture shows one of the birds that were ringed last year, and this has got a lime-colored flag with black letters (EAY).
The last picture of today is of the King Eider (Praktærfugl) -pair that is still lying in Tuedammene.
Once again I have only got pictures of the regular species to show. Today I have got pictures of a male Long-tailed Duck (Havelle) and on of the pairs of King Eiders. I will soon have to try to get pictures either of different species, or from different angles, because I am starting to get lots of similar pictures now! Still I hope that you out there will enjoy them.
The Iceland Gull (Grønlandsmåke) is still treating me to some nice views, and to see it together with Glaucous Gulls (Polarmåke) are allways nice so that I can compare the different features and sizes of the species.
A comparison of the size and jizz of Iceland and Glaucous Gulls
Is this my good side?
....or was it this one?
Allso the Ivory Gulls (Ismåke) are frequenting the delta quite regularly, and I am allways eager to get good pics of these snow-white birds. This one I noticed due to the loud, thin Black-headed Gull (Hettemåke) -like calls.
An early morning trip resulted in this Greylag Goose (Grågås) at Hotellneset. I guess that it is the same goose that has been seen in the dogyard for a while, hence why I only took some quick photos of it.
In the afternoon I had promised one of my colleagues to show her the Red Phalarope (Polarsvømmesnipe). I think it is about time that she got to see it since she has been living here for the last ten years! But first some photos of a beautiful pair of Long-tailed Ducks (Havelle) that were swimming in Isdammen.
The star of the evening were found in the valley. A pair of Red Phalaropes were feeding in a little pond, and I managed to get my colleague to get great views of them. She said that she was a bit baffled by their small size, but then again, in Norwegian they will be covered by the group "Small waders".
I am an eager birder who have moved to Svalbard and Longyearbyen, and spend as much time as possible out with my feathered friends. I will use this blog to tell all of you who visit this blog about the birds and other wonders of nature that interest me and that I manage to get photos of. If you are coming to Svalbard, or if you see an interesting bird while on Svalbard, please dont hesitate to contact me by giving a comment to one of my posts. If you are coming to Longyearbyen and would like to contact me for info on where to find the wildlife, please contact me on: firstname.lastname@example.org