mandag 2. januar 2012

A new year, new birds to see and new birds to ring.

Happy new year to all of you out there!
2011 was a year when I managed to see a lot of nice birds in different places, and when I got to have my hands on many nice birds as well.

Favourite birds of the year have to be the Iceland Gulls (Grønlandsmåke) I have found up here in Longyearbyen. The gentle appearance, and the soft coloration together with the puppy-eyes have made me like this gull very much. Other than this it has been very good to add more passerines to my Svalbard-list, and the final count of the year was 55 species in 2011, and 68 species in total.

Iceland Gull/Grønlandsmåke, presumable male

I also had the pleasure of traveling a bit in the year that is over, and spectacularly colorful birds in the Andaman Islands was a very nice opposite to the mainly black, white, grey and brown birds that I am used to from up here, and I even got to add a few birds to my UK-list.

Asian Fairy Bluebird/Blåalvefugl, male

This years ringing-season did not go as I wanted it to do, but the result is still quite good I think. I got to ring several Glaucous Gulls (Polarmåke) when I managed to crack the code on how to catch them, and the Purple Sandpipers (Fjæreplytt) and Dunlins (Myrsnipe) responded well to our catching-attempts. Even a few Snow buntings (Snøspurv) got nice shining rings on their feet here at 78 degrees north.

Glaucous Gull/Polarmåke, 3cy, the only young GG to get a ring this year.

As a result of the ringing that the group has done up here, we have gathered some very interesting data on the birds, and there are many reports coming back from our flag-tagged birds from their wintering grounds. Through a friend in England I even managed to get the BTO and Birdguides to post a report on our birds, and how they were to be reported back to the head of the team.

I hope that the year to come will be an eventfull one, and if anybody are planning on looking for birds here in Svalbard you are more than welcome to contact me for advice on where to look for the different species that are the specialities up here.