søndag 2. februar 2014

The light is returning to the Arctic!

As February now has started I am thrilled that the light is slowly coming back. Lovely blue light now lights up the snow-covered mountains around Longyearbyen, and I am starting to have high hopes for the season to come.

The ringing-season of 2013 was not the greatest in numbers, but I managed to counter-act that With quality! To a nest of Lapland Bunting (Lappspurv) in the middle of the tundra in Adventdalen was something I had wanted for a long time. That nest is the third confirmed breeding of Lapland Bunting on Svalbard. The first being a newly-fledged chick seen near the dogyard some years ago, and teh second being a nest found by some researchers this summer about two kilometers from where "my" nest was located. Unfortunately this nest got robbed, but the parent birds in "my" nest did a great job and managed to get four of five chicks on the wings. All of these chicks got a metal-band, and will hopefully either show up again in Svalbard or somewhere else.

Lappland Bunting nest July 8th 2013. Well hidden on the tundra.
Lapland Bunting chick July 18th 2013.

The entire brood that survived the rain and cold temperatures after they had been ringed.

No Luck in finding my other target-species on nest though...... Between five and seven Pectoral Sandpipers (Alaskasnipe) spent the entire summer in the surrounding areas all through summer, so hopefully next year I hope that I will be Lucky enough to find this magnificent wader on a nest.

Pectoral Sandpiper male, probably 2 cy. June 23rd Adventdalen.

During the autumn and the winter re-sightings of our waders ringed up here have steadily come in. The Purple Sandpipers (Fjæreplytt) still spend their winters around the North Sea and the coasts of Sweden, Finland and Germany. But the most interesting re-sighting this winter came from Banc d`arguin in Mauretania. There one of the Dunlins (Myrsnipe) that was flagg-tagged last year was seen. Over 6300 km to the South!!!!

Im now eagerly awaiting the start of a New season up here, but first the birds need to come back.