First, the colours of the Northern Shoveler (Skjeand) will make most perople look an extra time time at the male. But possibly the most interesting feature of the bird to most people is the strange beak. The strange shovel-shape makes it stand out among most other birds. To see a pair of these here in the High Arctic is just amazing to me. When I saw a pair of them up here last year it was 16 years since the species was seen up here the last time. Now I was once again sat together With them, and this time they were feeding only about Three meters away from me. It was a truly amazing experience!
|Not the usual place to find Northern Shovelers, in a ice-covered pond on Spitzbergen, With a background of piles of coal and snow-covered Mountains.|
|A truly spectacular array of colours on the back and wings of this species!|
|The Wind made the male display some of his feathers.|
|Legg til bildetekst|
|She had an itch....|
|Wonderful colours in the late day sun....|
I know a couple of people who are "Gull-heads". These are birders who know lots about gulls, and how to separate the different species, which is really dificult With these closely related species. As a result of these people I too have become very interested in gulls, and up here I have gotten to know a few species that People at home dont see as often as I do. The one gull that I found this week is probably a hybrid between European Herring Gull (Gråmåke) and Glaucous Gull (Polarmåke). This hybrid have actually got its own "name", Viking Gull (Vikingmåke). This individual, on top of being a hybrid, has got a wing-pattern that led me to think of Thayers Gull (Eskimomåke), wich is a real rarity in Europe. But very little black colour on top of the flight feathers, and allmost no black, just grey, on the underside of the flight feathers made me sure of my identification. If I am strange due to my interests, I am happy to be so! :)
|Posing as a European Herring Gull (Gråmåke)|
|Showing restricted black in the primaries.|
|Showing the "Thayers-like" pattern in the primaries fairly well.|
|Before it shows the pale underside of the primaries.|
Other than this I almost got hit by a Brambling (Bjørkefink) which was chased by the resident Snowbunting (Snøspurv) which took it for a competitor for the breeding rights!