When you see a bird, normally it will try to avoid getting close to you. Except for birds being fed in cities and chicks that havent learned yet, this is usually how it is, but not up here at the top of the World! The Red Phalarope (Polarsvømmesnipe) is a truly beautiful bird, and the fact that the female is the one who fight for males and who let the male deal With incubating and chick-rearing makes its history interesting as well. A short trip in the valley with a friend ended up in another great series of photos on this stunning species. When I walked down to the pair they were about seven meters away, and when I sat down next to the pond they were about five meters away. This is a great distance to photograph birds at, and the only problem with these birds are that they dont act like other birds. They both came swimming towards me, and I had to start to back up because they were suddenly within the three meters distance I need for my 500mm to focus. This is great to experience, and I love it every time I get to have such an encounter with such a great creature.
|Red Phalarope female|
|Red Phalarope male|
|The happy couple!|
Lots of Brent Geese have allso visited the valley lately, so I had to have at least one pic of one of them. :)
|Adult Brent Goose, subspecies hrota|
Being out enjoying nature and wildlife together with others who are passionate about the same as me is something I truly appreciate, and when I manage to fill up their wish-list of birds I feel like I have managed to fullfill a proper task. On this trip I was out driving with a woman who works as a guide on one of the cruises around the island. I met her the day before, when she told me that the bird she really wanted to see was the King Eider (Praktærfugl). I remembered this when I drove by a couple who was feeding just next to the road, so I went to town and picked her up so she could meet them. We ended up having seen five or six pairs in the end, and the pair I have photographed here were lying just four meters away from us. And when I wanted to show her the Red Phalaropes they were really in spring-mood, of the five pairs we got to see, thre of them were prepairing the next generation of phalaropes with rapid wingbeats..... All of these colorful birds, in the midle of the Arctic, its truly amazing!
|King Eider male|
|King Eider female|
And to finish of this drive we found this male Long-tailed Duck (Havelle) next to the road. She was used to seing them in winter-plumage, so seing him in this transition-plumage was something she appreciated.
|Long-tailed Duck male|