onsdag 23. april 2014

Spring by the northern beach

Not many convincing signs of spring on the shore of Lofoten yet, but some undoubtable signs are here. The seagulls are marking their territories and the rock pipit is singing from the naked stones. The toughest of the spring migrants - the Snow Buntings on their way from the Central Russian steppes to Greenland - shows up in great numbers. And among them, an unexpected guest.

Rock pipit - Anthus petrosus

Herring Gulls - Larus argentatus
Snow Bunting - Plectrophenax nivalis

Snow Bunting - Plectrophenax nivalis

Snow Bunting - Plectrophenax nivalis

Snow Bunting - Plectrophenax nivalis
A Lapland Bunting - Calcarius lapponicus - showed up among
the Snow Buntings.

lørdag 12. april 2014

Winter birds by the sea

Most birds leave the northern part of Norway in the winter months. But there are exceptions: some seabirds find the temperated waters along our coast very suitable as winter quarters.

The Purple Sandpiper is the only wader that we find in great numbers
north of the arctic circle in the winter.

Long-tailed Ducks in Andenes (King Eiders seen in the rare)

Long-tailed Ducks, Andenes.

Common Eider couple in Andenes Harbour 
Common Eiders gather in great numbers at Gimsøy, Lofoten Islands

Common Eiders under low winter sun, Lofoten

Many Whooper Swans spend the winter in Lofoten. This winter a long
period with low temperatures and no snow made all lakes freeze over.
Tha swans moved out to shallow sea-shores, but this group found relief
in drinking fresh water from an open stream

One of very few Iceland Gulls this winter; a 2nd winter bird
from Henningsvær
Kittiwake in snow, Henningsvær.

While photographing seagulls in Henningsvær, I captured this bird. It is a
1st winter Herring Gull, and this was the first sighting of the bird after
it was ringed in London, GB 30. November 2013. In late March the same
individual was seen in Bergen!

My winter friend: the Northern Hawk Owl

As winter here north eventually seems to come to an end, it is time to sum up. Not much going on on the bird front this winter, but a number of Northern Hawk Owls have been nice company.