onsdag 23. juli 2014

A day at sea - Røst

One of the highlights of the summer is a trip to the open sea off Skomvær lighthouse on Røst. Equipped with a bucket of frozen cod liver, the goal is to attract storm petrels and other sea birds. This year we where surprised by massive fog, but on the way out the sun broke through and split it up into patchy fog around the islands.

On the way out we passed a small bird cliff at Gjelfruvær, housing kittiwakes and guillemots.

Guillemot (Uria aalge) - lomvi

Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) with chicks of different age - krykkje

Skomvær lighthouse disappearing in the fog

I shy fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) - havhest

As soon as we reached the open sea, we dropped the liver bait, and the storm petrels showed up in only minutes.

Storm petrels (Hydrobates pelagicus) - havsvale

lørdag 5. juli 2014

Fieldwork in Dividalen.

Dividalen in Troms is a wonderful valley, where deep primeval pine forests meet high alpine mountain habitats, and is home for a rich and diverse birdlife.
I am fortunate to have fieldwork here every year in late June, as a part of Norwegian Institute for Nature Research's (NINA) terrestrial monitoring of Øvre Dividalen National Park. In between the fieldwork it is always time to go out with the camera.

Long-tailed Skuas (Stercorarius longicaudus) inhabit the higher alpine areas
surrounding the valley.
The Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) was busy feeding its young in the cold
weather. Luckily there where plenty of Automnal Moth caterpillars. 
Redving (Turdus iliacus)

Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)

Female Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) on a small pond.
Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus)

Young Northern Hawk-owls (Surnia ulula) where sitting like little trolls in
a birch-three.

The adult Hawk-owl watched me very carefully!

tirsdag 1. juli 2014

Birding on the islands of Røst

Every summer I pay the islands of Røst a visit. This remote group of islands at the very end of the Lofoten archipelago, is my favorite spot for birdwatching. The combination of the bird rocks to the south-west, housing almost a million puffins and other seabirds, and the flat main island Røstlandet with wetlands and shorelines makes these islands quite unique!
A visit to Røst is never disappointing, and a weekend in early June was no exception!

Puffins (Fratercula arctica) taking off with Razorbills and Guillemots.

Razorbill (Torda alca).

Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) with pup.

Shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)

Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)

Common gull (Larus canus)

Newly fledged Rock Pipit (Anthus petrosus)

Arctic Skuas (Stercorarius parasiticus) appears in two color morphs - this
is a "mixed couple"

Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)

The Whimbrel (Numenia phaeopus
Female Lapland Bunting (Calcarius Lapponicus)
Female Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus). The phalaropes have a
reversed sex roles, where the male take care of the brooding, and the
females are the more colorful birds. 
Røst always come up with surprising birds, and this visit was rewarded
with no less than three Pectoral Sandpipers (Calidris melanotos)