Tag Archives: Nordkyn

Slettnes – Gambell-Seawatching: a photographers point of view

EiderenteA Common Eider (Somateria mollissima) with a yellow bill might be not the only difference what you realize, if you are seabirding on different locations. Well, Somateria mollissima v-nigrum is breeding along the arctic coasts of north-east Siberia to Alaska and shows a yellow bill unlike its relatives from the northern part of Europe. But is this the only difference when seawatching? Along island or peninsula edges seabirds are living and migrating not only in the Palearctic but also in the Nearctic. Bird-lens.com managed trips now to 2 hotspot destinations in the high arctic. One location, Slettnes is on the northern tip of Norway, on the Nordkyn peninsula. This is the best location to spot the migration out to the Barents Sea.

On contrast, Gambell, a small village on the north-western tip of the remote St. Lawrence Island of Alaska, is an outstanding outpost not only for North American Birders to observe impressive bird migration along the shore of the island to the Bering Sea further north.

After having performed these trips, it is time to compare the chances and challenges in observation and photography of migrating pelagic Continue reading Slettnes – Gambell-Seawatching: a photographers point of view

Dunkler Wasserläufer in Schneegestöber

Dunkler WasserläuferEs ist kalt in Lappland noch Mitte Mai. Schnee liegt am Straßenrand. Dann verdicken sich die Wolken und leise, langsam rieselt der Schnee. Der Schneeregen nimmt an Kraft zu, er entwickelt sich zu einem veritablen Schneefall und steigert sich zu einem Schneegestöber. Wenig später ist sogar ein richtiger Schneesturm zu vermelden. Ein Moorschneehuhn (Lagopus lagopus) mit seinem schönen braunen Hals und der leuchtend roten Rose ist mal auf einer Bülte zu sehen. Leider fliegt es weg. Dafür fliegen 2 Limikolen vor dem dunkelgrauen Himmel. Es sind Bekassinen (Gallinago gallinago), wie ich erst anhand der Auswertung der Bilder sehe. Weiter geht es auf zusehends rutschig-verschneiter Straße. Da steht ein Paar Dunkler Wasserläufer (Tringa erythropus)auf Bülten in einem Sumpf am Straßenrand. Leider fliegen sie beim Anhalten des Wagens weg. Sie fliegen zu einem weiteren Sumpf. Davon gibt es ja hier genug. Eigentlich will ich nur anhalten um die Geräusche in der menschenleeren Landschaft zu hören. Bei praktisch nicht vorhandenem Continue reading Dunkler Wasserläufer in Schneegestöber

Red-throated Diver: Migration in May in front of Nordkyn/ Norway

SterntaucherA moment ago it had rained. Now again, you are standing in the most beautiful sunshine. Well, that one is on the lee side of the lighthouse, because the east wind whistles pretty much. In a distance on the horizon you see migratory birds flying ahead against the heavy wind towards the Barents Sea.

In the distance, migrating Red-throated Diver (Gavia stellata) can be discovered. They are not the only migratory birds. Other seabirds are on the trip as well. There are King Eider (Somateria spectabilis), Long-tailed Ducks (Clangula hyemalis), Black Scoter (Melanitta nigra) and Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus), all can be seen on off-shore over the rough sea. Now – in early May – the passage of Red-throated Divers has reached its peak and Red-throated Divers make with the largest group of migrating birds. Again and again you can hear a strange cackle. After a while, normally you observe a Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata) close to see at or above the lighthouse. But the main part of Red-throated Divers pulls over the open sea. Even from a long distance you can recognize them well due to their characteristic flight pattern. The feet Continue reading Red-throated Diver: Migration in May in front of Nordkyn/ Norway

Schneeeulen in der Finnmark

SchneeeuleEndlose weiße Weite. Mittendrin ein (fast) völlig weißer Vogel. Die Schneeeule (Bubo scandiacus) ist in diesem Lebensraum meist das größte fliegende Raubtier. Zeit, sich diese Eule mal näher anzugucken. Eine der nördlichsten Gebiete in der Finnmark ist die Halbinsel Nordkyn. Hier bietet Nordic Safari Nordkyn AS Ausflüge in die Fjell-Region südlich des Fischerorts Mehamn an. Mehamn soll angeblich der nördlichste Fischerort der Welt sein. Von diesem an der malerischen Felsenküste gelegenen Städtchen kann man mit wenigen Kilometern Fahrt bergan die schneebedeckte Tundralandschaft der wunderschönen nordischen Landschaft wunderbar erkunden. Gegen Abend – die Sonne geht allerdings nie unter – hier oben im nördlichen Sommer – stehe ich also Anfang/  Mitte Mai im Büro von Nordic Safari Nordkyn AS  im Hafen. Wenig später geht es auch schon in einem älteren VW-Bus rauf auf die Fjell-Region südlich von Mehamn. Jetzt im Abendlicht ist die verschneite Natur dieser schönen nordischen Landschaft ein Gedicht.

Es gab ja wohl den ganzen Winter über schon Gerüchte über eine (oder mehrere) Schnee-Eulen, die sich in der Gegend herumtrieben. Die Menschen vor Ort und die hierher reisenden Winterfreunde hatten bereits den Anblick von mindestens 2 Schneeeulen in den vergangenen Monaten rund um den See Continue reading Schneeeulen in der Finnmark

Snowy Owl on snow-covered plateau in Nordkyn/ Norway

SchneeeuleHaving booked a snowmobile-trip with Nordkyn Nordic Safari AS to the fjell-region south of Mehamn (the most northern fishing town of the world) to enjoy the snow-covered nature of this beautiful nordic countryside and to have a look for the first arrivals, arrivals of birds coming back to their breeding grounds. Already before starting the trip, there were rumors of a Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) hanging around in the area we were supposed to visit. Local people and winter enthusiasts had already enjoyed the sightings of at least 2 Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) in the past months around Lake Skillevatnet. The area is only on 260 meters above sealevel (asl) and is highly frequented by snow-mobiles and other winter activities which bring hordes of people to this otherwise snow-covered loneliness. As they say, that the Snowy Owls hang around since several weeks, it seemed obvious, that the Owl had adapted to some kind of human disturbance. Anyway, I hoped for a chance to have a glimpse on the Snowy Owl.

In the beginning of May, we started the trip in the evening at the office of Nordkyn Nordic Safari in Mehamn to prepare and pay the scenic ride over the mountains. When we arrived at the site, from where the snow-mobile were supposed to start, we heard already the high trilling calls of the European Golden-Plovers (Pluvialis apricaria). The days before, it had been warm already, very warm Continue reading Snowy Owl on snow-covered plateau in Nordkyn/ Norway

Seabird migration from a boat in Nordkyn/ Norway

PapageitaucherIt is hard to believe, but also on the northern edge of the WP (Western Palearctic) seabirds are living and migrating. To see them, bird-lens.com managed a trip in the beginning of May to the northern tip of Norway, to the Nordkyn peninsula. This is the best location to spot the migration out to the Barents Sea. The Nordkyn is the next peninsula west of Varanger, which might be more known.

After trips to the western edge of the WP to see and photograph migrating pelagic birds, now migrating seabirds with a strictly northern circle of migration could be observed from the land but also on an off-shore boat trip with Vidar Karlstad.

I went out on his boat to the excellent migrating grounds north of Continue reading Seabird migration from a boat in Nordkyn/ Norway