Even though the snowy owl eluded me once again, I owe the owner of Arctic Tourist, Ørjan Hansen, a big thank you for a very memorable trip even so. This was a hard core winter trip, with temperatures of minus 20 degrees celsius most days and many hours out in the mountains. Without Ørjans experience and expertise, this trip would have been much more dangerous. Camping in a cabin high up in the mountains, only with a few reindeer as the only neighbours made you realise the remoteness of the palce. Since the snow is white, and the snowy owl is white, we actually found the most effective way to search was during the dark hours of the day using a strong torch. Even though we were dressed in so many layers of clothes that it was difficult to move, we found several foxes, wolverine (jerv) tracks and lots of Ptarmigans (fjellrype) and a few Willow grouse (lirype) in the lower grounds. Both new species for the Big Year list.
|One of several Ptarmigans (fjellrype) found during our nocturnal search. This female is not|
easy to distinguish from the very similar willow grouse, but very small bill is the key,
as well as the shape of the forehead and bill.
|This is a picture I took in the same area last year. Just to give you an idea|
of how the roads and nature of this hostile mountains can be like. Yes - the
shadows you see in the white are cars, presumably driving on a road....
Even though we didn't manage to find the snowy owl, I am not surprised if this will be one of the trips I will most strongly remember by the end of the year. First time driving snow mobile, and spectacular nature and light and mountains. Norway is a fine place to live indeed!
|And then the long flight back home....only interupted by the news of a|
Black-throated thrush (svartstrupetrost) in western Norway, in the town
Bergen. When one adventure ends - another begins.
I have already booked my tickets to try for the Black-throated thrush in Bergen. Two long trips so far in the Big Year, and both have ended with a dip. Will this third try for this huge rarity change my luck? Keep follow this blog to see what happens and if I succeed or not.
New species: 2