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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
5th journey from S Sweden to the Barents Sea - July 2004,
Lutz Lücker 5, Fort-L'Ecluse - CH-1213 Pt.-Lancy/Geneva / Switzerland
No great grey, brown or white Owls but Lapland is still worth a visit!
There are lots of pictures from Scandinavian Norway, taken by Lutz on www.worldbirder.com
Introduction (same as in 2002):
By car from Geneva. Petrol less expensive in Finland, most expensive in Norway.
Crossed Baltic Sea at Fehmarn (Puttgarden/Rödby) and Helsingör.
Beware! In late July, waiting queues in Rödby can be long; better use the bridge near Odense..
Used mainly the Norwegian Cappelens 1 :400.000 Troms og Finnmark map (main reference for this report). For local use the 1 :250.000 Statens vegvesen VERGKAART, blad 21 (Varanger) is very good. There are better maps for hikers (1 :50.000), but very small and expensive. An excellent bargain is the Statoil Scandinavia atlas NORDEN for 200 skr: the whole of Scandinavia on a 1:300.000 scale! But it does have some imperfections: a yellow road may turn out to have thousands of potholes, a red one may not be tarmaced.
Daily route, weather and highlights
Weather in the High Arctic was mostly dry and quite windy this year. No rodents there, neither in Norway nor in Finland, whereas below the Arctic circle in Sweden (Norrbotten) rodents were plenty! - Mosquitoes quite bad this year, especially on calm, warm days on wet tundra in the evening. Strangely, a few species were quite scarce or totally missing like Common Eider, breeding Bar-tailed Godwit , Purple Sandpiper etc.
I had no special target species since I had already seen anything one could expect on previous journeys and had no illusions about difficult small birds like Terek Sandpiper, Little Bunting, Arctic Warbler, Greenish Warbler and Pine Grosbeak. So I decided to consider anything new as a bonus.
Arrival at Store Mosse National Park. 1O Whooper Swans, 3+2+4 Cranes (with juv.), displaying Snipe. - Sun, clouds, showers, mild.
The usual Arctic Divers near Höbäcken car park S of Hudiksvall. No Lesser white-fronted Geese there. They were to arrive 2 days later..First displaying Woodcock near Lycksele at 7 pm.
A group of 6 Arctic divers on Vindelälven., the first Bohemian Waxwing. 1 Greenshank and a Hobby on a moor nearby. + fem. Capercaillie with a chick on road 365 near Rackejaur junction.
From Glommersträsk bird tower good views of a small jewel of a lake with Whooper Swan, 7 duck species, Greenshank, Lapwing, Snipe, Woodcock, Wood Sandpiper and Red-necked Phalarope..and Slavonian Grebe! nobody on the roads due to Sweden playing in Euro football championship.wanted to join the crowds in a pub, but there were no pubs!-
Sun, clouds, showers, mild.
My friend O.Stefansson in Boden being held up, I decided to have a look at Arjeplog area. No Dotterel on Galtisbuoda hill but a Rough-legged Buzzard and my first Ring Ouzel in Scandinavia. They seem to be quite thin on the ground. A family of Crane near Ostansjö on road 95. 2 Velvet Scoter on the way to Adolfström with 2 Arctic Divers and a family of 10 Willow Grouse. 5 Kestrel chicks in Ural Owl nest box near Boden. 1 Black Woodpecker there with Common Swifts that breed in woodpecker holes. - Sun, clouds, showers, mild.
Excursion to Gammelstadsviken nature reserve in the rain. First Elk on footpath with 2 Hazel Grouse. Nice! 2-3 Smew on the lake, 2 fishing Ospreys, Greenshank, Little Gull and Marsh Harrier. Went to the coast to Bensbyn (Skärgardsvägen) near Lulea. 3 more Ospreys at the causeway with 3-4 Capian Tern, 2 Crane, 1 Whimbrel Marsh AND 1 Hen Harrier, my first in Scandinavia. No wonder; this area used to be their bhold in Sweden.- No Owl trip due to bad weather. (Rain, cool windy).
29th June :
Long journey north through Finland. Stop near Kersilö, Moskuvaara/Viankiaapaa junction. Just after the dam, 8o m before the right turn to Viankiaavan reserve, an unexpected Little Bunting was singing its head off on top of a dead tree and waited obligingly to be photographed. My first in Scandinavia! - The Petkula bog by the Vajukoski junction yielded 1 Whooper Swan, Greenshank, Curlew and a Great Grey Shrike. A Broad-billed Sandpiper appeared in song flight after some tape recording from the car radio. On Kaunispää hill 1 Dotterel and a calling Ptarmigan in thick fog and drizzle. 2 Common Scoter 27 kms N Kaamanen. Arrived in Tana valley at 11 pm to see one of 3 fledged Gyrfalcons on top of the cliff. (Cool, windy and wet)
30th June :
Short walk in Hanadalen/Austertana. Feeding Bluethroat at 3 yds., Pied Flycatcher, and 2 young Elk in the clearing under the power lines. A Red-throated diver on its nest at Kongsfjordfjellet pass, 2 Long-tailed duck near Gednje. Met my friends Siegfried and Bärbel Kraatz from Germany who had been studying Dotterel for 6 weeks. 3 Shore Lark and 1 Snow Bunting by their mobile home. 1 female (!) Dotterel on its nest. (Cool, windy but dry and sunny)
First long-tailed Skuas on Batsfjord road, km 22 and 4, where we had 7 Bean Goose. 1 Temminck's Stint and a male Ptarmigan in my study area (location withheld, sorry!) where I found "my" dotterel on a clutch in the same nest as last year. In the evening, his spouse was breeding, too - it seems that this phenomenon is less rare in the north than people believe. (Sunny, warm but windy.)
4 Whooper swans at lake of km 4 Batsfjord road, 1 Willow grouse at the T-junction. Still 3 juv. Gyrfalcons in Tana valley but no adults. Some Twite in the same cliff. (Sunny, warm but windy.)
3rd July :
2 fem. and 1 m. Dotterel/study area. Sadly, Siegfried's last Dotterel clutch had been destroyed by a predator so my friends decided to head home on the 5th.- Journey to Berlevag. 4 Red-necked phalarope in a pool by the beach, 1 Snow Bunting. A family of 5 Gyrfalcon in the cliffs by the road, the juv. still on the eyrie. More Twite there. On we go to Molvik. (Sunny, warm , less windy.)
4th July :
While I returned to watch the Gyrfalcons, The Kraatzes had a Peregrine family in the Molvik cliffs. We go for a swim in Sandfjorden. Water VERY cold!!! Night in Gednje. I manage to understand on the Norwegian radio that the German coach of Greece's National Football team is probably going to be Prime Minister. (Sunny, warm, b wind in evening).
8 Bean geese at Gednje T-junction during breakfast, with 3 Red-necked Phalaropes, 6 Long-tailed duck, 1 Waxwing (!) + 2 Scaup. 2 More waxwings in Batsfjord, 4 Black Guillemot and a 2nd cal. year Glaucous Gull, my first in Scandinavia. 4 more Bean geese on Batsfjordfjellet. Farewell to my German friends. (Sunny + warm)
Went back to the Kraatz's study area and found their Dotterels' second clutch (with 1 egg) after 5 minutes' search, about 700 yds from the first nest! What a stroke of luck! The birds were both present and copulated. 1 White-tailed Eagle flew up the salmon river valley. In my study area, first Lapland bunting, both Dotterels take turns incubating. After I have fed the male a few mealworms, it seems to remember me from last year and gets more and more confiding. Siegfried's birds have laid their 2nd egg. 5 long-tailed Skuas at km 4 lake. Sunny + warm.
In Siegfried's area, the male dotterel is incubating with 2 females around! Only 2 Gyrfalcons left in the eyrie on Berlevag road. 1 ad. feeding them with a probable Kittiwake. At least 4 Twite there. 25 Black Guillemot on the sea. While I watch, a shoal of 20 Beluga Whales approach the shore and pass within less than 200 yds. What a sight ! (The next day, 70 were seen in Hamningberg with 5 imm. White-billed divers!) - 2nd bath in the Barents Sea (Sandfjord). 5 red-necked phalaropes at Gednje junction. Sunny + warm, big cumuli.
1 Bluethroat at the junction. Too many mosquitoes so I decide to leave the area. 4 Long-tailed Skua on Kongsfjordfjellet /Gednje road car park, 5 Long-tailed duck on pond by the pass. Only 2 juv. Gyrfalcons in Tana valley. Got a text message from a friend and decide to look for Arctic warbler in Neiden churchyard. Arrive 2 hrs earlier than my friend the day before. No warblers. 2 hrs later the bird starts shouting from the birch tree tops near the chapel and flies into the churchyard, permitting great views. My first in Scandinavia.! A Woodcock displays at 1 pm (!) while a Rough-legged Buzzard flies by.
Decide to head back to Varanger. 2 White-tailed Eagles near Karlebotn, km 11.8. - 1 Little Gull in Nesseby but no Steller's Eider, missing totally this year. stop on Vadsöya island: 24 Dunlin, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Red-throated pipits feeding young, 1 Bluethroat and. 135 Red-necked Phalaropes on the pond. Night in Ekkeroy. (Sunny and warm, clouds and some rain in evening.)
Nice collection of waders on Ekkeroy N shore at high tide with 2 Little Stint. Do they still breed there? 8 Arctic Divers in the bay, 4 Common Guillemot by the Kittiwake colony where I find a fresh kill made by a large falcon. 1 White-tailed Eagle near Krampenes, lots of feathers near its roosting place. More Red-throated pipits and Twite in Kramvik but the eagles do not breed this year. 12 Long-tailed Duck in Indre Kiberg bay. 1 Brünnich's Guillemot seen from Vardö's easternmost point. Night in Vardö Hotel. Good food, good value for money but expensive single rooms. (Sunny + warm, overcast later)
1 Merlin on Hamningberg road near Smelror. Meet 2 birders from Switzerland in Finnvik bay. 1 ad. male King Eider there. A few Brünnich's Guillemots, Gannets, Puffins etc. in Hamningberg, with 1 Grey Seal and 1 Porpoise. No raptors, no whales, no large divers, a bit disappointing.
(Cool, windy, short showers).
We drive to Vardö's northern end. Snow buntings, Twite and lots of other local passerines there with 1 fem. King Eider by the flat rocks on the shore near the stockfish racks. I head back to Ekkeroy. 2 phalaropes on Domen, breeding Dunlin and Whimbrel by the earth track that heads from Indre Kiberg up to the tundra plateaus. No rodents, no Snowy Owls!- Another bath on Komagvaer beach. The tundra track W of Skallelv does not yield any Bar-tailed godwits. Too many week-end cabins, too dry! But I flush a lovely Arctic Hare. More phalaropes on Krampenes creek with 2 Sand Martins! Met Isabelle and Jérôme from Paris in Ekkeroy.
Sunny + warm.
We wander around the Storskog lake above Krampenes. 3 Common Scoter, 1 Black-throated Diver with 2 chicks, 1 Reeve, 1 Dunlin nest with first tiny chick. The White-tailed Eagle is still near Krampenes, 1 Bluethroat in the willow bushes. We decide to go to Gednje. No Gyrfalcons in Tana valley. Both female Dotterel on their clutches in both study areas. Isabelle makes a few nice sketches of the birds. Sunny + warm, many mosquitoes. Thick coastal fog later. Good to have a GPS to find your car in such a case! (Or to retrieve a Dotterel nest miles from nowhere next time you go there.)
Rain and drizzle wake us. We go to Batsfjord to have breakfast in a dry place. Write some e-mails in the public library (nice place!). 1 Merlin is furious about a big brown UFO in the woods by the river near the old airport. rough-legged Buzzard, Goshawk or Ural Owl ??? I'll never know. A few Twite in town.- Evening walk around the lake at km 4 near Gednje. A flock of 20 (!) Long-tailed Skuas catching insects, 2 Whimbrel, Red- and Black-throated Divers, our Dotterels are still present, Siegfried's female bird incubating again! (Wet and cool at first, sunny spells + warm later. Many mosquitoes then.)
Temminck's stints and Shorelark in my study area. While feeding "my" male Dotterel, I discover another male on a nest just 100 yds. from the other one! Those birds have still a few surprises left for us! Too many mosquitoes so I decide to have another bath in Sandfjorden. 7-8 Long-tailed Duck there. No Gyrfalcons on Berlevag road. last bath in Sandfjorden. Water a bit less cold than before. More Shorelarks near Gednje fjell car park. Meet my friends in Neiden. 2 Woodcock chasing each other by the church. No warblers. (Sunny + warm).
Woodcock still there at 9 am. After some persistent searching, Jérôme finds the calling (not singing) Arctic Warbler! Big Salmon and a terrific Mink near Neiden bridge. We head towards Pasvik valley. And won't regret it!
We spot 2 Merlins in different places, 3 times Willow Grouse of up to 10 birds; a red fox dashes into this family which literally explodes, the cock being chased around by the predator. We have Whimbrel, Spotted Redshank 3 times, Greenshank, 4 times Waxwing (up to 5 birds), 3 x great Grey Shrike, so we decide to spend most of the night watching, mainly around Nyrud, Noatun and Gjokasen. Cloudy, sunny spells, warm.
We start with 2 Smew on the Russian side of the river, then 2 big male Elk (one ten-pin bull), seen from the watch point above the gravel pit N Gjokasen. we find up to 3 Siberian Tit three times, Siberian Jays 5-6 times, photograph a cute Arctic Hare on Hestefoss dam with Black-throated Diver. On the way back to Gjokasen we find a Three-toed Woodpecker which comes closes after some wood-tapping and a flyover of 3 Parrot Crossbill (Distinctive calls)! On the track from Nyrud to Lyngmo we find Brown Bear traces. As we get out of the cars, 4 inconspicuous and mute birds fly from the ground and perch low in some conifers: 2 male, 1 female + 1 juv. Pine Grosbeak, a lifer for me ! A White-tailed Eagle sails up the river and we find more traces of Elk and 2 Bears near 3 Country Corner near Grensevatn. As it starts raining heavily, we flush a female Capercaillie on the road. Terrible night in car. (Cloudy but mild, rain from 8 pm).
Weather still awful. We say Goodbye to each other and I go to see Steinar Wikan, the local Brown Bear specialist at the National Park Centre in Svanvik. Steinar told me there were no rodents at all in the area and all owls had disappeared after May. But there was a minimum of 18 Bears in the valley..
Long journey back to Neiden (1 huge 3-ft Salmon trying to jump the rapids at the bridge.), then to Finland. had a terrific Reindeer fillet at Toini Sanila's restaurant S Näätämö border station. She really deserves her French cooking diplomas !
S of Ivalo I drive up to Kaunispää hill. A family of 3 (!) ad. + 8 juv. Willow Grouse by the T-junction, 2 male Ptarmigan on top of the hill, one very tame. No Dotterels, only Golden Plovers.
Rainy morning, afternoon fair.
When I wake up the Ptarmigan is sitting under my car and flies away to sit under another one with 2 sleeping Spaniards. After breakfast, I give him my last mealworms which he gobbles up happily. Stopover in Sompio National park (turn east in Vuotso, good track named "Sompiojärventie", near the Old Inn.) Climbed Pyhänattanen Hill but see nothing but a few Siberian Tits and Siberian Jay. Nothing peculiar at Petkula bog. Too late in the year!
2 Ospreys 25 SE Kemijärvi, calls of Crane and Siberian Jay behind Kontainen/Valtavaara Hill near Ruka. Sunny + warm.
More Siberian Tits, Siberian Jays and calls of Three-toed Woodpecker, Common and White-winged Crossbill (a few of which had been seen regularly there) at Valtavaara car park. I scramble over the first two hills. Not a bird ! I hesitate because the climb up the third hill is very steep. But once I get up there, the reward is immediate. A tiny green bird in a birch tree comments my intrusion with a persistent "tsilik". No, this is NOT a willow warbler, it IS a Greenish Warbler! A lifer and a difficult one in late July!
Now I can happily drive to the Martinselkonen Brown Bear reserve (drive east 14 km S of Juntusranta) at the Russian border. Near the observation hut we hear Crane, Black-throated Diver, Siberian Jay and see . 11 different Bears. Two of the large ones get into a bitter fight because one is new to the area and the pecking order does not seem to be well established yet. 3 Black Kites attend the feeding place and seem to breed regularly now. Sunny + warm.
Long Drive to Oulu where Antti Rönkää is waiting for me. We try Terek Sandpiper but due to the b southerly winds, the waters are high and there are no mud flats in the whole area. but we see Little Tern and Caspian Tern, Ruff, Marsh Harrier and plenty of terns and ringed Plovers at the sewage farm. Night at Liminka Field Centre with Little Gull and displaying Woodcock. Another bird that I flushed might have been Great Snipe but my bins were out of focus and it vanished within seconds in the marsh. Sunny + warm, quite windy; cloudy, thundery evening.
Little Gulls, Greylag Geese, Marsh Harriers and Spotted Redshanks both in Liminka and Lumijoki reserves (+Red-backed Shrike) but the wind is too b for any rewarding observations.
I drive on to Kalix and meet my friend O.Stefansson. Bad luck! He had just banded his last Great Grey Owl family and was having a family holiday on the coast. See you next year!
Long drive to Umea where I feed a Pied Wagtail with small bits of chips at a fast food chain.
Sunny but very windy.
Stopover at Hudiksvall. There are 22 (!) Lesser white-fronted Geese at their moulting site, only 2 are ringed. I get as close as 10 feet but some hysteric Canada Geese mar the fun. Long drive towards Hjekinn and the Dovrefjell in S Norway. - Sunny + warm, cloudy later. Rainy night.
10 pm: Musk Ox safari from Kongsvoll with Knut Granlund (email@example.com) in the military area near Hjerkinn. Low cloud and only one lonely, old male. We spot 2 wild Reindeer, and a Short-eared owl, the only owl of this journey; in the south there seem to be quite a few rodents! Knut promises to take me a second time for free. I go back to the area in the afternoon once the fog has cleared and find 3 old males and a family of 16 (4 calves). One of the males seemed to be asleep but he noticed me all right from a distance of 120 m and started to threaten. Went back towards the car and warned a Norwegian family not to approach the animal when it suddenly stood in front of my car in the middle of the road ! Had to wait for another car to chase the animal into the valley where the oxen like to feed on willow shrub. Flushed a Willow Grouse family of 9.- Night in excellent but expensive Kongsvoll Fjellstuga. Delicious Elk fillet! (Fog, showers, few sunny spells, cool.)
Met my friend Michel Jaussi and his wife from Geneva. Small World! Went on the Musk Ox tour again. we only saw 5 animals+ a calf from a distance. Tried to get nearer through a very wet valley but could not because of incoming fog. But I saw my first Mountain Lemming, 1 Dotterel with 2 fledged young, a Rough-legged Buzzard and a family of 4 Willow Grouse.
Went back to the military terrain in the afternoon 1 had a family of 9 Musk Oxen (1 calf, 1 old male). 2 Hungarian photographers got as close as 20 yards to the old one but he was sleepy which may have saved their lives. Knut had told us not to approach within less than 200 m. Those animals can accelerate from 0 to 60 km/h in 5 seconds. So you don't stand a chance in case..! Spotted another Hen Harrier over the moors.
Knut showed us his (secret) place where he had up to 13 Elk in a watery meadow along the terrible E6 road. We only saw 3 Elk bulls (the biggest I've ever seen), 3 cows and 3 calves, but 9 is a nice number! The place is between Hjerkinn and Fokstua, I can't say more..! (Sunny morning, then showers, late afternoon nice, heavy showers later. Rainy night. Mild.)
Fresh snow on Snöhätta, cold b wind from N. I say Goodbye to my friends and see the old male Musk ox again. This time, in spite of the distance he gets angry after 2 min. only and I take a safe and immediate retreat. 1 last Osprey on the way to Folldal near Hjerkinn.
Long drive to Sweden. Feed a Yellowhammer with breadcrumbs on a car park. Funny, those Scandinavian birds! They all seem to be underfed. Next year I'll try herring on White-tailed Eagles! Arrive in Glaskogen NP in Sweden. Supposed to have Brown Bear, Wolf and Lynx but I only find 2 Beaver huts, 1 Red-backed Shrike family, 1 displaying Woodcock and lots of German camping cars. (Cold and windy first, fair later.)
Uneventful journey to Denmark. Sunny + mild, few showers.
I discover a Black Woodpecker hole in my brother's garden in Viersen/W Germany. And sure enough we find the bird on the next day. Other garden birds: Stock Dove, Short-toed Tree-creeper, Common Crossbill (invasion), Tawny Owl. Nice, isn't it ?
This list is not complete. I left out Robins, Blackbirds (which I know are very rare in the Varanger area....) and many others.
Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata
Common on large and small lakes north of Vardö, Ekkeroy, the Fjell between Tana and Batsfjord. etc ...
Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica
Several pairs: from Hudiksvall to the Gednje - Batsfjord area.
White-billed Diver Gavia adamsii
5 imm.were seen at Hamningberg by my French friends.
Gannet Sula bassana -
Some between Hamningberg and Vardö.
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis
Only recorded on Varangerfjord, most near Vardö.
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus
10 seen at Store Mosse Kävsjön. 1 at Petkula bog and Glommersträsk, 4 at km4 Batsfjord road..
Common at Store Mosse
Greylag Goose Anser anser
Common in Hudiksvall. Some at Store Mosse.
Bean Goose Anser fabalis f.
Up to 8 on Batsfjordfjellet/Gednje.
Lesser White-fronted goose Anser erythropus
22 in late July in Hudiksvall at their traditional moulting place.
Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
Up to 30 at Nesseby.
Wigeon Anas penelope
A family on Vadsöya.
Teal Anas crecca
A few at several sites (Pasvik.)
Pochard Aythya ferina
Singles south of Polar Circle.
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
1-10 at widespread localities
Scaup Aythya farina
Only 2 m. near Gednje
King Eider Somateria spectabilis
Adult male in eclipse plumage near Finnvik/Hamningberg. 1 fem. N shore Vardö.
Eider Somateria mollissima
Common on the coast but no large groups. Rather small shoals between Hamningberg and Vardö.
Steller's Eider Polysticta stelleri
Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis
Up to 8 between Batsfjord and Kongsfjordfjellet pass or between Persfjord and Hamningberg. 12 at Indre Kiberg.
Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca
Only 2 near Adolfström.
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra
Few in Varanger area,only on Storskog/Krampenes plateau (3) and 2 S Utsjoki.
Goldeneye Bucephala clangula
Fairly common and widespread..
Smew Mergus albellus
2 in lower Pasvik and Gammelstadviken
Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
All records were north of the Arctic Circle, e.g. in the Varangerfjord area; up to 200.
Goosander Mergus merganser
Main concentrations were in the Varangerfjord area and Tana valley
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
1 on Dovre Fjell and BensbynLulea.s
White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla
.only 5 birds between Gednje and Pasvik. !
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
None on road to Neiden. 4 pairs are said to breed in Dovre Fjell.
Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus
Not recorded north of the Arctic Circle
Black Kite (Milvus migrans) at Martinselkonen Brown Bear reserve/Juntusranta/Suomussalmi/FI
Rough-legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus
Very scarce! Only 2 birds recorded around Varanger fjord. 1 near Arjeplog and on Dovre fjell.
Merlin Falco columbarius
Few roadside birds; 1 in Batsfjord, 2 in Pasvik, 1 near Vardö.
Gyr Falcon Falco rustcolis
The Tana valley pair had bred at the usual site. 3 juv. 1 fresh kill at Ekkeröy colony. Another family of 5 on road to Hamningberg.
Willow Grouse Lagopus lagopus
Many pairs and large families from Adolfström to Pasvik and elsewhere.
Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus
2 females, 1 with chicks in Pasvik and near Vindelälven.
Crane Grus grus
9 around Store Mosse , 5 in Pasvik, calls near Martinselkonen and Kontainen Hill.
Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
Up to 30 in the Varangerfjord area and elsewhere on the coast.
Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula tundrae
Dotterel Charadrius morinellus
1 Male on Kaunispää/Ivalo. 3 pairs with eggs + 1 second clutch in Gednje/Batsfjord area (study areas, precise location withheld).
Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria
Common in bogs and heather from Petkula up N
Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Only south of the Arctic Circle.
Temminck's Stint Calidris Temminckii
Several localities : Vadsoya, Austertana-Batsfjord road, Hamningberg road, Tana valley.
Little Stint Calidris minuta on Ekkeröy..
Dunlin Calidris alpina
Only a few in the Varangerfjord area. Breeds on fjell plateaus ( Indre Kiberg, Storskog/Krampenes).
Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
Broad-billed Sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus)
1 male at Petkula bog, display flight.
Ruff Philomachus pugnax
Very scarce this year!
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
Only recorded in the Varanger area, with a max of 12 in Vadsö.
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Small numbers seen at widespread localities, mainly fjell plateaus (Storskog, Skallelv, Komagvaer, Skallneset.)
Curlew Numenius arquata
Only at Petkula bog.
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
Only a few in Pasvik and Liminka.
Redshank Tringa totanus
Up to 20 in the Varangerfjord area
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
Breeds in bogs at many localities.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
1-2 at widespread localities, mainly rivers close to Arctic circle.
Turnstone Arenaria interpres
In the Varangerfjord and Gednje area; Breeds on Ekkeöya, W Skallelv, Skallneset, Hamningberg area, ..
Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus
Recorded mainly in the Varangerfjord area, max of 135 on a pool at Vadsoya,
Grey Phalarope Ph.fulicarius.
I dipped on one at Nesseby early July..
Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus
Common in the Gednje/Varangerfjord area. (Skallelv, Krampenes plateaus...)
Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus
Best places : Kongsfjord- and Batsfjordfjellet; near Krampenes on sea level; Food problems: there being no mountain lemmings. Up to 20 chasing insects near Gednje.
Little Gull Larus minutus
Only a few at Nesseby, Pasvik , Liminka, Lumijoki and Gammelstadsviken
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
Recorded in suitable places like Nesseby.
Common Gull Larus canus
Widespread and fairly common.
Herring Gull Larus argentatus
Small numbers seen in widespread localities, with largest numbers in the Varangerfjord area.
Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
1 imm. bird N Batsfjord (Makkaur Fyr).
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
Most recorded in the Varangerfjord area
Lesser black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
Several at Bear feeding site in Martinselkonen.
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
Large numbers in the Varangerfjord area. Big colonies on Ekkeroy and Hornöya.
Sabine's Gull Larus sabini
1 had been seen at Nesseby with Kittiwakes in early July. Search unsuccessful.
Common Tern Sterna hirundo
Small numbers at widespread localities south of the Arctic Circle.
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea
Mostly recorded north of the Arctic Circle, where common. Largest numbers recorded in the Varangerfjord area.
Guillemot Uria aalge
Common in the Varangerfjord area.
A few at Hamningberg harbour. Colonies on Hornoya/Vardö and Syltefjordstauran.
Razorbill Alca torda
Only in Vardö area
Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle
Varangerfjord area, with most birds seen at Vardo, Hamningberg and Store Ekkeroya.
Puffin Fratercula arctica
Common at Vardo, a few off Hamningberg.
Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus
Common and widespread south of the Arctic Circle.
Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
not recorded in the extreme north.
Snowy Owl Nyctea scandiaca
One bird reported from central Norway.
Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
1 near Hjerkinn/Dovrefjell
Great Grey Owl Strix nebulosa
37 nesting pairs in Norrbotten!
Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus
1 S of Gjokasen/Pasvik.
Shore lark - E.alpestris flava
Few pairs, 1 with juv. on Batsfjordfjell + Kongsfjordfjellet.
Swift -Apus apus Mauersegler
.some nest in woodpecker holes near Boden.
Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
Small numbers recorded in widespread localities, most in the Varangerfjord area.
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus
Less common than last year.
Most recorded in the Varangerfjord area, best places : Ekkeroya + Vadsoya, Vardö.
Rock pipit Anthus petrosus
Yellow Wagtail Motocilla flava
On Vadsöya and in Pine Forests (Pasvik, Finld.)
White Wagtail Motocilla alba
Common; recorded in many localities,
Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus
They were everywhere, even on high tundra or the coast (Batsfjord, Gednje.)
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica
Some in Hanadalen, Vadsöya, even in sparse vegetation like in Gednje, Storskog.
Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
In forests (Pasvik and further S).
Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
1-4 at scattered sites , most in the Varangerfjord and Gednje area.
Fieldfare Turdus pilaris
The commonest turdus sp with almost daily sightings.
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
At woodland sites in the south
Redwing Turdus iliacus
Slightly less common than Fieldfare, though almost as widespread. Birch and even very low willow shrubs. Beware of the locally extremely different songs; they imitate Scarlet Rosefinches near Krampenes!
Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
.none in Varanger area (Kramvik) !
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
Recorded almost daily.
Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis
1 singing male at the traditional site of Neiden churchyard.
Greenish Warbler Phyll.trochiloides
1 calling bird on 3rd hill of Valtavaara (by the two big rocks just after the steep climb).
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
1-2 in a few widely scattered localities.
Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca
Hanadalen and elsewhere.
Siberian Tit Parus cinctus
.plenty in Pasvik; also Valtavaara and Sompio NP.
Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor
1 on Petkula bog, several in Pasvik.
Siberian Jay Perisoreus infaustus
Quite a few in Pasvik, also on Valtavaara, Martinselkonen and in Sompio NP.
Magpie Pica pica
Jackdaw Corvus mondeula
Only recorded S polar Circle, mostly on town park lawns.
Hooded Crow Corvus corone cornix
Recorded almost daily
Raven Corvus corax
Small numbers and a few nests seen in scattered localities, with rocky habitat (Ekkeroya..).
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
1-3 in a few scattered localities, even in Varanger area
Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Common and widespread, though largely absent from the north and usually replaced by Bramblings in such areas.
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla
Small numbers noted in most northern wooded localities,
Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
Reported by M.Beaud from Syltefjord!
Siskin Carduelis spinus
Noted mainly in woodland sites S arctic Circle
Twite -Carduelis flavirostris -
Families at Batsfjord harbour, Vardö north end and in both Gyrfalcon sites.
Redpoll Carduelis flammea
Small numbers at widespread sites, mainly birch woodland.
Arctic Redpoll Carduelis hornemanni
Reported from Hamningberg.
Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
A few in Pasvik, frequent around Valtavaara.
Parrot Crossbill Loxia pytyopsittacus
3 flying + calling birds in S Pasvik
White-winged Crossbill Loxia leucoptera
Calls near Valtavaara car park.
Pine Grosbeak Pinicola enucleator
4 birds in Pasvik on track from Noatun to Lyngmo, by the road fork.
Lapland Bunting Calcarius lapponicus
Not very common this year; on tundra from Batsfjord to Skallelv
Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis
Recorded only on high ground or marine tundra in the Gednje/Varangerfjord area and Vardö.. None on Ekkeröy.
Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
Recorded at widespread localities south of the Arctic Circle.
Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
Noted at widely scattered localities.
Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla
1 singing male near Viankiaavan/Kersilö
Elk (Moose) - Alces alces
1 at Gammelstadsviken, 2 in Pasvik and Hanadalen, 9 between Hjerkinn and Fokstua.
Roe deer - Capreolus capreolus
A few at Store Mosse and Lumijoki.
Reindeer - Rangifer tarandus
Everywhere from Sodankylä to Hamningberg, wild ones (2) on Dovrefjell.
Musk Ox :
At least 3 solitary males and 3 families of 6, 8 and 16 in Hjerkinn and Kongsvoll areas.
Red fox - Vulpes vulpes
A few between Tana Bru and Pasvik.
Arctic fox - Alopex Lagopus
One was recorded on Batsfjordfjellet, chased away by Arctic Skuas.
Brown Bear - Ursus arctos
At least 11 different bears at Martinselkonen Reserve.(Suomossalmi community)/F.
Traces in Pasvik valley (3x).
1 near Neiden bridge.
Badger - Meles meles
Many road victims in S and central Sweden.
Blue hare - Lepus timidus (Schneehase, Lièvre variable) :
1 on Skallelv plateau and Hestefoss dam/Pasvik..
Grey Seal - Halichoerus grypus
1 in Hamningberg,
Beluga Whale Delphinapterus leucas
About 20 in Sandfjord bay, 70 reported from Hamningberg.
Common Porpoise Phocoena ph.
1 in Hamningberg
Vole/ Mouse/ Lemming sp. virtually absent in Arctic areas down
to subarctic Finland.
Norway Lemming Lemmus lemmus
1 on Dovrefjell above Kongsvoll.
Hedgehog - Erinaceus europaeus
Some road victims in central and S Sweden.
Red Squirrel - Sciurus vulgaris
Live and dead animals in Sweden and FI.