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Breeding bird survey in Norway: day 3

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I had set up my camp not far from the starting point of the route not to loose time moving about. The day started at the usual time 3 a.m. Quickly packed the staff for the day and off I went.

The first count points of the route were in a birch forest at the bottom of the hill. Reaching them meant a little bit of wading in the flowing water. Although it was cold, snow from the mountains was melting and there was water everywhere. I took a second pair of shoes with me in case I got wet but luckily this didn’t happen with my wellington boots.

Soon the adventure started. Some of the points were right in the middle of stone fields. Reaching tem was really slow and had to be rather careful. The stones were rather slippery with big gaps in between so it can be rather unpleasant if I fell down. The route slowly started taking me higher and higher. Weather began to change and from calm became rather dynamic. Habitat also changed from birch forest to alpine rocks. Large patches of snow were occupying most of the land around. Mist started to come up. Although it was fairly chilly large patches of snow were melting forming unseen tunnels under the snow. This made the walk on top pretty dangerous and it was pretty inconvenient walking there. Luckily I had my walking sticks with me which allowed checking the grounds of every step. The birds were there though. Ring Ouzels, apparently nest on the cliffs in Norway. Bluethroat, Redpoll, Redwings, and pretty strange for me, several Reed Buntings were around the birch trees and scrub. At home these buntings would be around reeds.

Up in the mist a Peregrine Falcon call thrilled in amongst the cliffs. This showed some live in the scene which was pretty quiet. So there are birds up here. May be if it was a week later it would have been better.

Coming down from the mountains a Long-legged Buzzard turned up nearby my camp. This was the last bird for the route. Time to pack and for the next route.

It didn’t, starting point and had a lot of free time. Decided to walk around just as I did on the previous day. It’s important to experience the country. The survey route was at the end of a fjord so it must be picturesque around. A gathering of gulls attracted my attention for a while. There were a few Herring, Common, les ser and Greater black-backed Gulls. A couple of Oystercatchers were also around but that’s about it.

greater black backed gull, copyrigjt Iordan Hristov
Common gulls

A White Wagtail with food sat near me for a while wanted me to take its picture. There we are J

White Wagtail

Further along there were only a few Common Gulls and a lot of wind. The end of the fjord opens up to the ocean and it must be pretty rough here all year around. I would be curious to understand how and why would people live here. It’s really rough. Perhaps some of them are fishermen but what about the rest? And the houses looked really well maintained. I must say I am totally in love with these Norwegian houses often with big windows and large veranda with the colours of the country flag red and blue. You would see other colors too but these were the most impressive ones. There was one with white, green and red like the Bulgarian flag, but why our houses are not like this. I will leave that up to you to decide. 

On the way back to the tent a group of caribou were grazing just along the road. These would be domestic animals kept for meat.

Time for a small drink and some sleep.

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