Monday, 30 March 2015

An Arctic Adventure 19th - 24th March (Day 6)

We awoke on our last morning to a gloriously sunny day, with no wind, but there was a bank of cloud lingering to the north that gave an indication of what was to come. We only had an hour or so drive back to Kirkenes Airport and so the plan was to slowly head north birding along the way. If we had time we intended to hunt out the flock of Waxwings we had seen when were arrived and get some more photos.

The view from our accommodation at BIRK Husky across to Russia on our last morning

By the time we had loaded up our car, light snow had started and the conditions deteriorated further as we continued north. By the time we reached Kirkenes the conditions had deteriorated further and so we decided to head for the airport and call an end to our trip.

In the six days we had seen 70 species (see list below), although I didn't see the Lesser Spot (in italics, below). Our tally included two new birds for Simon (Steller's Eider and Pine Grosbeak) and one (Ivory Gull) for me. We had some very variable weather with temperatures in the north ranging from -3 to -15, fortunately that did not hamper our birding. The highlight for me was undoubtedly the Ivory Gull, as it was a bird I had wanted to see for a long time, but did not fancy twitching one in the UK. Seeing one in the snow at Svartnes was for me the perfect setting for me.

Whooper Swan
Greylag Goose
Bean Goose (Taiga)
Long-tailed Duck
King Eider
Common Eider
Steller's Eider
Common Goldeneye
Red-breasted Merganser
Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon)
Common Woodpigeon
Common Crane
European Shag
Great Cormorant
Northern Lapwing
Purple Sandpiper
Ivory Gull
Black-legged Kittiwake
Black-headed Gull
Mew Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
European Herring Gull
Iceland Gull
Glaucous Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Atlantic Puffin
Black Guillemot
Thick-billed Murre (Brunnich's Guillemot)
Common Murre (Common Guillemot)
Northern Hawk-owl
Northern Goshawk
White-tailed Sea-eagle
Eurasian Green Woodpecker
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Meadow Pipit
Rock Pipit
Bohemian Waxwing
White-throated Dipper
Mistle Thrush
Common Blackbird
Willow Tit
Siberian Tit
Coal Tit
Great Tit
Common Blue Tit
Eurasian Nuthatch
Great Grey Shrike
Eurasian Jay
Siberian Jay
Common Magpie
Eurasian Jackdaw
Hooded Crow
Common Raven
House Sparrow
Common Chaffinch
European Greenfinch
European Goldfinch
Common Redpoll
Arctic Redpoll
Pine Grosbeak
Eurasian Bullfinch
Snow Bunting

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