mandag den 6. oktober 2014

Thule Airbase 2014

During late August I had the pleasure of doing a Narwhal-survey in Melville Bay in North-west Greenland. Mainly based out of Thule Airbase I had several opportunities to bird this quite big military base. Several small ponds and a bay with good mud flats during low tide makes this a very good birding area. Many different species of wader breed in the area. 
The permanents at the base called the summer of 2014 the worst ever. I actually got the meaning of "Mud Season" by the end of our stay. With rain, wind and temperatures close to 0 degrees it was not at all as I remembered it from my three previous trips in 2012. Due to the crappy weather we had several down days (not flying) which gave me some spare time for birding.  

28/8 American Herring Gull, Thule Airbase. Sorry for the poor quality but had to keep my eyes out for Polar Bears.
28/8 American Herring Gull Thule Airbase. 
28/8 Cackling Goose ssp. hutchinsii, Thule Airbase. 
28/8 Cackling Goose ssp. hutchinsii, Thule Airbase. 
Also got to see good numbers of the more common birds of the area. A white Gyrfalcon was seen almost daily and Ringed Plover, Red Knot, Turnstone and Sanderling were all fairly numerous. Passerines like Arctic Redpoll ssp. hornemanni, Lapland Bunting, Greenlandic Wheatear and Snow Bunting were all still common.

26/8 Arctic Redpoll at its roost, Thule Airbase. Not as many seen as on my last visits.
28/8 Purple Sandpiper, Thule Airbase. Local breeding bird but not seen during my last visit.
28/8 Greenlandic Gyr. One of the best raptors around
28/8 Greenlandic Gyr. Flew down to inspect me
28/8 Greenlandic Gyr trying to catch gulls. 
26/8 Arctic Hare. Very confiding at Thule.

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