søndag den 26. august 2012


Qaanaaq is something completely else than Thule. Eventhough the two places arent that far from each other the difference is huge. In Thule you can get everything - in Qaanaaq you can't. But when in Qaanaaq you really get the greenlandic feel. After a long day of surveying we landed in Qaanaaq late in the afternoon. We asked Hans from the only hotel in town to come pick us up which he kindly did. Halfway on our way from the airport to the village the road had been washed away, this had happened in only 20 minutes, so we had to wait over an hour for it be fixed.  

4/8 The local stadium in Qaanaaq. Just imagine the new Ronaldo learning his tricks here. At least the view is nice!
4/8 Our Twin-Otter in the airport in Qaanaaq. Compared with the Partenavia we use for aerial surveys in Denmark a Twin-Otter is huge. This is one of the planes used for transport of food to the various Sirius Huts. The plane can make the propellors go the "wrong" way enabling it to take of and land on very short runways. Our two pilots are taking a short break before another long flight.
Snow Bunting is the most common bird (>100 birds seen) within the village with smaller numbers of Arctic Redpoll and Raven also present. One day we even had two Lapland Buntings, a scarce bird this far north (Salomonsen 1967). Fulmars and Kittiwakes are very common with fewer Arctic Terns and Glaucous Gulls. Black Guillemot, Bruennichs Guillemot and Little Auk are all common with the latter seen in thousands. 
Several groups of Harp Seals were seen hunting fish just outside the village. The local hunters don't shoot them as they cannot sell the fur anymore.   

4/8 Harp Seals are great to watch. This group was hunting fish just outside of Qaanaaq with the gulls getting the leftovers. 

4/8 Harp Seals are often seen in tight groups consisting of many animals. They often swim with their belly up giving them a very whitish appearance. Actually they are so lively in the water that inexperienced observers might mistake them for dolphins.

4/8 Double-Dark Fulmar in Qaanaaq. I saw 5-10 of these very dark Fulmars in Qaanaaq with the majority of the birds there being "normal" or "single dark". In some weather conditions these DD Fulmars looked almost completely dark - tricky birds if seen poorly on a grey day on a sea watch....


mandag den 20. august 2012

Thule Airbase

Having not previously visited the extreme north-western Greenland (besides a short fueling visit to Qaanaaq in April) it was with great expectations that I took off from Copenhagen on the 28th of July. The main purpose for the trip was to do an aerial survey of the Narwhals summering in the Melville Bay. We stayed at Thule Airbase during the weekdays and in Qaanaaq in the weekend as the airport in Thule Airbase was not open during weekends. 
Thule Airbase was build in 1953 forcing the locals to be relocated to Qaanaaq further north (not our proudest moment....) and was during the Cold War home to several thousand american soldiers. During our stay the total "population" was around 600 people. Thule Airbase is a very different experience when compared to the rest of Greenland, especially the more extreme villages (e.g. Upernavik and Qaanaaq).
Wildlife was quite good with several Arctic Fox families within the base and some very approachable Arctic Hares. Snow Bunting and Arctic Redpoll were the most common birds near the buildings but small lakes in the area had Red Knot, Common Ringed Plover and Bairds Sandpiper. Bairds is a scarce breeding bird in the Thule Area which is also the only place in Greenland to see it. In the bay Little Auks, Common Eiders, Black Guillemots, Kittiwakes and Fulmars were common. In the vicinity of the base we had white Gyr Falcon and a single Great Northern Diver (both from the plane). Two Polar Bears vistited the area during our stay but unfortunately we did not see any of them.   

1/8 Arctic Fox cub, Thule Airbase.

1/8 Arctic Hare, Thule Airbase. The hares are quite confiding.

1/8 Arctic Hare, Thule Airbase.

1/8 Arctic Hare, Thule Airbase.

2/8 Adult Bairds Sandpiper. The only bird I saw during my stay. The Thule Area is the easiest place in Greenland to connect with this species. Thayers Gulls may breed in the Thule/Qaanaaq Area but I did not see any. Hopefully I will find some on the next trip (two more to go!).

2/8 Common Ringed Plover. The most commonly observed wader in the area.

2/8 Typical Thule scenery. Not the most beautiful place in Greenland...

2/8 Cotton Grass sp, Thule Airbase.

onsdag den 15. august 2012


Efter endnu en tur til Grønland (se indlæg om nogle dage) har der været travlt med Fældefugletælling i DK siden hjemkomsten. Kattegat gav ikke noget overraskende, men dog en del Fløjlsænder, Lomvier og Marsvin. I går blev Vadehavet optalt. Som altid en fantastisk oplevelse at se de enorme mængder fugle. Bedste obs blev Havørn 3 (omkring Ballum), Skestork 38 (Sneum24+Gl. Hviding3+ Mandø4+Vidåsluen7) og Sølvhejre en ved Vidåslusen.
14/8 24 Skestorke v Sneum

torsdag den 2. august 2012

Thaton og Chiang Dao 2011

I følge planen skulle dagen bruges ved Doi Lang, men eftersom vores guide nægtede at køre derop måtte en alternativ plan brygges sammen. Det blev Thatom og Chiang Dao, hvilket ikke var det mest sindsoprivende (sammenlignet med Doi Lang). Vi så dog set en del fugle, og fik ryddet op i de mest alm. arter i lavlandet.

Vi brugte en del tid i lavlandet denne dag. Her sås store flokke af Baya Weaver og på markerne sås Blue-breasted Quail, Pied Harrier, Grey-headed Lapwing, Australasian Buslark, Oriental Skylark og Lanceolated Warbler

Vi spiste kun på små lokale steder. Maden i Nordthailand kan stærkt anbefales ;-)

Bright-capped Cisticola var rimelig alm. i lavlandet.

Storpiber er rimelig alm. og sås mange steder i lavlandet. Denne blev fundet i et ulovlig net og sat fri igen. Desværre havde den brækket vingen og kunne ikke reddes.

Vi drømte om en ad han, men måtte nøjes med brune fugle. Pied Harrier.

Grey-headed Lapwing

Racket-tailed Treepie

Vores minibus. Det havde nok været bedre med en 4-hjulstrækker, men det kunne vores guide åbenbart ikke gennemskue!

Velvet-fronted Nuthacth. Sås kun få gange på turen.

Asian Fairy Bluebird

Asian Emerald Cuckoo

Silver Pheasant. Denne var dog tam, og blev fodret af munkene. Den var deruover utrolig aggressiv, og angreb os flere gange! Ret underholdene :-)  

Blue-eared Barbet

Et buddhistisk tempel ved Chiang Dao. Et fint sted med en ok diversitet af almindelig arter.

En Due.