söndag 19 augusti 2012

First auroras of the season / Sesongens første nordlys

After a long period with midnight sun and no stars, it felt almost unreal to see the auroras dancing across the light blue sky again. Only Jupiter, Venus and the brightest of the stars were visible against the light sky, so it must have been a fairly strong "impact" at around midnight local time.
At its strongest, both green and red/purple rays were dancing over my head while I was standing barefoot in the grass and watching the auroras - a somewhat unusual combination here in Tromsø!
The aurora-season has finally started!

fredag 17 augusti 2012

Bird Picture of the Week / Ukens Fuglebilde

This week I decided it was time for a somewhat humouristic bird picture, showing a Slavonian Grebe / Horndykker (Podiceps auritus) with an unusually small head compared to its body...

Slavonian Grebes breed in freshwater areas with a lot of vegetation and usually lay 1-2 eggs. After hatching, the striped chicks are often carried on the back of the adults.

While the adult bird was sticking its head under the water I snapped this photo of the newborn chick trying to hold on to the back of its mother.

måndag 13 augusti 2012

Spending more time with the Humpback Whales / Knølhval

This summer I have tried to spend some time with one of my favourite animals in the world - the humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) - a species that I am trying to understand and learn more about from photo-identification that makes it possible to study the migration patterns and other aspectis of the biology of the humpbacks.

Below is a selection of photos taken in July this year that I decided to leave without any text this time and let the photos speak for themselves.

onsdag 8 augusti 2012

Bird Picture of the Week / Ukens Fuglebilde

This week`s bird picture is of a small colourful wader - the Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus).

They breed in small tundra marches/ponds here in the high north and spend the winter pelagically as far away as in tropical oceans like e.g. the Indian Ocean.

They are well known for having reversed sex roles compared to most other birds. The females pursue the males and compete for nesting territory and most of the females have already migrated south. The males incubate the eggs and look after the young before they leave too.

Red-necked Phalarope / Svømmesnipe / Smalnäbbad simsnäppa