25 June 2012

It's Svalbard Jim but not as we planned it

Photos to follow but for now,...

Day 7
At sea approaching south-west Svalbard: 3-4 Pomarine Skua, Fulmar now dominated by 'blue' types, 11 Arctic Skua, 1 Great Northern Diver, 9 Harp Seal, 2 Fin Whale, 3+ White-beaked Dolphin and 1 Minke Whale.

Hornsund: c.9 Beluga (probably the highlight of the trip), 1 'Svalbard Reindeer', 3-4 Ivory Gull and 1 Pomarine Skua.

Three of the pod of Beluga in Hornsund.

 Ice cliff at the snout of a glacier in Hornsund (Ivory Gull for scale).

Is it a 'berg'? Is it a 'growler'? Who knows but the less aesthetically pleasing object to the right is a whaler.

Day 8
Alkhornet: 15+ 'Svalbard Reindeer', 1 Arctic Fox, 1 Ringed Seal and 1 Minke Whale.

'Svalbard Reindeer' and cliffs at Alkhornet; the black specks in the sky are Brünnich's Guillemot, Fulmar, etc.

Look at the colour of that sky.

'Svalbard Reindeer', subspecies tick, have seen both European subspecies this year. Reindeer listing, it's where it's at.

Poolepynten: 11 Walrus.

St. John's Fjord: more 'Svalbard Reindeer', 2 Bearded Seal, 1 Ringed Seal plus singing and displaying Purple Sandpipers.

A better image of a 'Svalbard Reindeer', in heavy moult, every shake or gallop resulted in clouds of hair. 

Mountain Avens Dryas octopetala, there is also Salix polaris in the foreground, tiny and out of focus but it is there.

Day 9
Somewhere in west Svalbard: 1 first-summer King Eider.

Some island elsewhere in west Svalbard: possible breeding pair of Sabine's Gull, 1 Long-tailed Skua, 6 Grey (Red) Phalarope, 2 female King Eider, 1 Arctic Fox and 5+ Long-tailed Duck.

Long-tailed Skua and snow covered hillside, hilariously, one group on the boat decided to walk up the hill and missed Sabine's Gulls, Long-tailed Skua, Grey Phalaropes, King Eiders, Arctic Fox, etc.

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