събота, 5 юли 2014 г.

Breeding bird survey in Norway: day 12

Route 1911 turned out to be with rather steep slopes. So steep that even dangerous to survey. We really struggled now and then. There were two areas where we spent an hour or so to go over 300 m distance. The beginning looked all right but then the steep hills began. The thing is, there were even no birds to make it worth it. I know in studies like this it is rather important to prove that there are no birds. However this should not be for your health.

One of the steep places was around a rock which had to be crossed. It took us some time to go around. The second one was on the top of a hill and going up there meant climbing like 70-80 degrees steep hill. The third steep place was down a forested and grassy area again 70-80 degrees steep. Coming down from there was absurdly difficult. No photos I am afraid since we were concentrated on surviving.

view from the top copyright Iordan Hristov
We managed to finish this route at about 11 a.m. and according to the guidance methodology book each route should be finished by 9.30. Well, no way around this. It was absurdly dangerous.

at least the view was worth it
Once we finished with this we headed to the south to a much more pleasant place. At least this is what it looked like. We took a nice panoramic route. Stopped for a very pleasant lunch on the shore in the middle of a camping site. After a short nap in the afternoon we carried on.

The new place was close to a town called Harstad. It was a new route which no one has done before so it was important to get the directions right. This place had its challenges too. It turned out that there was a toll road and access to the area is restricted. The area is a nature reserve so only a few people were granted access. Once we arrived at the place there was a barrier in the middle of the road which didn’t let us carry on. We stayed there for some time wondering what to do. I had some instructions to contact local people and ask in such occasions. Luckily while waiting a man with a tractor came over and opened the barrier. He explained us all the procedures and at the end they let us through.

The area was superb. Full of life. After the quiet mountainous areas from the previous days this looked like a marsh. Actually it was a bog and several pairs of Whimbrel, Redshank and Common Sandpipers were around. This time it wasn’t difficult to select a place for a tent so quickly did it and after a drink we went to bed getting ready for tomorrow which was promising to be an exciting day.