From Birding-Aus



From: Wim Vader <;
Sent: søndag 10. april 2022 15:43
To: Willem Jan Marinus Vader <;
Cc: PG Nell <;; Anne Helene Tandberg <;
Subject: Back in Tromsø, still winter


Back in Tromsø, still winter.

      After 4 weeks in Odijk, Netherlands, amazingly without a drop of rain all month (still more amazingly, it snowed there on 1 and 2 April, just after I left!!), I returned to Tromsø, at 70*N, on 31 March.

      Here we have this winter had 4 bouts of mild Atlantic air, often with stormy winds and lots of rain, each time removing much of the snow that had built up in the meantime. The last days of March it started snowing again, but there is much less snow on the ground than in most April months, maybe 40cm

(Our snow record of 243 cm is from a 29 April). Every day has 10 minutes longer daylight than the day before, and our days are already longer than yours (unless you live, as my daughter, on Svalbard at 78* N.)

       These last days have been clear and sunny, with midday temperatures of +3-4*C, and close to the shore small patches of bare ground are already visible; on 2 places I found the buds of our pioneer spring flower, the Coltsfoot Tussilago; in a few weeks there will be thousands of them.

        In the sounds surrounding our island of Tromsøya there are dense flocks of hundreds of Common Eiders, usually attended by kleptoparasitic large Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls. There is as yet little display to be seen or heard in these flocks. A smaller flock of some 20 Common Scoters kept apart, but nearby.

      On the shore I found 2 pairs of Oystercatchers, and at least 4 pairs of Common Gulls. These latter are our ‘house gulls’; they nest everywhere in gardens, on balconies or on rooms. In the town centre their place these last year has been overtaken by Kittiwakes, that suddenly have started to nest on window sills on many buildings, where they are generally quite impopular: they are loud and they shit a lot.

       In Folkeparken the trees are still bare and there are as yet no summer visitors. Greenfinches are everywhere and their rasping song dominates totally, dronning out the sawing of the Great Tits and the less common ‘silvery laughter’ of the Blue Tit. To my surprise, I saw the wintering European Blackbird in good shape in a nearby garden yesterday; it would be great to hear its wonderful song also here at 70*N!

Wim Vader, Tromsø, Norway 




Comments are closed.