and Arctic Weather.
Thursday began in glorious winter wonderland in the Pasvik Valley and ended in a polar blast as we arrived in Vardø on the Hurtigruten ferry. Arctic Redpoll performed marvelously in the Birkhuskey area, together with trumpeting Northern Bullfinches Pine Grosbeaks and Siberian Jays. A heard only Lesser Spotted Woodpecker eluded us but the (grey, winter plumaged) Red Squirrels performed well.
This was the scariest streaky Arctic Redpoll I could find. Perhaps a 1st winter female? Sure some will react to this one, but in the field it ticked all the right boxes (alongside other Arctics and Mealies) so might do more on this bird at some stage.
The boat trip across the mouth of Varanger was superb. In our thin transect we mayhem saw up to 10,000 Brunnich’s Guillemots, peppered with a few Little Auks. These are Siberian breeders and up to 600,000 winter and migrate from here. Superb opportunity for constant and multiple flight views alongside the occasional Common Guillemot too.