Common Swift Study

Recently Professor Susanne Åkesson was at the nature center to talk about her research into bird migration and navigation and about here research work with Common Swifts (Apus apus) here in Lapland.

The following day I was invited along to watch the research work being done.

Here we are setting up nets at the nest sites to catch Swifts (Swifts here in Lapland are a little special because they nest in holes in trees)

Here is Susanne removing a Swift from the net

This individual had been fitted with a data recorder the previous year, which was removed and the data downloaded to a computer and a new recorder fitted

The birds captured were weighed

measured,

ringed

and some birds fitted or re-fitted with data recorders

and then released

They were very soon back in their nest boxes again

Reindeer calf marking

This is my last post before I head with the family for 10 days in England.

Last week myself and Teres were invited to help with marking Reindeer calves near Nattavaara.

We drove 5kms into the forest and then walked a further 4kms to the location where we would be marking the calves.  We arrived at about 9pm.

We made coffee and cooked some food

We set up plastic sheeting over the wire fencing so that the Reindeer calves did not try to escape and get their heads caught in the wire

The Reindeer are run through this narrow gateway and are counted and the calves separated from their mothers for marking.

We started driving the Reindeer into the pen at around midnight

The Reindeer were herded and sorted in small groups

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Some animals were being fitted with satelite transmitters as part of a study on the predation of Reindeer by Brown Bears.

Fishing

Last week the fishing season opened on a lake near our house

and so we headed off for an evenings fishing with many others from Nattavaara.

It was a great evening for me as I caught my first fish……a large Perch!


Emma was very happy as she caught 7 Perch and Sebastian caught a nice Rainbow Trout

This Common Sandpiper was not so happy with us as I think it had a nest or young close by

I gutted the fish and removed the head and bones.  I used Birch to to hold the fish open and lashed in place with roots from Lingon and Blueberry

I cooked the fish for about 10 minutes over the fire

Here is the cooked fish

and here are the children enjoying it

Karesuando

Last week we drove up to the Sami/Saami village of Karesuando, the most northern settlement in Sweden, which sites directly on the Swedish/Finnish border, to visit the graves of Teres’ grandparents and meet some of here relatives that still live there.

As we drove up there, a young Tengmalm’s Owl flew across the road and was struck by the campervan in front of us.  The owl sat in the middle of the road, so we stopped the car and I ran out to pick up the bird and check it was ok.  There was no sign of any serious injuries, so I placed it in the forest nearby where the parents could find it

Teres’ grandmother lived in the village of Mertajävi just outside Karesuando

and this is where we visited some of Teres’ relatives.  Here is the house where Teres’ grandmother grew up.

Here’s the lake at the back of the house where they fixed and collected water

From 1910 – 1940 the Sami people from the Karesuando area were being driven from there land and moved into the Porjus/Ritsem area.  This led to some conflict as the two groups had different ways of herding, with the Karesuando Sami using a herd roaming system with less animals, compared with the local Sami who herded with more animals in their own specific areas for milking.

There are still families herding Reindeer in from 1910 – 1940 the Sami people from the Karesuando area were being driven from there land moved into the Porjus/Ritsem area.  This led to some conflict as the two groups had different ways of herding, with the Karesuando Sami using a herd roaming system with less animals, compared with the local Sami who herded with more animals in their own specific areas for milking.

There are still families herding Reindeer in Karesuando, but many families are now farmers.