Disappointing weather

Until yesterday we had about 20cms of snow and a good layer of ice on the lakes and rivers, but on Sunday evening  the temperature rose and it started to rain.  It rained continually for over 24 hours and now everything is a wet, slushy mess!!

It’s a strange autumn for bird migration

We now have 15 Long-tailed Tits here in Nattavaara

northern long-tailed tit (1125 x 849)

and locally there have been a couple of Hoopoe’s  (Upupa epops) this week, which certainly should not be here!

The above image comes from this blog; johnpreedy.blogspot.se/2011/05/hoopoe.html

And over the last couple of days I have seen a Blackbird (Turdus merula) and a Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis), both of which do not usually occur at this time of year.

A cold and snowy weekend

I travelled to the cabin on Friday evening at it was getting dusk.  There was a light covering of snow and there were many  animal and bird tracks.  I saw Capercaillie and Black Grouse  on the track to the cabin.

black grouse lapland

There was a full moon on Friday night and I used my new Panasonic camera to try and get a nice picture of the moon over the cabin.  The quality of Panasonic cameras seems to be declining as the camera had problems to focus in the dark!

cabin by moonlight

I snowed on Friday night and at 7am on Saturday morning the temperature was -13 degrees C.

view from window-1 (Medium)

Where a stream flows into the lake there was still open water

view from window-2 (Small)

so I made a hand fishing-line using a plastic bottle and tried to catch fish…unsuccessfully!

handline fishing (Medium)

Teres’ dad had made some nest boxes for me which I fixed to trees ready for nest spring.

nestbox (Small)

I’m having a problem with moisture/ice between the panes of glass in the windows I made  and I wonder if anyone can suggest how to stop the problem?  You can see the problem in this picture.

ice between glass (Large)


A very windy weekend at the cabin!

By the time we arrived at the cabin on Friday evening, it was already getting dark, so I did not get any work done.

It was a bright sunny morning on Saturday and the temperature reached a high of 12 degrees.  Unfortunately there was a storm in the mountains  and this meant that we had very very strong winds.

I built a new saw-horse

saw-horse (Medium)

and spent the majority of the weekend sawing up and splitting logs.

While sitting and drinking coffee in the veranda I was amazed to see the boat which Emma had built the previous weekend, floating past on the lake.

Emma boat (Medium)

Teres’ father needed help at his cabin lifting up a new wind turbine to generate electricity for his cabin (which wasn’t easy in a such a strong wind).

wind generator (Medium)

He then came to our cabin to help me remove  a damaged brake cable on our trailer.

removing brake cable (Small)

On Saturday evening as it was starting to get dark, 6 Northern Long-tailed Tits appeared feeding in the trees.  Unlike last weekend, this time I managed to get a photograph of one.

northern long-tailed tit (1125 x 849)

On Sunday morning I worked with Teres’ father again.  This time we felled some trees and built a new board-walk to the fresh water spring where we go to collect water.

board-walk 1 (Small)

board-walk 2 (Small)

board-walk 3 (Small)

We are hoping that we will get at least one more weekend at the cabin before more snow comes.

Preparing for winter

Last weekend we were at the cabin and there was much to be done.

Logs had to be split and I had to build a new store for the logs.

wood store (Medium)

Emma helped to carry the split logs (some of which were almost as big as here).

emma carrying wood (Large)

There were also a lot of branches

clearing branches (Small)

that had to be gathered up and burnt.

burning rubbish (Small)

Emma and myself had a boat building competition.  First boat to cross the lake won……it was hers!!

boat race (Large)

I found a new bird species for the cabin list and a significant record for the north of Sweden.  On both Saturday and Sunday at around 2pm a party of 10 Long-tailed Tits (Aegithalos caudatus caudatus) appeared, moving briskly through the tree-tops.  It is very very rare to find them inside the Arctic Circle!

I did not manage to get a photograph, but you can click this link to see some pictures.




About 30 minutes after dark a single Badger appeared and began snuffling and digging around in front of me.


Fortunately I can use my Little Acorn camera as a standard camera when I want to sit and take pictures and the night vision facility means I can take pictures in the dark.


It was only there for a few minutes before moving on.  I am waiting for a new fall of snow so that I can track it back to its set.

badger-3 (Medium)

At another location in Nattavaara a Brown Bear had killed a Moose calf.  I took some pictures of the tracks and measured them.

brown bear front paw print

They were 16cms wide and so this was quite a large bear.

brown bear hind paw print (Small)