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!!
We now have 15 Long-tailed Tits here in Nattavaara
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.
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.
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!
I snowed on Friday night and at 7am on Saturday morning the temperature was -13 degrees C.
Where a stream flows into the lake there was still open water
so I made a hand fishing-line using a plastic bottle and tried to catch fish…unsuccessfully!
Teres’ dad had made some nest boxes for me which I fixed to trees ready for nest spring.
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.
The temperature as I write this (06:20BST) is -12.1 degrees centigrade. Daytime temperatures are not forcast to go above freezing for the next week, so it looks like our winter has begun.
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
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.
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).
He then came to our cabin to help me remove a damaged brake cable on our trailer.
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.
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.
We are hoping that we will get at least one more weekend at the cabin before more snow comes.
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.
Emma helped to carry the split logs (some of which were almost as big as here).
There were also a lot of branches
that had to be gathered up and burnt.
Emma and myself had a boat building competition. First boat to cross the lake won……it was hers!!
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.
At another location in Nattavaara a Brown Bear had killed a Moose calf. I took some pictures of the tracks and measured them.
They were 16cms wide and so this was quite a large bear.