A brief visit to my cabin

The majority of snow has now melted so I was able to drive to th cabin on Monday with dad to check that everything was ok.  Because of my slipped disk, we have not been able to get there over the winter.

cabin-2 cabin-1

There were very few birds there, but there were several Wood Sandpipers dispalying.


While driving along a road, there was a Moose standing in front of us.  It moved to the side and then stood there so that I could photograph it


Yesterday we had a Common crane visit our garden

common crane-1 common crane-2

On Friday I am going to hospital to see a doctor to find out what they are going to do about my back problem.  I’m assuming (and hoping) that it will be another operation.

A large knife

Here is a larger knife that I have made to order.

ingvars knife (Large)

The blade is 15cms long.  The knife handle is made from pieces Moose antler, Birch bur and Sallow root bur, with sheath leather between each piece.

The sheath is made from Sallow root bur, half-tanned reindeer leather and I have used pieces of Moose antler (glued on both the front and back) to secure the leather to the root bur.

Bloody typical!!!

While I was at my cabin hoping to see a bear, one was seen on the the road near my house in Nattavaara!. It was also seen in some ones garden the previous week.

I have been out and about over the weekend looking for birds and animals. I have found a really large lake just outside Nattavaara

with a nice area of marsh around the outside

There was a White-tailed Sea Eagle sitting at the edge of the lake when I arrived, but it flew off before I could get a picture. There were also Arctic Terns, Bean Geese, 4 Willow Grouse, a Reindeer with a small calve and this Moose

At this little cabin near to the lake

there was a Kestrel nesting and I found this Tengmalm’s Owl

He wasn’t easy to see, but I found that if I did not look directly at him he would let me get closer

until after about 10 minutes I was one metre from him

I promise you it is not a stuffed one!!

I was also out with a local birdwatching group on Saturday near Porjus.

We saw Little Gull, Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander, Osprey, Dunlin, Temminck’s Stint, Common Scoter

3 Oystercatchers (which is a very rare bird up here in Lapland), Common, Green and Wood Sandpiper, Bluethroat, Common Crane,

and a close Whimbrel

Of course we also made fire, grilled sausage and cooked coffee.

Midnight sun, Marknad and Moose

Since my last post I have taken my parents up to the top of Dundret to see the midnight sun

I don’t imagine there will be many more days now before the sun starts to disappear below the horizon.

The were also some nice colours in the sky as we travelled down from Dundret

Last Saturday we visited Pajala marnad, which is rather like Jokkmokk marknard but warmer!!

We have been to my cabin for a couple of days (along with thousands of mosquitoes)

We have seen a large herd of Reindeer

and a couple of  Moose

A trip to the fjalls (mountains)

As I mentioned previously I traveled into the Swedish mountains with Hasse yesterday to unload a container at a popular fishing site.  We were about one hours travel from Gallivare

We passed through Laponia World Heritage site and through Muddus National Park to Stora Sjofallet National Park.  There is some beautiful old forest in the parks and there are many large Moose or Alg here.  We saw two

As you get higher into the mountains the trees become much much smaller

Eventually you get above the tree line where there are no trees at all

Eventually we arrived at the destination and unloaded the container

where there were some beautiful frozen waterfalls (apparently each waterfall has a name)

This is a fishing caravan which people toe behind a scooter onto the lakes to ice fish in comfort

I’m hoping that next time we go to the fjalls the weather will be better and the pictures rather more dramatic!!

This weekend I go to my cabin.

Lapland Spring 2009 – 26th May

I wanted to get more video footage so spent the day filming.  I began by filming birds around the cabin.  A male Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) was a new species, flying low over the cabin. This is a Northern Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pyrrhula).

Northern Bullfinch

After breakfast I walked over to the marsh to film the Common Crane and the sounds of wading birds displaying.  I crossed the marsh and headed into the forest.

in the forest (Small)

When you are deeper into the forest it is incredibly quiet for birds and the animals disappear before you can get close to them, so I made my way through the forest to one of my favourite spots where the forest has been cleared and there is an observation tower to sit in.  As I came out of the forest I was walking around this tree stump

Caper nest (Small)

when a female Capercaillie jumped up from her nest and almost knocked me over.  The nest contained 6 eggs, slightly larger than those of a chicken.

Caper eggs (Small)

I was filming the nest when I heard something moving in the forest and I could see the brown back of a mammal moving along behind a ridge.  As I watched a head appeared and it was a Red Fox.  I filmed it as it came towards me to investigate but when it realised what I was it turned and ran off.

As I walked up to the tower I saw a Moose feeding on trees along one edge of the clearing.  I filmed it briefly but then it saw me and disappeared into the forest.  I climbed up onto the tower

in hunting tower

and watched for movement across the open clearing

cleared forest (Medium)

A Black Woodpecker flew into the clearing and landed on a tree stump ( a new species in Lapland for me) and another Moose walked across the clearing grazing on Birch regrowth.

I was walking back through the forest and decided to check out a small area of marsh.  As I walked through the trees to the marsh I heard something running across the wet ground.  I walked onto the marsh and stood watching where the animal had run into the forest.

edge of marsh (Small)

I looked to my right and noticed the moss had been disturbed and when I walked to it there were a clear line of tracks going across the marsh………bear tracks…….very fresh bear tracks

Bear print (Small)

How did I know they were fresh?….well when you tread on the moss it compresses and water fills the hole or track.  Gradually the moss rises again (rather like a sponge) and the water disappears.  When I first found this track it had water in it.  I saw or heard nothing more but this is the closest encounter I have had with bear so far.

Birds of note;  I male Rustic Bunting around the cabin, 3 Willow Tit and 1 Whooper Swan on the lake in the evening.