tisdag 22 september 2009

Mikael Vinka

18:th of September 2009
Today my host and guide in Ammarnäs is Mikael Vinka, sami and tourist guide and runs his own company Lapplandsafari. He takes me in his 12-seated wooden boat to his settlement Geunja on the shore of lake Tjulträsk. Mikael is a hunter and fisherman as well and knows animals and plants and everything about the sami culture in the area.
This huge bull who´s antlers he´s holding, he shot a couple of years ago.

Yellow mountains

18:th of September 2009
The mountainside birchforest is all yellow. You can only imagine how beautiful this would have been in sunshine but even in this dull, foggy drizzle it´s just amazing to see.

Dogs on watch

18:th of September 2009
As Mikael drive the boat, the dogs attentively keep watch for wild animals along our way.

Old settlement

18:th of September 2009
As we drive further into the waterworld of Tjulträsk we pass an old sami settlement along the shore.


18:th of September 2009
Geunja is an old Sami settlement where Mikael Vinkas ancestors stayed at least 1000 years ago. Artefacts several thousand years old have also been found on the site. The place is situated on a small peninsula in the lake Tjulträsk and is only reachable by boat. Here Mikael brings visitors to stay and enjoy the silence and wilderness and learn about Sami culture and traditions. Birds and Mammals are appearing rignt on his doorstep hear, including Bears and Wolverines.
Today´s weather might not do pictures full justice, but this place is one of the most charismatic ones I´ve seen in the Swedish mountains.

Good for a bite

18:th of september 2009
Even if the moose-antlers are a couple of years old, they are still good for a (dog)bite.

The njalla

18:th of September 2009
The Njalla is where you traditionally store meat during winter. However standing on high poles, it does happens that hungry Wolverines bite their way through the wood to get to the meat that smell so good in times of hunger.


18:th of September 2009
"Kåtan" - the traditional sami tipi, the permanent ones made from peat and wood - is one of the charismatic buildings in Geunia.
Here you can spend the night even in winter laying on reindeer furs by the fire burning in the centre. Some people have actually chosed to celebrate their wedding night hear(!)
The wooden stand is for hanging meat to dry on.

Further into the wild

18:th of September 2009
Probing further into the wilderness on these waterways takes us to a delta-like landscape with the river parting to several arms. A flock of 5 Whooper Swans take off in front of us, a Dipper and some Goosanders too. There aren´t too many birds around this time of the year, but it´s easy to imagine how it would be in spring or summer. Plenty of Waders and Bluethroats for instance. Mikael knows of breeding Golden Eagles and Gyr Falcons in the cliffs that we see, almost hidden by the fog.
The crystal clear water is filled with Arctic and Canadian Charr, Grayling and Brown Trout, spawning below us right now.

View from a hotel terrace

17:th of September 2009
Despite the fact that the first snow for the season actually fell on the surrounding mountain tops today, the afternoon sun warms us up a bit after a cold and windy day. The view from the hotel Ammarnäsgården is just as lovely as you want a hotel view to be. This view you actually have from several of the rooms as well (!)

Delta view

17:th of September 2009
The delta in Ammarnäs is just on the doorstep of the little village and famous for it´s rich birdlife. Much more quiet in autumn but still beautiful to look at with wooden haybarns on grassy land tounges reaching out in to the streems of Vindelälven and Tjulån, the two waterways connecting to each other on their way to the Baltic Sea.
If you go back in the blog to March you can compare with my winterpics from this place.

Wigeon View

16:th of September 2009
Having breakfast at Ammarnäs wärdshus & fishing centre includes this view. In the pond outside the window only Wigeons are swimming, not a Mallard in sight. Are we in Lappland or what?

Urban gaze

16:th of September 2009
Urban Berglund from Vindelåforsens cottages is my host and guide today. He´s one of the skilled, storytelling, nature- and culture guides in Ammarnäs, used to guide visitors in their beautiful surroundings. We are taking the jeep up to his ancestor´s settlement at Bertejaure some 10 km up a bumpy forest track built by his father. We catch the moment to gaze at the beautiful view over the calm surface of Gautsträsk as some Ravens are flying above us.

The lake

16:th of September 2009
Autumn smiles at us today. View over Gautsträsk with Ammarnäs in the backdrop.

the barn

16:th of September 2009
One of many haybarns at the edge of the Ammarnäs delta.

The River

16:th of September 2009
The river doesn´t lack dramatic powers. Here the water supplied power to the local sawmill.

16:th of September 2009
Urban is taking us on a boat-trip around the lakesystem Bertejaure where he´s ancestors settled hundreds of years ago. The cottages still stand on the same ground and today he´s doing the Moosehunting and the fishing that they did. With Brown Bears constantly in the neighbourhood. We spot some Rough-legged Buzzards, Common– and Velvet Scoters, Black-throated Divers and even a very late juvenile Osprey.

View from Knallhatten´s

16:th of September 2009
One of the finest places around Bertejaure in my opinion is a hill with a cottage called Knallhatten´s. It´s surrounded by open meadows and then birchforest overviewing part of the Bertejaure lake system. It´s easy to imagine Hawk Owls and Butterflies around this place. As I look at a group of Velvet Scoters in my bins a big, Brown Trout is breaking the surface in a big leap beside the birds.

Autumn on fire

16:th of September 2009
The birches are really on fire this time of the year.

Gathering the Reindeer

16:th of September 2009
The gathering of the Reindeer is a big event in the Sami culture. In autumn the immature males are brought in by hand and lasso, some of them are slaughtered, some are sterilized and released. A lot of people in the Sami community is taking part in the actual hearding and catching of the animals. It´s easy to see that it´s an activity apppreciated by the young poeople, who are initiated to the hard work with the animals, and proud to take part of it.
It´s the first Reindeer-gathering I´ve witnessed and of course it is an overwhelming experience. I tried to document it with a few pictures.

The big bull

16:th of September 2009
The big bull.

Pulling Deer

16:th of September 2009

Sarven jumps

16:th of September 2009
Sarven jumps.

Three down

16:th of September 2009
Three more down.

Walking to the Reindeer

16:th of September 2009
To the Reindeer...

lördag 12 september 2009

Good eagle year

11:th of September 2009
The White-tailed Eagles in the Black River Valley seem to have had a good year. We do now have 3 breeding pairs in the valley. 2 of them reared 2 chicks each this summer and this week both of the juveniles in one clutch are seen together, still around the nesting site. Soon they might disperse and migrate south or stay to spend the winter, it varies a great deal. I got right below one of the soaring youngsters today and even my little compact Canon Power shot SX10 was able to zoom in.

Great Crane evenings

10:th of September 2009
Two nights this week I do Crane guidings at Näsklippan, by Lake Fläcksjön. An annual event that´s been running for some years now. We have excellent weather and a lot of people come to watch the Cranes as they fly in to the roosting place at sunset. 670 Common Cranes where counted today. Yesterday we could only estimate the numbers to 600-700. Some flocks migrated south today, not that many though.
On the picture you can see Casper and Saga, 5-year-old birdwatchers counting Cranes.

Crane picknick

10:th of September 2009
A lot of people gather to take part of the Crane evening, mingle and taste the hot soup and sandwiches with a lot of tasty local produce on.

Giant spider

9:th of September 2009
On my way home today I stopped near Svanå to check out something that´s crawling across the road. When I get close I´ m for a moment convinced that it is some semiterrestrial hermit crab. I´m just so surprised to see one up here on dry land and 200 miles from Sea. After a closer look I realise that it´s in fact a giant spider. I have never seen anything like it before.

... with a face

9:th of September 2009
And on the back it carries a giant egg (or eggsack) and the egg has got a face (!)
Does it remind you of a parrot or the spanish horrormovie "the Orpheanage"?

tisdag 8 september 2009

Migrant Hawker

8:th of September 2009
Lately I´ve been intrigued by Blue Aeshnids dashing about without being approach- or catchable. Today I get some close views when I´m mistnetting and ringing birds at Lake Fläcksjön. One gets stuck in a net together with 2 Brown Hawkers. Apparently it is a Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta). Ten years ago that would have been a remarkable find here, but this species has spread northwards and is now widespread in late summer/ autumn.

Migrant upper

8:th of September 2009
Note the distinctive, yellow "nailmark" on segment 2 – a species characteristic for the Migrant Hawker.

New caterpillar

7:th of September 2009
Caterpillars of Moths and Butterflies are on the move this time of the year. I´ve been working hard trying not to run them over as they cross roads, then photograph and identify them. This one is new to me, a bit bigger (5-6 cm) and with a distinct V in the face. Any ideas anyone?

Dark and furry

7:th of September 2009
This dark, furry, rather small "cat" with a linear orangy, faint stripe on the back, I saw last year and several these last days. Not shure of it´s identity yet. Any suggestions are welcome!


6:th of September 2009
For the second year I have observed this nice yellow/ lilac Moth taking interest in my plums as they ripe in late summer/ early autumn. Last year I caught one in the act of sucking on them at night. Now I find one as I pick the fruit in daytime. The Moth and the plums are in fact exactly the same colour(!) And I think it is a Sallow (Xanthia icteritia). In swedish called (the totally unsexy name): Blekgult gulvingfly.

söndag 6 september 2009

Crane season started

5:th of September 2009
Last week the number of Cranes seems to be building up in the vallety, I counted 400 in one flock and could also identy 3 colour-ringed individuals, all swedish and all from the county. Tonight we enjoy a great evening at the roostingsite by Lake Fläcksjön for the first time this autumn. We see 3 White-tailed Eagles, some Marsh Harriers and Water rails before the Cranes start to come in. They seem to be late, at 20.15 a big group of at least 200 comes in, but not more. Nice though!

Beauty visit

6:th of September 2009
A Camberwell Beauty comes to visit my garden today, probably attracted by all rotting fruit. I don´t get very much time with it, but it sits on the wet grass for a while between the showers.

fredag 4 september 2009

The lake

3:rd of September 2009
This anonymous lake in Uppland is totally covered with Water soldiers and hence an excellent site for Green Hawkers (Aeshna viridis). We also encounter surisingly late flying Yellow-spotted Emeralds (Somatochlora flavomaculata). As we move around the blue border between the meadow and the reedbeds, we flsuh plenty of Green Hawkers and ... mind you.. Baltic Hawkers. Quite an Aeshna hotspot!


3:rd of September 2009
After a while we encounter a female Baltic Hawker (Aeshna serrata) ovipositing in the shallow water inside the reedbeds. Being totally paralyzed in the process it allows close views and photography.

Moorland Hawker

3:rd of September 2009
Several Moorland Hawkers (Aeshna juncea) fly on this nice little spot.

Moorland side

3:rd of September 2009
And from the side.

The pool

3:rd of September 2009
The little forest pool where Moorland and Bog Hawkers can be seen.

tisdag 1 september 2009

Oberthürs Grizzled Skipper

28:th of August 2009
Oberthürs Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus armoricanus) is another of Sweden´s most rare Butterflies, in fact only known from one site (!) in our southernmost province Skåne. Still far from it´s main distribution in southern and central Europe. Here we encounter one late flying individual of this gorgeous, little creature. On the site some Queen of Spain Fritilllaries also showed well.

Oberthürs upper

28:th of August 2009
and the upperside...


28:th of August 2009
. . and isn´t that a cute face?