Monday, September 27, 2010


We have had a few gyrfalcons (jagtfalk in Danish) hanging around the station in the past weeks. I first saw one while I was doing a transect in the field - measuring the vegetation greenness or lack of same. It was flying right at me as to check out what weird creature I was. I always bring the big lens but it was stowed in the backpack (in this case a somewhat special backpack with the measuring device attached to a small boom) because I had a wide angle attached to take pictures of the vegetation. By reflex, I pointed the camera at it but although it was quite close it was certainly the wrong lens.
A few days ago Jørgen told me over the radio that a falcon was flying around the station. I was nearby checking a fox den and scanned for it with binoculars. On the brink of the river I found it. I tried to move closer but it took off while I was still way out of range for pictures. Then the day before yesterday, while all of us were out looking at a passing navy ship, I spotted two falcons flying right over us. One of them perched in the radio mast. I got some pictures but since I had kitchen duty I did not wait for it to take of for some flight shots. The falcons have earlier used this radio mast as lookout for hunting arctic hares between the buildings. My Swedish friend, Toby, showed me some pictures of this. At present we do not yet have the hares coming into the station but the falcons will probably have to switch to hunting these and Rock Ptarmigans soon as the big flocks of juvenile snow buntings are disappearing.