Above shows the local bus that goes from village to village and takes in the airport and so I planned to return to the village of Pervomyka and walk back and so Gerret and Jochen joined me and Jochen split when we arrived at the village whilst Gerret and myself had a good look around today. Photo below shows you the main road through the village.
This area really is run down and a certain person sent me an email saying it looked like I had gone to a war zone rather than the nice Arctic Tundra I had been speaking of recently. Today we saw dead dogs in the street and there was more evidence of old, ruined ex military vehicles as below.
Above shows one of the local dogs that decided to follow us for a while and below shows a Ground squirrel. I have actually forgotten the full correct name for this species(it is 02.30 in the morning so bare with me)
3 photo's below show you some more of the local people in this village and as you can see life don't look so easy does it.
Above shows one of a pair of Rough Legged Buzzards that were copulating on the telegraph stantions along the road as Gerret and I began our return walk back to the hotel via the Tundra marsh and below show's one of the birds in flight. These photos were taken during heavy snow fall and so the light wasn't great but it gives you an idea of what it was like.
As the snow fell more faster and heavier Gerret decided to head back to the hotel but I decided to stick with it and see out the snow flurry. It was a heavy snow fall for near enough 2 hours and at one point I decided to head back but just as I was considering this oiption I heard the display song of a Wader that I recognised but couldn't nail for ceratin. I scanned the ground araound me and all the raised area's of hummocks etc in order to see what was giving this display song but I just couldnt locate the the bird. It was just as the Snow stopped that the song became louder, nearer and more frequent. It was at that point I saw 3 Long Billed Dowitcher's in the sky above and another group of 8 in the distance which again were in flight and then I realised it was the Dowitchers that had been giving the song during the snow fall. I watched the birds as long as I could and then the group of 8 went down quite away ahead of me on the marsh. I made my way over to the area crossing ditches and bogs. I managed to locate the birds on the deck and there in front of me was at least 5 birds all running around and giving song. I sat down and just absorbed the moment, I was alone and this was just how I wanted it to be. I set up the digi cam, scope and the SLR and settled myself down in the hope I could get some time with these birds. I managed to get close enough to be able to use the SLR and I was stunned when a 4 out of the 5 birds (2 pairs) began copulating! I was not expecting this and it was a real short affair by both pairs both times. I can't see that these birds will nest in this area as I do know from last year's experience with Long Billed Dowitcher's on the breeding grounds that they can give you a false sense of territory but then just disolve in to thin air and then re-appear some distance away up to several miles in fact and then do the self same thing and then you don't see them for days and then they appear in song above you. (below shows the marsh this afternoon)
What a couple of stunner's eh ? (also the bird in the background) the birds in the photo above are much more of that classic Orangey colouration than the rather washed out looking individual below. I spent near on 4 hours with these birds. Just sat there alone, watching their behaivour, studying their feather tracts (and just lost myself amongst those feather's) listening to their song (which they did from the ground as well as the sky above) At one point I had a scare and nearly had to walk away as my cigarette lighter wasn't working but managed to locate a spare in the emergency supply kit! I got pretty soaked through during all of this and at one point got quite cold as after the snow there was a short dry spell before the rain came in. I had to crack open a packet of the hand warmers to try and warm up and change both my hat and gloves for dry spare ones in the bag. After this I headed back to the hotel and whilst walking along the road a Short eared Owl flew in as if just coming in off of the sea and this was also a nice moment before I got lucky and waved a van down who kindly gave me a lift all the way back to the hotel. Other note wothy sightings today included a pair of Bewick's Swan's displaying, a pair of Sandhill Cranes displaying, a pair of Pacific Eider's (quite smart looking for Duck), a couple of Western Sandpiper's and plenty of the usual Dabling Ducks and Vega & Glaucous Gull's (I am sure I am forgetting something). Wonder what will happen tomorrow, probabley not much as today was one of those "Great days that came out of nothing"