This is the first time for me, when I reblog Roffe’s post about the jumping oyster catcher. Just hope it works.
Don’t mind the Swedish text. Summerized it simply says “why fly when you can jump”.
Well, I didn’t post much last year. Or rather, I did write several posts, but very few got posted. The main reason was an annoying unstable internet connection at our countryside cottage where we use to spend 4-5 months every summer. Some days internet worked , but at a snail’s pace, other days not at all.
Anyway, I have decided not to let all them posts all go to waste, so here’s one from last August about the cutest of minks.
It all started when a next door neighbor wrote on Facebook that a mink was strolling around on her pier. We hurried over to her house, hoping the mink would still be there.
It was, and for the first time, at very close range, and with slightly increased pulse, Roffe could photograph a mink in the wild. It seemed completely fearless and posed willingly.
Two days later I suddenly discovered him / it on our own jetty, munshing the fish guts Roffe had left behind for the fox and seagulls after cleaning his catch.
Even though it’s so cute and you just want to pick it up like a pet and cuddle with, a mink is not an animal you want in your lake. It destroys your fishing nets, eats the fish, and worse, the birds nesting close to the shore and their eggs.
Yesterday’s mission was to find and catch a glimpse of the hawk owl that was reported seen in the area. After two kilometers walk we reached the old barn where the owl was last seen, and we decided to give it two hours to appear.
It didn’t take long, though, until it swept down from the blue sky and landed on the roof ridge.
Gazing and preening in the sun for about half an hour, then it suddenly made a head-first dive down into the rough grass and disappeared.
Slowly and cautiously, we approached the place where it had landed. The owl lay still, half hidden in the grass and didn’t seem to notice our presence until the camera began clicking.
The sound was obviously annoying and after less than a minute it got tired of the photographer interfering with its meal, and took off with the prey in its claws, probably a mouse or a vole.
When the rare bird alert beeps on your mobile phone you must be ready to drop whatever you are doing and just rush. Last time this happened, the alert was about an egret heron.
The egret is a rather rare sight in Sweden, and especially this time of year when most lakes and rivers are frozen. However, this winter has been fairly mild and rainy, and there are plenty of open water in streams and small lakes.
The white-throated dipper or European dipper (or just dipper) is a cute and loveable little bird, easy to spot thanks to its white bib and often seen on the rocks round which the water swirls and tumbles. Dives into the water and can easily swim under water with help of the wings.
Snow covers large parts of the country and it’s more Christmassy now than during the Christmas holiday itself. This is also the time of year when you can see large flocks of the beautiful and “punk” looking waxwing invading trees and bushes, especially in areas with lots of berries like rosehip, juniper and rowan.
Unfortunately, waxwings are also said to be notorious window hitters. The prevailing opinion is that they become intoxicated by possible alcohol formed in the berries they eat, and thus easier collide with transmissive or reflective surfaces.
Twice this fall we have been fortunate to see bears in their natural habitat. The second encounter happend on a sunny afternoon, when we were driving around on small forest roads hoping to see some elks (mooses) to shoot (with the camera, i.e).
Suddenly Roffe stopped the car, rolled down the car window and pointed at a sunlit stone some 40, 50 meters away on a clearcut.
We were both ready with our cameras in the lap and Roffe’s clicking the camera, as if it was an AK-4, immediately alerted the bear.
Well, we just wonder how many such “stones” we have have passed throughout the years while walking or hiking the woods and wetlands searching for berries and fungis.