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Svalbard info...

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Old Monday 27th November 2006, 21:50   #1
buzzard12
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Svalbard info...

Have an opportunity to travel to Svalbard in March/April, wondering if anyone has been then or if anyone has good info on the place. Thinking Polar Bear would be a lifetime experience on its own, if I could pick up Ivory, Ross's Gull and Ptarmigan too, well then I am a happy man.. Any Seaduck present there that time of year???
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Old Tuesday 28th November 2006, 14:54   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzard12
Have an opportunity to travel to Svalbard in March/April, wondering if anyone has been then or if anyone has good info on the place. Thinking Polar Bear would be a lifetime experience on its own, if I could pick up Ivory, Ross's Gull and Ptarmigan too, well then I am a happy man.. Any Seaduck present there that time of year???
There's a few clues here..

http://www.svalbardbirds.com/vinterhalvaret_1996-97.htm

and if you scroll down in the 2005 and 2006 recent reports here, you get to March/April:

http://www.svalbardbirds.com/

..as you would expect, not a long species list!
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Old Tuesday 28th November 2006, 15:12   #3
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The tables are all in (Norwegian or) Danish, Lunde is either puffin, or less likely loon.

http://home.btconnect.com/wildwings/spitstr04.html

here is the checklist in English
http://www.bsc-eoc.org/avibase/aviba...&list=clements
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Old Tuesday 28th November 2006, 17:50   #4
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here is a handy translator for individual names
http://www.knutas.com/birdsearch/
Lunde is indeed Atlantic puffin
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Old Wednesday 29th November 2006, 18:05   #5
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Thanks to you both for the links, much appreciated. Wont be seeing a lot the at the time of year, but if I can manage ivory gull and polar bear I will be more than happy...

Cheers guys..
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Old Thursday 30th November 2006, 09:18   #6
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Svalbard info

Hi!
Try to come as late as possible if You want to see any vagrants. Last winters there havn't been any ice in the Isfjorden. Black guillemots seen through the whole year. After gales from southern/western sector other alcaidae and somtimes Fulmars and Kittywakes occur. On the west coast there are wintering Longtailed ducks and some few Eiders and more rarely King eiders. Glacous and Ivory from mid februar, with Ivory peaks at mid/late April and late May. Just walk to the seaside at the innermost part of the fjord where the sewer pipes are (in town area)! There you'll see Ivory gulls.
http://www.svalbardbirds.com/siste%2...orden%2006.htm

A real good day late May/early June we see ab. 35 species in the area around Longyear. Close to 30 breeders, some of them in just small numbers and in remote areas. Normal year ab. 85 species , with vagrants from West, South and East. Ca 214 species totaly, incl. top year 2006. http://www.svalbardbirds.com/artsliste-web.htm
Single Ross gull and Pomarine breedings from 50's and 80's have been rejected, and they are deleted from breeding list. Ross nearly only occurs on the East and North coast waters in august. Not yearly reports, and just some very few records from West coast, BUT have been seen in Longyear area (July).

The sun disappered 26 Oct. and we'll see it again from 26th Feb. here on 78 deg. N. Midnight sun from 18 April to 25 August, see sun diagram.
http://www.ssb.no/emner/00/00/20/nos...3/tab/017f.gif

Polar bears occurs where it is ice (and seals). If ice on the fjords = polar bears, also close Longyearbyen.

Take a snowmobile safari with guide for a day or more, and Y'll most certanly see polar bear. Season from Feb. to ab. mid May.
If you have experiencees from High Arctic tracking in the winter, you may go by yourself, but just central parts of Spitsbergen without spec, insurance etc. See guidelines at The Gouvernors site www.sysselmannen.no

Web cams: http://www.svalbard.com/webcam/

Best wishes from the North! Mikael
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