20 March 2013

Taiga birding - the Gullfest 2013 prologue in Pasvik

Pine Grosbeak, male - the Pasvik taiga

Gullfest artist Darren Woodhead painting. Warm water from a thermos kept his painting water icefree, and the fireplace in the cabin helped dry the paintings afterwards.

Finally the Gullfest is on! 

The Gullfest ringers are arriving Vardø and the preparations is coming together. We are small group of Gullfest participants warming up the birding atmosphere in Pasvik, South Varanger. We are spending two days in the Birkhusky B&B and enjoying a trip to their taiga cabin. Compared to last years Gullfest prologue this is a much colder one. We have about 15 celcius below zero, and the winter scenary is spectacular! The number of species is limited, but they are all über cool, and on the top of almost all birders wishlist. Add some Auroras, the northern lights, and you have a group of very happy birders! 

The Northern lights over the Alaskan Husky housing. Basic style. Spectacular scenes yesterday.

Travel arctic style. Gullfest artist / bird illustrator Ian Lewington making friends with our transport.

We had a full day at the taiga cabin. We travelled in style and birded in style. Blue suits and binoculars are the dresscode. A great group of birders! 

The whitest bird around: an adult male Arctic Redpoll. We had a formidable Redpoll bonanza at the cabin. The feeder brought good numbers of both Redpoll and Arctic Redpoll. A very good occasion to learn more, and be more confused! We may have to make Redpollfest next year. Check out Martin Garners www.birdingfrontiers.com for more material to come on these very cool birds. 

The Siberian Tits visited us, but not in the numbers from last year. About 5 birds visited us while we where at the cabin. Another sought after taiga speciality.

The Pine Grosbeak seemed to love the feeder and gave us some stunning photo opportunities. Amazingly beautiful birds. 

The very curious and stylishly dressed Siberian Jay also came by a few times. Its colurs is like a consentration of the taiga forest color palette. 

Welcome to Gullfest!

Local newspaper, Østhavet printet this story today, about the upcoming Gullfest, and the birdigification of Vardø town. Stay tuned for stories, exhibition, talks and much more!

Darren Woodheads art and more Varanger birding niceness will be exibited at the Vardø Hotel (Arctic Redpolls above, by Darren, from Vadsøya). You are most welcome to join the exhibition and the rest of the Gullfest! Or stay tuned at our FBpage or tweets for updates. We have just started...

Tormod A. / Biotope