Spring arrives in the far North
Just back from a week-long tour to the upper end of Europe, to Finnish Lapland and coastal arctic Norway. This spring the weather has been milder than usual and the snow was all but gone from the lowlands, but lots still remain on higher ground. Many migrants had arrived in numbers, but the last ones to arrive in late May-early June are still on their way.
The vole situation has been exceptionally good all winter and spring and more Hawk Owls than ever have wintered in the area, but now suddenly things may be changing. Many of the Rough-legged Buzzard nest sites were already abandoned and groups of buzzards were migrating east along the coasts, a normal situation when vole populations have crashed. On the other hand I found six nests of Hawk Owls, with the birds still incubating and Common Kestrels were more numerous than ever. It appears that voles are crashing in some areas, while others still hold healthy populations. It will be interesting to see if these breeding raptors will find enough food to complete their breeding and fledge their young.
Below a few images from the trip
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- 5.18.16 / 10am