Our friend in Tromso put me in touch with one of her colleagues Stein Ø. Nilsen (check out his great portfolio of birds @ http://tromsofoto.net ). I emailed him that Dotterel was a bird high on my list and he suggested a trip to Mt. Floya.
The girls and I decided to go there the day after we arrived. It was a gorgeous day, that many people said was rare for this time of the year. It was almost 28C when we arrived at the base of the mountain to take the cable car up to the halfway point. We checked out the lookout.
Then we climbed to a small mountain lake but the girls decided that a climb to the top was not for them.
I continued my climb for 2 more hours, yes it was steep and yes, I stopped quite a few times. Many people were up hiking students, dog walkers and residents out for a walk. Finally reaching the summit, I can only say it was breathtaking and exhilarating, thinking back, a few short years ago I never would have made it.
The view from here was just way cool.
I then began my search for the Dotterel, lots of Pipits and the occasional Ptarmigan were my only birds.
The Dotterel were nowhere to be seen and after 4 hours it was time to get a beer at the restaurant, I started to head back down. Just then two small shorebird type’s flew at me, no use trying for my camera, knowing full well, I had a snowballs chance in hell of getting a photo. Getting the two birds in my bino’s it was clear, I finally had seen one of the most elusive birds in Europe (at least to me), the Dotterel.
These birds breed on plateaus and mountain slopes below the highest tops and winter on high plateaus ln north Africa, during winter, making them very inaccessible to most. Cable cars come in real handy.
As I climbed down, I saw one more bird flying high making a flight call, pretty cool moment.
Below is a composite image, of a Dotterel mount from a museum, which will have to do for now.
Eurasian Dotterel (Museum Mount with my own background from Mt. Floya)
Then came the climb down…I tell you that 25$ beer tasted fantastic when I got to the restaurant and I slept like a baby that night.
Ciao for now