Hello world! I’m in Norway for a week, with my friend Marci, chasing arctic birds along the Russian border or on the Barents Sea. This is kind of a luxury trip, as we have internet in the evenings to share our adventures in real time 😀
Last night we slept in Melkefoss, in a cabin, a few hundred meters from the border. Our hosts have bird feeders there, and from 5 in the morning the birds were singing and calling all around us. I was up early, and I spent a lot of time in the area, trying to find the birds I had targeted. As time flew, I grew desperate, because one of the expected highlights of the trip was still missing… and then it appeared. I was in awe, repeating WOW, WOW, WOW while shooting this magnificent bird: a male Pine grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator).
We were in a small cabin that had openings for cameras, and with the feeders nearby, birds landed on a dead tree right in front of us. The grosbeak, though, perched on a pine branch and inspected the vicinity, and then it disappeared. Only later I realized it had just gone to the ground, out of sight from were I sat. It was eating sunflower seeds, grinding the hull to get to the core.
It was joined by a female, but unfortunately, I couldn’t take pictures from my position. However, when I saw the grosbeaks next to the House sparrows (Passer domesticus), and how they dwarfed the other birds, I realized what a beast that bird is. A real cracker, and the prince of these northern forests.
A good surprise.