There´s just one word that describes these first days: SNOW. Snow everywhere! Ammarnäs fieldwork season will be delayed this year. Due to the large amount of snow still up in the mountains we are forced to wait until warmer temperatures and rain make the snow dissapear and tundra birds can start breeding. We have been checking out the study areas these first days and all are still mostly cover by snow, quite unusual for this time of the season when in previous years we had found the first wader nests over the treeline.
Moreover, the weather of these last days has not helped, with temperatures below 1ºC and yesterday being surprised by a snowstorm while walking in Raurejaure study area covering the few snow-free patches on the summits where few Golden Plover pairs have been observed so far. Also, some Dotterels and Dunlins have been seen in the area together with few Long-tailed skuas but not enough to interrupt the silence of the tundra.
How will affect this situation to the breeding performance of tundra birds? that´s the main question we have in our minds these days.
Besides walking over the winter landscape of the study sites we have also placed a weather station in Raurejaure area were we will get data on temperature, humidity, dew point, wind chill, speed and direction, relative air pressure and rainfall to relate it with different aspects of the breeding ecology of waders and Long-tailed Skuas.
Check out also this short video made on the 30th of May in Raurejaure area:
WHERE ARE THE LEMMINGS? As an end point for this post, we have not found any alive Lemming so far, just some carcass but most probably dead last autumn or winter. As we have expected it seems will be a no Lemming year where we also expect interesting effects on the breeding performance of waders and Long-tailed Skuas.