Life on the Tundra

After some days of non-stop raining, we came up again to Raurejaure and Gelmetje study areas. Higher temperatures and rain have helped to reduce the snow cover creating a mosaic-like landscape on the tundra where more and more waders and skuas are observed on the increasingly abundant snow-free patches.

Slowly the spring starts up on the tundra but still breeding is just on their first stages where most birds are struggling to feed on scarse tiny arthropods and Crowberries waiting for the snow to melt on their territories.

Raurejaure study area from Gájsátje

In Gelmetje, waders are a little bit more advanced in their breeding duties than in the other areas. On the 7th of June we found the first wader nest over the treeline! This nest was found in the laying period with two cryptic eggs to reduce predation. Eventually up to four eggs will be laid and later incubate by both sexes for about 28 days.

Golden Plover nest with two eggs

On the 6th of June in Giehplejávrrie we had a very nice observation of a Stoat (Mustela erminia)  running restless over the snow  and  later going away from us with a Lemming on its mouth.

These little predators live here throughout the year and moult the fur twice a year being completely white in winter except for the tail-tip that remains black.

Stoat moulting to summer fur

Stoat with its prey, a Lemming


3 thoughts on “Life on the Tundra

  1. Paco June 9, 2012 / 9:42 am

    Great photos and very good report, congratulations. Paco

  2. Agnes Dellinger June 9, 2012 / 10:01 am

    wow, amazing pictures of the stoat!! 🙂 and cheers for the nest! 🙂

  3. Ugo June 12, 2012 / 12:27 pm


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