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Parrots in Norway

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm f4L, 1/800 sec, ISO 1000

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm f4L, 1/400 sec, ISO 640

Because of it’s appearance the Atlantic Puffin is sometimes referred to as a parrot, but contrary to a parrot the Atlantic Puffin is quiet. The Atlantic Puffin is like a symbol of the island Runde. The nesting cliffs on Runde are known for several species, but the main attraction is the Atlantic Puffin. Photografers from all over Europe come to Runde looking for the Puffin. Runde is the most southern nesting cliff in Norway with almost 100.000 pairs of Atlantic Puffin. Røst has the biggest populacion of Atlantic Puffin in Norway with almost 5 times as many as Runde. We can find the Atlantic Puffin at Runde because the ocean around the island is a good spawning place for fish. Right now the experts are concerned about the falling population at Runde. They don’t know 100 %, but they think the water is getting 2-4 degrees warmer, and because of this it’s harder for the Atlantic Puffin to find food.

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm f4L, 1/2500 sec, ISO 1000

 

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm f4L, 1/8000 sec, ISO 500

I just have to say that this bird fascinates me. This trip was definitely not the last one. I still don’t know if I think they can fly very vell or quite bad. They come flying in like they don’t have control, but I just don’t know if it’s just a way to show us that they are in total control.

 

One happy Puffin getting home with food to the family. The Puffin can dive down to 60 meters looking for food. It can also fly up to 100 km looking for food.

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm f4L, 1/1250 sec, ISO 500 This one liked to show us that he is a good fisher..

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm f4L, 1/2000 sec, ISO 640

The birds plung from the cliffs looking for more food.

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm f4L, 1/250 sec, ISO 1000

The Atlantic Puffin comes to Runde almost the same date every year in the second half of April and stays there until the end of August. In the nesting part of the year the bird has the colors on the beak as we can see on the photo above.  But the rest of the year the bird is living on the open ocean, and the color is less powerful.

 

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm f4L, 1/1250 sec, ISO 500

While some birds with big wings are landing quite slowly this bird lands fast. It’s hard to get good photos of this part of the flight because of the fast movement. But when I at last got a good one they are very good looking.

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm f4L, 1/1250 sec, ISO 1000

My hope is that the whole specie can do as this individual and show some muscle, going on and getting stronger without loosing the battle against the changing conditions. I also hope people can understand that the changes we now see in the climate is made by us, and we are the ones who can do something about it. I hope to see the Atlantic Puffin at Runde for many years to come.

 

 

My new paradise

Two years ago I visited Runde for the first time with my camera. Even though I grew up close to this beautiful place I didn’t know that it was this nice. I think I have got a new paradise. This little island almost as far west as you can get in Norway. Runde has only 90 residents, but from February to August more than 500.000 birds nest there. I spent last weekend on the island together with two good friends. We took a lot of photos. Some of the birds I photographed were new to me. Today I will show you some photos of the beautiful landscape, but over the next few days I will post pictures of Atlantic Puffin, White-tailed Eagle, European Shag, Northern Gannet and Great Skua.

We arrived at Runde Friday evening. We rounded up our gear and walked quite fast to “Lundeura” where most of the Atlantic Puffins live. The light was amazing that night, and we got a lot of nice shots. We stayed at “Runde Miljøsenter” which was a very nice place. We used the parkingplace at Goksøyr and started all our trips there.

 

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Goksøyr is the little village at the end of the road. Here is the camping site and the starting point of the trips to the lighthouse and the known hotspots for taking pictures of the birds.

 

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If you are hiking to the lighthouse and are walking along the northern edge you will get a nice view of the lighthouse several times. The view is awesome. Normally you get a lot of chances to take photos of the Great Skua on this hike.

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The new lighthouse up to the right, and the old houses to the left, where people lived several years ago when it was necessary with people to manage the lighthouse. Today you can rent the houses.

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I understand that you have not been on a trip unless you have a selfie to show for it these days… And here I got my selfie with the nesting place for the birds behind me. I guess it was two meters behind me that the cliffs drop hundred meters down into the ocean.

To visit a place like this with two good friends was a fantastic experience. I just loved it. After long days walking and shooting we made good food and watched football/soccer from Brazil. I’m very thankful for the invitation!

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My friend Johannes walking uphill pondering how to get the next amazing photo.

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My friend Rune ready to shoot the Northern Gannet close to the lighthouse. Visit his homepage http://runefoto.org

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The shore close to Goksøyr

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An amazing view from “Lundeura” Friday night.

I hope you can see that I have a lot of reasons to love my country and particularly the coast. I just can´t get enough of this… 🙂

 

Oasis Hummingbird

On the coast Peru you can find a little nice hummingbird with the name Oasis Hummingbird. The bird is uncommon but widespread. This is a medium-sized, plain-colored hummingbird with long curved bill.

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm 4L IS + 1,4. 420mm f/5,6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 640

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm 4L IS + 1,4. 420mm f/5,6, 1/3200 sec, ISO 400

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm 4L IS + 1,4. 420mm f/5,6, 1/200 sec, ISO 400

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm 4L IS + 1,4. 420mm f/5,6, 1/200 sec, ISO 400

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm 4L IS + 1,4. 420mm f/5,6, 1/2500 sec, ISO 400

You can see more photos of the Oasis Hummingbird on the gallery!!

Oasis Hummingbird

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Vicuña

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Red-Legged Cormorant

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm f/4L + 1,4, f/7.1, 1/125 sec, ISO 500

I find it interesting to see the Cormorants flying. The frequency of their wings are just amazing. I have seen several Cormorants, but I have found one more beautiful than the others. I love the colors of this nice Red-Legged Cormorant.

Wikipedia says that the bird is quite rare to uncommon, but you can find it on the cost of Peru and Chile and in Argentina. It is non-colonial unlike most seabirds. Its conservation status is Near Threatened. 

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm f/4L, 1/500 sec, ISO 400

I found this Red-Legged Cormorant outside the little village of Matarani on the coast of South-Peru.

 

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EF 300mm f/4L + 1,4, f/5.6, 1/160 sec, ISO 500

 

A Beauty on the Coast of Peru

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon 300mm f/4L. 300mm, f/4, 1/250 sec ISO 500

In the Humboldt stream area, you can find a nice bird. It is the Inca-tern. You only find it on the cost of Peru and Chile. It’s a near threatened bird, but you find a lot of them in the cliffs outside the little town of Matarani.  With its red beak and feet, and a white mustache on both sides of its head and grey body, it is easy to recognize. A friend of mine, a bird expert, thinks this is one of the most beautiful birds there are. This bird lives in the cliffs, and breeds in a hollow or burrow. Sometimes they use old nests of the Humboldt Penguin.

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon 300mm f/4L + 1,4 converter III. 420mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec ISO 500

I was lucky to see a fight between to Inca Terns. It wasn’t possibly to see but I guess one of them had a little fish or something like that.

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon 300mm f/4L + 1,4 converter III. 420mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec ISO 500

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon 300mm f/4L. 300mm, f/4, 1/1000 sec ISO 400

There are only a few more Humboldt-Penguins left in Matarani

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For more than 5 years I have been visiting a little place outside the little town of Matarani. It was the first meeting for me with penguins, and since that day I have visited the place a lot of times. I have read some articles that this species three years ago only had 6000 animals left, and it is possible that the next “el niño” will be the end of this penguin. When I started to visit this place, normally I saw 20 penguins more or less. Because of this, yesterday was a bit sad. I only saw three, and I was there almost until the sun went down. Since I will leave Peru in three months, I will only visit the place one or two more times. I hope yesterday not was the last time with penguins. With my new 300 mm lens and a 1,4 converter, it was possible to get closer than before. Here are some of my photos from yesterday. 

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Older posts of Humboldt Penguin

Birdlife in Colca

For my 5th time I went to the beautiful and exiting valley of Colca. This is one of the deepest valleys on earth, and it´s just amazing. Usually I go there to take photos, and especially of the Colca Condor. This time we went there with the family to take a week off. Since I have a lovely wife she let me bring my camera gear with me. As you can understand, the main purpose for this trip wasn’t photos but I did get some.

Hundreds of tourists go to Colca every day for two purposes. See this deep valley, and see the Colca Condor, one of the biggest birds there is. But beside this impressive big bird, there are a lot of other birds. So today I will show you some other birds you can find in the valley.

The first one is the Giant Hummingbird. This is the largest member of the hummingbird family, and has a weight of more or less 20 g and a wingspan of 21,5 cm. You can find it in large parts of South America between 2000 and 4300 meters above sea level.

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EOS 200mm, f/2.8, 1/800 sek, ISO 160

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EOS 200mm, f/4.5, 1/320 sek, ISO 160

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EOS 200mm, f/2.8, 1/2500 sek, ISO 250

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EOS 200mm, f/2.8, 1/2500 sek, ISO 250

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EOS 200mm, f/2.8, 1/2000 sek, ISO 250

Another beautiful little creature is this Black-throated Flowerpiercer. It is found in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Peru. Its special beak is very characteristic.

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EOS 200mm, f/5.6, 1/240 sek, ISO 250

In my 5 years in Peru I have seen this American Kastrel or Sparrow Hawk a lot of times. But it has been hard to get close to them. I just have a 200 mm, so I have to get close to take good pictures. I found this close to “Cruz del Condor” and the bird allowed me to come quite close. I think 4-5 meters. It is a very nice bird.

 

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EOS 200mm, f/2.8, 1/2000 sek, ISO 160

This one is another rare little bird. It’s a much smaller hummingbird than the Giant Hummingbird. The name is Black Metaltail and you can only find it in Peru, from the capital Lima and down to the border to Chile. A friend of mine, Tor Egil Høgsås, has the southernmost observation of the bird, almost on the border with Chile.

 

 

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EOS 200mm, f/2.8, 1/1600 sek, ISO 160

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EOS 200mm, f/2.8, 1/1600 sek, ISO 160

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EOS 200mm, f/2.8, 1/1250 sek, ISO 160

The last one I will show you today is the Cinereous Conebill. I think this bird is very beautiful. In the early morning light it was possible to take some nice pictures of the bird resting in a tree.

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Canon 1D mk III, Canon EOS 200mm, f/2.8, 1/1250 sek, ISO 160

 

Between knitting needles and potatoes

45 km offshore from the city of Puno you find a very interesting little island. The island is named Taquile, but it’s not just an island, it’s a culture. I have visited Taquile Island twice, and I love this unique place on the Titicaca lake. I will try to let you see some of it’s beauty.

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About 2,200 people live on the island which is 5,7 square km. The island is known for several reasons. Something unique is that you can´t find dogs at this island. In Peru you find dogs all over the country except for Taquile. Another thing is that they don’t have cars. But the most important thing is the way they do their handwoven textiles. From the age of five years old the boys learn to make hats. You can see on the hat of a person if he is married or not. When a girl is looking for a husband she always looks at his handcraft products before looking at his physics. If he can’t knit beautifully he is not a good man.

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All the men were knitting while they where walking around on the island. This man has no white part on his hat, that means he is married.

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As you can see, this boy is not married and therefore he has a white part on his hat.

A little curiosity about the culture is that when a boy and a girl are in love and want to marry, they have to live two years together with their parents and after these two years their parents evaluate if this will be a good marriage or not. If the answer is no, they have to leave each other.

While the men knit the women are responsible for the wool. On Taquile Island it is prohibited to be lazy, so they also where working all the time.

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An old lady working on the first process to make the wool nice, strong and thin.

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An other lady working in a later process to make it thinner. Now the wool has been dyed also.

Taquile is not a flat island. The Lake Titicaca is 3812 meter above sea level, the main village is at 3950 and the top of the island is 4050 meter above sea level. When you can´t use a car, and you don’t have donkeys to help you, you have to use your own back. The people needed to carry a lot of things from the harbor to their houses.

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The tourists thought it was hard enough to just walk up the roads, but this man was carrying more than 30 kilos.

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Carrying was not just a job for men, the ladies needed to do their part..

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You need to start early if you want to be strong. This young boy was carrying a lot.

Peru is a country with a strong economic growth. The cities are growing fast, and sometimes without a good plan. I live in one of the big cities, and for me it is like freedom to come to a place like Taquile Island where you can’t find traffic and without barking dogs. I find the island nice, peaceful and lovely. You can’t be in Puno without visiting this beautiful island.

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Most of the houses on Taquile Island don’t have electricity. They have to be self-sustained, and they don’t have fridge or freezer. Because of this they have to fish their own fish and grow their own potatoes.  Today the people have income from tourism and they can buy things from the mainland, but until some years ago the island was self-sustained. A big part of the island have terraces from the time of the Inca-Empire and these terraces still help the people make their own food.