Thursday 4 July 2024

Beitostølen 2024

The summer holidays continue as per tradition with a week in Beitostølen. It is unusually wet and cold so my chances of seeing butterflies are going to be limited but I have made the most of any periods of sun. There seem to be very few butterflies here though this year which I hope is just a timing issue with more to come after some warm weather but that will unfortunately be after we have left.

On the bird front we managed a dry if cold walk on Valdresflye where I was very happy to see a couple of Long-tailed Skuas which had eluded us a month ago.

On the drive up we picked up my parents from Gardemoen airport. A delayed plane and hour long queues at passport control meant we suddenly had time to kill so a dog walk at Nordbytjernet beckoned. I hoped to see the Great Reed Warbler again although no luck on that score perhaps indicates it has moved on. It did however result in a news species of odonata with a very unexpected Blue-tailed Damselfly (kystvannymfe). As it Norwegian names suggests this is a coastal species in Norway and my records appear to be the furthest inland in the country.

Long-tailed Skua (fjelljo)

Although the presence of the skuas suggests tbere are some lemmings this Rough-legged Buzzard is the only raptor seen so far

Dotterel (boltit) is always a joy to find

Here, a Temminck’s Stint and two Ringed Plover (sandlo)

The Temminck’s

The same Dotterel as above - a female (the males will be sitting on eggs)

A female Bluethroat (blåstrupe) which clearly had young nearby

A Yellow Wagtail (gulerle) just out of the nest

A male Common Blue (tiriltunge blåvinge)

And a male Alpine Blue (fjellblåvinge) - I’m not sure if the two species can easily be separated from above

From below though the Alpine Blues are distinctive

They have been the commonest butterfly up here (with over 100 at one locality)

Silver spotted Skipper (kommasmyger)

More mating Alpine Blues

Blue -tailed Damselfly (kystvannymfe)

A different individual

This was an interesting one. I assumed it was also a Blue-tailed with a strange pattern on the 8th tail segment

But here you see it must be a Variable Damselfy (fagerblåvannymfe) although quite an unusually marked one

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