Thursday, May 31, 2012

Norwegian holiday

We have just returned from a week cruising in the Norwegian Fjords visiting Flam, Olden, Geiranger and Bergen.  Although the trip was general sightseeing we did see a variety of wildlife and plants.

The environment at low levels was surprisingly similar to Northern England despite being further north at just over 62 degrees at our northernmost point. We encountered familiar species such as pied wagtail,  chiffchaff, chaffinch, house sparrow and hooded crow.  We had a distant sighting of a Raven but unfortunately no White Tailed Eagle although they had been reported in the area.  The fjords had large numbers of Common Gull.

Waterfall Geirangerfjord

Lichen Olden

Ship moored at Geiranger

The scenery was spectacular and the air very clear and clean.  There were lots of flowers in the meadows and prolific growths of lichen.

As we entered Sognefjorden one of our party spotted a pod of six Orca but as they were heading South and we were sailing North they weren't visible for long. We also had two brief sightings of Dolphin in Nordfjord and also an otter swimming across in front of the ship.

On the eastward crossing of the north sea we had redstart and a female whitethroat land to rest on the boat and on the westward crossing a small warbler which did not stay long enough to be properly identified.  We also saw lots of Gannet and Fulmar as we sailed down to the east of the Scottish coast together with a single sighting of a Minke Whale.
Waterfall Geirangerfjord
Waterfall Geirangerfjord

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Walk in Bishop'sOak Wood - Baal Hill

Chris and I walked through Bishop's Oak Wood above Wolsingham on Monday 30th April.  We heard lots of birds calling but saw very few. We saw three Roe Deer and some lovely spring flowers including Wood Sorrel, Primrose, Wild Violet, Bluebell, also bracket fungi and lichen fruiting bodies.