Storulvån 110615 Wednesday, Ånnsjön, outdoors

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Storulvån 110615 Wednesday
I woke up once during the nigtht but went to sleep again. Then I woke up at 6.30. I dressed and went out to see if I could see some blue throat. I walked to the other side of the river but had little luck. Two of the guys were also out in the same business. We heard, but did not see, the Whimbrel (små spov). When I turned around to walk back for breakfast, I did see the Bluethroat, but only for 2 sec in the binoculars. Then it flew away.

Breakfast at 7.30 and I asked if I could borrow a thermos. I did not recieve the second letter and had noone with me as that letter suggested. Well, I got one and fixed my lunch. They offer a great breakfast. Good bread, eggs, juice and everything you need. Then I went down to look for the Bluethroat at another spot as I had some time to spare.   Somebody had seen it at the litter station behind the Lodge . And I did see it again and even  got some shots.

We left for Ånn´s trainstation at 8.45. It took a while to get there. The distance about 30 km. It was not that far to the first hidings we visited. I emediately spotted some Red-necked Phalarope (smalnäbbad simsnäppa). There were 3 of them in the pond. 2 were a pair as they started to mate.  I got some great shots I think. :) That is the highlight of the day. As was the Siberian Jay (lavskrika). A very cool bird. We saw it several times and it kept us company for a while. It seemed to like pieces of ham and steeled whatever it could. :). It was fun. It was following us to the tower. At least I think it was the same one.

There was a lot of wetland to pass during the day. Walkboards were in place but sometimes in a bad shape. Slippery and tilting. But we managed. We stoped at several hidings and towers and saw quite a lot of birds. I think I had 4 new species and some that I got better shots of. I´ll try to get some maps to show where we walked.The weather turnd out to be better then we hoped for. Cloudy all day, but no rain until we headed for the cars to go back to the station.

My feet is not used to rubberboots and start to hurt a bit. But No blisters so far.

Back at Storulvån some of us went to see if we could find the Bluethroat again, but no luck this time. I went back to take a shower before dinner and to load the shots into this computer.
Me, in the wetland

Today I have no clue of what we had for dinner except for dessert that was blueberry mouse. ? . I think the meat was thin slices of lamb meat. The frst-course was some thick soup that was very spiced. Rather good actually.

Then we gathered at the conference room to go throu todays birds, 65 I believe. :) And then Johan had a lecture about the Great Snipe (dubbelbeckasin) we are to visit tomorrow evening. It was great.

My room mate is sleeping by now and it is 22.35. It is still rather light outside. Up north like this it is closing in to midnight sun.
The map to Ånnsjön area.

Tomorrow we shall walk Storulvån Mountain, above the tree line. On "kalfjället"
Sleep tight.
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Storulvån 110614 Tuesday

This was My World last week. The Mountain Range in Northern Sweden. :)
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 NF Photo 110614
Storulvån 110615 Tuesday, Hostel Jämtland - Storulvån Mountain Lodge
I arrived at Enafors train station as sceduled. A lot of people went of and we met the Guide Johan inside the station. It turned out that we were 17 people in the group. 18 with Johan.

After presentation and introduction we headed out. We went to Ånnsjöns Bird station in Handöl. We had a introcuction to the work on the station and then spent some time birding before having some picknic lunch. It was rather cold so having the lunch  sheltered inside the tower was great.
One of Ånnsjöns birding towers overlooking the lake/wetland

After lunch we left for a hike up to the waterfall. It was beautiful. We did not see many birds but heard some as we went through some dense bush area to the river.  We did pass the little cottage they used for ringing birds. As seen in the photo the river eats up the side so soon the little house will have to be moved. We did see some a lot of mountain flowers and other stuff while hiking.
The waterfall in Handöl
After the waterfall we went down to the lake again. To see some waterbirds. Some terns was there and one duck. (bläsand) as we could see. It was now beginning to warm up. It had been rather cold during the morning. So People started to remove clothing.

We took the cars and drove the 11 km to Storulvån. Saw a bird of pray along the road.

When we arrived to Storulvån it started to rain a bit. But I went for a walk none the less.
Storulvån Mountain Lodge

Several of us want to see the bluethroat. But today we did not.

At 18.00 we was served a 3 course dinner. Very nice even if it was not my kind of food. (jordartskocks soppa m korv av någon fjällfår tror jag, inkokt röding och hallonsorbe.)

Then we sorted out todays birds and Johan told us a bit of the history of the station. My room mate is probably sleeping by now as I am sitting in the lounge writing this.

Tomorrow breakfast is served at 7.30
 Then off to some hidings and hoping for no rain.

Todays birds seen or heard of the group: 50. And then some rare flowers. :)


On route to Storulvån 110613 Monday

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Stockholm on route to Storulvån, 110613 Monday

As there are always trouble with comunications I decided to go to Stockholm with an earlier train. Lately there has been trouble with delays due to suncurves and runover cows. :) Yea, the news said so.

I  took the train at 15.23 from Katrineholm and, actually, got to Stockholm at 16.40 as sceduled.

I walked around town to see if there were something interesting to shooot. But found very little. The city is not interesting in daylight I suppose. I wanted some shots of the castle and City hall for the blogs but.....I had to settle for sunshine and nice weather.
The Royal castle

The City Hall

I visited the royal castle but there were lots of building stuff as they were working on repairs or whatever. But I did take a shot at the guards. The same with the The City town hall, lots of work going on there as well.

I went back to the trainstation to look for PizzaHut. I found it but they did not have Hawaii so I went searching for a hot dog instead. The train going north was, of course, late. We were able to embark 15 min after ordinary time but it did not leave until 23.00. Did not matter really as we were to sleep anyway.

We were 6 ladies in the room and we made the beds right away. It was quite OK to sleep on the train but sometimes I half awoke when I started to slide up or down when the train passed a curve.  At 5 people started to leave the train. And after that there was no more sleep.

Tomorrow I´ll be at Enafors and Storulvån.

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Malta 110428 Thursday and last day

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Malta 110428 Thursday and last day
Home going day.  We woke up around 8.00 as we had to pack our things and clean out the appartment. So much garbage you collect only in one seeks time.And I had already thrown some away once. Made a last visit to the roof of the hotel.

Peter picked us up at 11.00 and we headed for the shop. They checked everything that should be checked for the licence and the shots we brought. When we were done we left and headed back to The Mediterranean Sea. Johanna and I stayed on some cliffs in the sun and the others went of walking. I took some cool shots of J. You can hardly see who it is. :)

At 14.30 we headed back to that chinese restaurant. We needed some dinner before going on the plane as there are no food served. The food was as good today as it was yesterday. But we arrived at the owners own lunch so it felt a bit strange. And their kids entertained us. :)

We headed back to the shop for the drive to the Airport. Everything went as planned in there and we said good by to Peter. The sun was setting as we left so I got some shots. I had the same view as before. I was hoping to see Vesuvius, but it was Johanna that did.
We arrived about 10 min early around 23.10. After getting the luggage and locating the cars it was time to say goodby to them and for us to go separate ways.

I was home around 01.00.
Mount Etna from the airplane, Photo: Johanna

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Malta 110427 wednesday

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Malta 110427 wednesdayWe spent the morning preparing the photos for Peter.

We made the second attempt to gpo to the caves today. But as it was still windy it was doubtful. And today the man didn´t even bother to show up. :( 11.15 we went back to the hotel by making a lot of window-shopping. Well, not entierly, Janet bought herself a new bikini.

After a lunch, bread and drink, we went to Emma to get our deposit back for the tour. And then to Peters shop. I continued to the other side of the main road to see if there were any birds there. There were doves, of course, and some swallows. Apart from that, nothing. I went to the dive shop.

The others has some plans to go to Valetta, Maltas "Old Town" area. But it turned out to be cutting hair and doing a tattoo instead. Then I went to the point again for a while. Not so long as we were to look for a restaurant that Emma had recomended. Turned out to not be what we wanted so we turned back and hit the jackpot. There was a china restaurant and as Johanna had wanted that for a time we went in. And got a big surprice. Everything was delicious. We took several dishes and it was all good. Well prepared and seasoned. Why did we not find it earlier? When we were leaving I asked the lady for a card so we could remember it. She was surprised because she thought we did not like it as we did not order dessert. :) The name of the place? Leisure Time Chinese cuisine!

I started to pack as we have to leave the appartment at 11.00 tomorrow. Johanna has the computer to save images on Peters USB-memory.
Sleep tight!

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Malta 110426 Tuesday and Johannas birthday

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Malta 110426 Tuesday and Johannas birthday
We awoke at 7.30 to celebrate Johanna. Then we went to the hotel lounge to have breakfast.
It was nice sitting there but the breakfast was not better then we had ourselves.

At 10.00 we were at the shop to take the shots for the dinving licenses. It was rainy and windy. Not good for the tour. Then we went to the little harbor where the boat for the caves should be. Sadly enough it was too windy with high waves so the tour was canceled. Now we hope for tomorrow.

On the way back I started to shoot some flowers so JJM left, they decided to go to Sliema for windowshopping. Myself I had a hard time seeking shelter from the rain. Despite the raincape I was wearing.

Back at the hotel I slept for an hour, had some lunch and headed out again. The rain had past over and it was sunshine again. But still windy with high waves. I headed back to Qawra Tower. Enjoying the walk out there to the rough point of land. It was very nice and I have taken lots of shots of the water beating the cliffs.

I was back at the hotel at 16.30 and the others was already there. After some rest we headed out to eat J:s birthday dinner. A struggle as usual. We went to that "ship" restaurant but it was closed so it was just to check them out again. We ended up at Pizza Hut. It was quite OK though. I orderee the Hawaii pizza. Johanna a lasagne and the other two pizzas too. For dessert chocklate cake and icecream. My pizza was so big that I got a box to take two slices back home so I have food for tomorrow. :)

It is 21.30 and the others are sleeping as usual. I am not tired as I slept an h at lunch. Now I just hope the Mediterranean Sea is calm tomorrow. Our last whole day. My daughter do not want to go home. :)

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Malta 110425 Monday, Dolphin day

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NF Photo 110425 at Mediterraneo Marine Park

Malta 110425 Monday, Dolphin dayToday was "swimming with dolphin" day. We went up rather early to catch the bus at 8.20. A bit early but as we don´t know the area it is better to be sure, coming late was not an option. We were sceduled to 10.00 to meet the personal for the dive. It was sunshine but windy. The Mediterranean sea  was abit upset outside the area of the park.
9.45 we were finally allowed to pay the tickets and we were given a quetionaire to fill in and to learn the rules. No jewelry or other sharp stff would be allowed, as was teh plastic tejp I has on a wound. Dolphins are easily hurt and they eat about everything. :) At 10.00 we were let in and got our swimsuits. And further instructions. At the pool we were divided in two groups. So, the four of us and two kids were in one group. Two dolphin males were working.

The first part was to introcuse us to the dolphin. Touching, kissing and taking pics. After that we were out in the water and the dolpin rotated us there. It was so much fun. :)  Lastly there were a time for free swiming in the pool with both dolphins swimming around us. Cool!  The water in the pool was a bit chilly, but the suit took away most of it.

Removing the wetsuit was much harder then take it on. I had a hard time getting it off. :)

Then I saw the last part of the sea lions performance. I had seen some ducks when we arrived so I went there to see if I could take some shots. They had Common Shelduck (Gravand),  Eurasian Teal (Kricka) and Ferroginous Duck (vitögd dykand). The last one is new to me. Then I located some owls in cages. And a terrarium.

The Dolhin show started at 14.00. Johanna sat closes to the pool. Taking picks and writing like crazy. I too took a lot os shots. It was a good show. :) After the show we stayed a while. There were a small pool beside the main one. There was a young dolphin too. The trainers played games with them and it was fun to watch. Johanna took lots of notes and then started to ask the personal a lot of questions. She needed that for the paper she is doing in class. I´d say she got a lot. :) We bought all the shots of course. They are great. Johanna starts to talk english the entire time now and she is good at it.

The lunch was very flexible. I took my sandwich, the others I think,  had icecream or whatever they could find.  :)

The last show was Parrots. It was kind of cool. Some birds for my blog maybe. :)

Then it was time to return to Bugibba. And the lady with the booking. We were supposed  to go to the caves tomorrow. We have an "open ticket" to that trip.
I don´t remember what we had for dinner. It is 21.20 and the others are asleep. I have to stop now as the battery is going low.

Sweet dreams!

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Malta 110424 Sunday, Simar

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Malta 110424 Sunday, Simar
Finally a morning when I can sleep. Yet I woke up at 8.00. I had some breakfast and made myself ready for a walk. At 9.30 I left for Simar. I had figured it would take me little more then an hour to walk the distance. I took the streets closest to the water. It was quite nice, sun shining and not too hot. Took some shots along the way. I did stop to shoot a palmtree and a Maltesian gentleman run up to assist me. The palmtree was full of thorns so I appreciated the effort. :)  I also made a stop at a currency machine and at the WC at the divingsite. Just to make sure. :)

When I arrived at Simar refugee I had some trouble locating the entrance. And when I found it it was closed. As I suspected. I had been walking more then an hour and they did not care to open. Despite every place I read about it said it should be open between 10 - 16h. :( Well, I circled the place but did not see much as it was surrounded by dense bushes. But some birds flew in and out so it was not a complete loss. But no waterbirds as I wanted to see. But one bird of prey and some swallows flew around. And sparrows of course. Not much for an island famous for migrating birds. I found a field of Artichoke on the back of the site. Was thinking of harversting one but they were not mature.

On my way back I found my family at the square, so we took the opportunity to sit down and eat. Tehn we had some rest at the hotel before leaving to visit Peter and Véronique. It turned out to be a homewarming party. All divers, Janet and me and some friends to P and V was there. We had some sallad and barbequed meat and sausage. It was very nice. But it got cold after a while.

They had a marvellous appartment. Large with several rooms and the biggest balcony I have ever seen. With a great view as it was the top appartment. And... the lift went directly into the appartment. Cool! Never seen that before.

We left the party at 20.30 Because tomorrow is "Swimming with Dolpins".
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Malta 110423 Saturday, diving Gozo

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Malta 110423 Saturday, diving Gozo
Up at 6.00 as we are picked up at 7.00.
Made some bread to bring with us as we did not know if anything woudl be open a it is Easter evening (påskafton) today. At home we should have eaten eggs, but now, forget it!
We were picked up and on our way. Johanna and I went with Véronique. It was raining for a while but not much. It stoped when we were on the ferry. The Ferry left as soon as we were onboard. We were the last cars to load, so we were lucky. It took about 20 min to cross the distance between the two islands. Passing Comino on the way.  We headed north through the city. This island is greener then Malta. And looks nicer, it is better taken care of. Roads are better and houses looks nicer. The harboru is named MGARR harbour.Yea, it spells like that. Arabian influence I guess.

We road along the coast and arrived at the divingsite eventually. Blue Hole - AzureWindow on Gozo. It was very hard to walk here as it was mostly holes an sharp edges all over the place. I think it is sandstone but it looks like lava. It must have been hard for the divers to walk down to the water with all their gear. I thought it was hard with mine. But they did alright, and Macke too. And Johanna photographing of course.
As they came back from the first dive it was sunshine again. And it was getting warm. I had spotted some birds flying and it turned out to be stilts. And a gull and some swallows. Finally something. :) Janet and I walking around the cliffs taking shots. Then the cars started to come. Kiosks for icecream and stuff to eat. And turists. Lots of them.  And more divers.
Diving Azure Window

We headed to the other dive site. It was in what looked like a cave. There was a coffee shop and places where you could take a sunbath. And so we did, after eating something. But Véronique was still in her car so I went back up to get her. She was cold she said. She was born in an island outside south Africa so she was cold. There arrived a lot of tourists that were going an a small boat to see the Azure Window. And lots of families with kids on the side of the little lagoon. The little beach were great for children. I managed to get my back red despite the fact I did not sit long without a shirt. :( 
The ferry tour back was nice and I took a lot os shots. At the shop were a lot of doves that I tried to get a shot at.

After a shower we headed out to shop some food and check the tours to the caves. Then we boiled pasta and eat. Both the divers were sound asleep at 21.00. Janet is reading and I write. The diving is over now and they shall get some photos for the certificate. I bought myself a small Brie cheese and I had about half of it. It was rather good.

Tomorrow night at 17.00 we are invited to Peter and Véronique.

Time to sleep!
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