Tail of a Ptarmigan

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While we were down at the lovely iceberg beaches at Jokulsarlon, stopped and had a chat with a charming Norwegian photographer called Anders who very kindly gave us a nod towards this little fella.

Ptarmigan are exceptionally hardy birds, thinking nothing of spending the entire winter foraging in the snow for grass seeds and heather shoots, and because they live on the snowfields they do the sensible thing and turn white in winter. Now thats fine and dandy as camouflage in the snow, but when it melts, you stand out like a sore thumb.

following Anders lead we headed to a spot where, he assured us, not only would there be plenty of Ptarmigan, but unusually they were up in the trees feeding on the newly formed birch buds. Watching the little fellas, much more used to strutting their stuff on Terra Firma, try and clamber through the branches was hilarious! The slightest sign of a predator and they vanished, so a Raven stopping in a tree put paid to our fun for the day. great stuff though and will make a cracking sequence.

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In other news…

first signs of spring are coming along, along with the aforementioned buds, some early flowers are making an appearance. No idea of the species (anyone??) but seeing them blooming high up by the side f the glacier was a welcome splash of colour to the landscape

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right, time for a nice little bag of dehydrated expedition food, Chicken Tikka with rice and vegetables seems fine in the evening, less so the next morning, but hey ho its boys only accommodation in the van…

 

 

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