One Swallow does not make summer

To: Birding-Aus <>, Birdchat <>, sabirdnet <>
Subject: One Swallow does not make summer
From: Willem Jan Marinus Vader <>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2018 12:53:21 +0000
One swallow does not make summer

There is a lot of wisdom in proverbs. So also this time: the lone Barn Swallow 
that I watched at Tisnes last week, clearly did no manage either, and I did not 
see it there today. After a week with very promising spring weather here in 
Tromsø, N. Norway, the weather has changed completely, and today, Whitsunday 
and also the first day with midnight sun here this year (next sunset will be 22 
July!), we have grey skies, strong winds, intermittent rain showers and +5*C. 
No wonder that the birches here in the garden still are not completely green, 
and at a little bit cooler places, as at Prestvannet on top of the island or at 
the little cemetery at Håkøybotn, they are still completely bare and there are 
patches on snow still on the ground. The Coltsfoot stars, that dominated all 
the road verges and bare patches, are over their top, and in this cold they 
stay almost closed also, so that the garden-escaped small pale yellow  Primulas 
now are the dominant flowers almost everywhere.

Yesterday I walked around the small lake Prestvannet on top of the island, 
famous because of is northernmost Crucian Carps, and the last years because of 
the quite large number of pair of Red-throated Loons, that are nesting on the 
small mud islands  and are much less shy than what is the norm for this 
species. Just now 8-9 pairs were in full display and this is always a wonderful 
sight, that one can enjoy in close-up here. Otherwise this lake is full of 
Common Gulls, Mallards and Tufted Ducks, all nesting here, but as yet there 
were no Arctic terns at the colony, nor Sand Martins (Bank Swallows) that 
usually forage over the water surface. As everywhere now, Willow Warblers, 
Bramblings and Redwings sang and Fieldfares rumoured; there are the big four of 
our birch forests.

Today I was back at Tisnes, but here rain and wind reigned almost alone, apart 
from also here a colony of Common Gulls (they really live up to their 
vernacular name in this region),the usual Oystercatchers and Redshansks,  a few 
suffering Ruffs  (Their large collars are an encumbrance in high winds), and 
some pairs of Greylag Geese. No terns here either, and the Sand Martin colony 
was still on-occupied

On the way back I ,as often before, met some of the local road-savvy Reindeer 
of Kvaløya (They stay here all year); they know all about cars, but mistakenly 
think they have the right of way. And I cut out my last stop, at the airport: 
too much rain and wind.

Wim Vader, Tromsø, Norway

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