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Leaving Disko

September 19, 2010

So, this is our last day on Disko. Our last hour in fact – I’m writing this entry less than an hour before we head off to the ferry for Ilulissat.

The final wheatear ringing count is 131. We would have got a few more but the mealworms gave up on us before the end. Not to worry, I’m very pleased with how many we got, and never thought we’d exceed 100. Getting all the geolocators on was excellent too, leaving this story open-ended as there is still exciting data to retrieve from their memories next year. I hope.

I’ve been getting lots of snow bunting photos recently. I thought I might as well take advantage of them eating all the dried mealworms, and they’ve been easy to get close to near a couple of the feeders. One of these shots is below.

Greenland is still very much a hunting-oriented society. We haven’t seen a single living seal in our entire stay. The numbers killed are officially reckoned to be within sustainable limits, and given that the density of people in Greenland is the lowest of any country in the world, may be that’s true. The country’s population is estimated at 56,500 (Wikipedia!). You do have to wonder though when you don’t see any at all. It would be interesting to look at the population biology of the seals here, especially source-sink dynamics (perhaps someone already has? Any feedback on this appreciated – thanks). The second photo is a seal skin, complete with head, that we found on a tiny beach by some houses on the outskirts of town yesterday. Quite a grizzly sight.

The final photo is a gratuitous cute husky shot, to make up for the seal.

Now on to Ilulissat, and then Kangerlussuaq, where we are hoping to catch the musk oxen rutting season, and may be see some Arctic foxes. Apparently around the airstrip is a good place – no shooting allowed there!

Snow bunting

Snow bunting

Seal skin

Seal skin

Cute husky puppy

Cute husky puppy

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