Ptarmigan are always very hard to find. They are very well camouflaged and you often only see them when you are a few meters away. And when I finally see one, I often have a large group of tourists around me, which doesn’t make for good photography either. This year I’m guiding smaller groups on hiking trips, so we have a bit more time. Last week I already saw one family, this time I saw four different groups. One was feeding just over an edge, so we were really close to them when we saw them. They were not shy at all, and this juvenile let me take a nice up close picture.
The Spitsbergen Ptarmigan is an endemic subspecies of the (Rock) Ptarmigan and the only species that doesn’t leave the area in winter.