Sometimes I feel I live in two worlds. One is here, in the Netherlands, the other one in the Polar regions. Sometimes these two wolds meet, like this weekend when we found two Snow Buntings on Schiermonnikoog. Snow Buntings are the only passerine species I see on Spitsbergen, a place where they are fairly common, so I see them every summer. In winter they leave the Arctic and move south. The Spitsbergen population winters on the steppes north of the Caspian Sea in Russia and Kazakhstan. In the Netherlands another population winters. Even if they’re not the same birds, it’s still nice to see those birds I know from the Arctic in winter close to my home.
The two individuals we found were not shy at all and a very popular photography subject for me and my friends. Here an image of the bunting in front of a bike, combining my two worlds, something typically Arctic (the bunting) with something typically Dutch (the bike).