I went up to Kalvträsk during spring 2021 with the primary objective being the Black Grouse lek with Golden Eagle as a bonus. It was also a means of getting away from home on a short vacation.
Kalvträsk in spring
In April 2021 I travelled by car with my friend Martin from our hometown of Gothenburg all the way up to Kalvträsk. We stopped for 2 nights on the way up in Gysinge and just south of Skuleskogens National Park. The plan was to spend five nights in Kalvträsk focusing on Golden Eagle and Black grouse lek. That meant long days and little sleep during the darkest hours.
Early mornings at the lek site
I have not been working with any Black Grouse lek for a few years and I had never done it with winter conditions. Back home it is never snow during the best month for Black Grouse leks and in that sense one need to travel north to experience it in a winter landscape.
Video: Black grouse lek in 4k
My Røde shotgun microphone was packed as I wanted to do a few video recordings during the lek. The bubbling sound of the lek is for me a big part of the experience. And my thought was to get some decent videos with sound to share. I hoped to record some action as well, but to be honest I am not proficient when it come to making videos with a DSLR. Still I hope I got something to show.
Waiting for Golden Eagle of Kalvträsk
We also used one of the Eagle hides each day, but only had luck with the Golden eagle once. I did saw Eagles on more than one occasion, but sadly only one photo opportunity. Still there where plenty of opportunities to work with other birds and we even saw a Black grouse lek just by the Eagle hide. Not the best place for a lek with at least three different Golden eagle pair in the area. Still a nice find and I even got pictures as proof.
Video: Golden eagle in slow motion
The Common raven of Kalvträsk
Even if we missed the Golden eagle most days, we had Common raven all of them. They are highly intelligent and often easily disturbed so you need to be sensitive working with them. That is why it was to our advantage to just be two people in the hide as it made them relax. We kept the noise from the hide to a minimum as well as no sudden movement from our lenses.
Video: Common raven in slow motion
I always treasure the time I can spend with this fascinating bird. They have many different sounds, and I even recorded some intimate moments when they preened each other. I had not seen that behavior before, and it was a pleasure to witness. They really thrive in Kalvträsk and we got ample opportunities to work with them.
The first two pictures in the photo album is from stops during the trip up to Kalvträsk. I thought I should show them as well.