My Covid quarantine has come to end and I was able to extend the radius for today’s exercise/birding. In the end there was no exercise as I just stared at the sea at Krokstrand and then took in some drive-by sites on the way home. I knew that the wind wasn’t strong enough but I still harbour a hope of finding a Leaches Petrel which remains the most glaring absence to my Norwegian list and there have been some storm driven birds further south in Sweden in the last few days. There was of course no petrel or phalarope, or skua or shearwater and not even a Gannet or Fulmar but 11 Kittiwakes allowed themselves to be blown north by the wind and made it feel a bit seawatchy. When the 1cy birds go through at speed it is very easy to try to string a Sabine’s Gull which is something of a popular pastime in southern Norway each autumn. Documented flyby Sabines Gulls are an extremely rare occurrence in Norway despite birds often being described as having flown past at "close range" or having been "seen really well feeding offshore" so it was very refreshing to see nice pictures of an undisputed one recently.
Auks were the most numerous birds today with Guillemots in the majority along with a few Razorbills and best of all I had a Puffin which flew north with a couple of Guillemots. Despite being a common breeder along northern coastlines, Puffin is nearly as rare as Sabines Gull in the Oslofjord. I did not get a photo… 😉
One entertaining sighting was a young Peregrine that attacked a couple of flying Guillemots and when they flashed through the telescope field of view I assumed I was watching a marauding skua. The falcon was unsuccessful in his hunt and in the end flew inland. I also had a Sparrowhawk flying low over the water and for not the first time it took quite a few seconds to work out what I was looking at.
On the way home I added Common Buzzard and Kestrel to my raptor tally.
My eBird checklist for Krokstrand can be seen here.
|over wintering Kestrels (tårnfalk) are less than annual close to Oslo so this bird was yet another sign of the ample numbers of rodents|
|I don't know how to age and sex Kestrels other than adult males but believe that the streaking rathen than spotting on the underparts makes this a 1cy|