Friday, 28 May 2010

Birds to the north...birds to the south

Yesterday evening there was some movement of birds in the outer Oslo fjord (skuas, Black Tern and Brent Geese) so with suitable weather conditions (light southerly winds) forecast for today I decided for an early start. Up at 4am and with destination Hulvik which is in the south of Oslo & Akerhus county and a good place for seawatching. Now seawatching in the Oslo fjord rarely produces large numbers of birds but patience can (apparantly) be rewarded. I was patient for 2 hours and 20 minutes and did I get rewarded? Not really.
I did have 11 Red Throated Divers and 4 Guillemots flying north and about 30 each of Common and Velvet Scoter sitting on the sea but this does not set the pulse racing. The divers will be heading for inland Norway to breed but quite where the Guillemots were heading I am not sure. On land I heard 6 species of Warbler singing including Wood Warbler aswell as both Flycatchers.
I continued south into Østfold county to check out Kurefjorden - a supposed wader hotspot. 6 Ringed Plover and 3 Redshank were not very hot though (especially as on the other side of Oslofjord there are currently 3 Broad Billed Sandpipers). Next stop was Brentetangen near Moss which is where the seawatching was good yesterday. The presence of 6 other birders told me that something was happening and when I asked what was about I was told there had been 2 male Surf Scoters but htey had now flkown off south! I had considered making this my original destination but chose Hulvik instead. Oh well. I stayed there an hour and a half but was only rewarded by a handful of migrating divers.
On arriving home and checking the internet I saw that someone else had been seawatching about 10km north of Hulvik and had seen Sandwich Tern (a norwegian tick and rarity) and Arctic Skua this morning.
So choosing a point in the middle could have given me the best of both worlds but instead gave me the worst of both worlds...

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