Sunday, 17 October 2010

Cruising the Oslo fjord


Velvet Scoters

Pomarine Skua

Veclvet Scoters and Purple Sandpiper (can you see it?)

Today was the annual boat trip in the Oslo fjord organised by the local birding society (NOFOA). The weather was lovely, sunny and no wind which unfortunately was not too promising for birds but as it turned out the day was a big success. There was a good turn out with at least 30 birders and I had my eldest daughter with me.
Highlight of the trip was a skua which I was lucky enough to find but took a long time to identify despite it sitting on the water less than 10 metres from the boat. Problem was that it didn't want to fly! Eventually it did fly but then away from us. However we were lucky enough that someone took a couple of hundred (!) pictures of which a couple captured the underwing including the diagnostic double white flashes (before seeing these pictures I had proclaimed with certainty it was an Arctic! - we live and learn). Studying the my own pictures of the bird on the water also show it has dark tips to the primaries which further distinguish it from Arctic which pas pale tips.
2 Little Auks were also great birds and unexpected in such calm weather. 3 Red Throated Divers, a Long Tailed Duck, 1 Common Scoter, 30+ Velvet Scoters, 3 Purple Sandpipers and 2 Dunlin complemented the common species such as Eider, Red Breasted Merganser
We als had very good views of four seals (not sure which type) and jelly fish were quite numerous.

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