Wednesday, 25 January 2012

One less bogey to pick (off)

I headed for the Tønsberg/Horten area in Vestfold today hoping to add to my year list. The first stop was Rosanes where the main target was the male Black Duck that is now into its 11th year here. Despite normally being an easy bird I could not find it although a lot of ice had reduced the number of Mallards in the area considerably. I did see at least 3 proofs of its (past) existence though in the form of hybrids presumably with Mallard. A few Goosander, Red-breasted Merganser and Goldeneye had a female Smew in their midst and amongst the 100 or so Mallard were 5 Teal and a male Pintail.
Then I scanned the bay and picked off my bogey. RED-NECKED GREBE was finally added to my Norwegian list. It was easy to ID (they really are quite different from Great Crested) and gave reasonable if slightly distant views. I even managed a couple of record shots:
Red-necked Grebe

In Presterødkilen 2 male Pochard were hanging with 40 Tufted Ducks and were a good winter record.

I then drove to Horten checking the sea where ever possible. My hope was to find some white-winged Gulls but I failed on this score. Near Horten at Steinbrygga the bay held a flock of 26 Great Crested Grebes and a single Red-throated Diver and at Møringa 8 Oystercathers were a good winter record.
The Med Gull seems to have settled into some rhythm with 3 sightings since Sunday in the mid afternoon at Frognerparken. Maybe time to give it one last go?

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