Tuesday, 7 February 2012


Rune and I visited Eftang in Vestfold for the first time today. About an hour and a half from Oslo, between Sandefjord and Larvik, it is a coastal site with many small bays and islands and looks a very promising migration site.
On the way I added (Taigai) Bean Goose to my year list at Sandvika where a bird has been present with the Mallards and Mute Swans since the weekend. The white around the bill suggests this bird is the same as that seen around the Oslo area in the late autumn and which I saw in Sørkedalen - where has it been in the meantime?

Taiga Bean Goose

The drive down was relatively uneventful except for an unidentified raptor (even possibly a Hawk Owl) seen at 100(+) km/hour perched on a tree on the other side of the motorway which caused us to turn at the next junction, drive back, stop on the hard shoulder and fail to relocate the bird! Not a single drive-by Great Grey Shrike to report although a Starling on a lamppost was only my second of 2012.
Driving past Klåstadkilen we had the first Common Buzzard of the year and arriving at Eftang a small beach with washed-up seaweed proved to be a source of food for 4 Blackbirds, a Dunnock (year tick) and 3 Meadow Pipits (unusual winter record). Offshore there were many Eiders, a couple of Red-throated Divers and Great Crested Grebes and best of all 2 Black Guillemots and a Little Auk. The Black Guillemots breed here at one of their closest locations to Oslo.
We then headed for the Tønsberg and Horten area. Presterødkilen was completely frozen but by the coast at Husøy we located a few waterbirds and amongst them was the long staying Black Duck rather than one of his hybrid offspring. Also 3 Little Grebes, a few scoter and 6 Razorbills.
We tried a few other bays along the coast and despite perfect viewing conditions added precious little esle except for Steinbrygga where the bay held a flock of 41 Great Crested Grebes, a single Red-throated Diver and 7 Guillemots.
A rather distant Black Duck

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