Monday, 30 July 2012

The long drive home

 The long drive (1250km) from Oslo to Bodø offers many birding opportunities but unfortunately I did not give myself time to explore as many areas as I had hoped and consequently didn't have time to search for the Siberian Tits (lappmeis) again or search for waders around Stjørdal and Ørin in Trøndelag. Never-the-less I managed some good birding in Nordland and finally found my first Red-necked Phalarope (svømmesnipe) of the year. This was on Saltfjellet exactly where I looked unsuccessfully 3 weeks ago and where I have seen them previously. The bird was an adult male and flew around agitatedly calling so had young nearby I assume. 

Spot the swimming Red-necked Phalarope. Behind a car on the E6 road and the railway track can be seen between the car and the pool.
Phone digi scope picture of the phalarope
Also here a female Teal (krikkand) with three ducklings and 3 Golden Plovers (heilo) but very little else. About 10 years ago I had lekking Ruff (brushane) here amongst many other birds but these are becoming alarmingly scarce as a breeding bird in Norway and may well have disappeared as a breeding bird here.
The tidal fjord at Klungsett outside of Fauske was very productive for me. Here there were thousands of seaduck although most were frustratingly too far out to allow identification. There were at least hundreds of Velvet Scoter (sjøorre) and Goldeneyes (kvinand) with much smaller numbers of Red-breasted Merganser (siland), Common Scoter (svartand), Tufted Duck (toppand), Eider (ærfugl) and a single Long-tailed Duck (havelle).
Highlights though were 43 Slavonian Grebes (horndykker), 13 Red-necked Grebes (gråstrupedykker) in summer plumage, a few Red (smålom) and Black-throated Divers (storlom), an immature Great Northern Diver (islom) and an eclipse male King Eider (praktærfugl).
The eclispe King Eider. Note the "sails" and orange bill are diagnostic even in this tatty plumage

Also here 3 Shelduck (gravand) and small numbers of Wigeon (brunnakke), Teal and Mallard (stokkand).
The mudflats also had good numbers of returning adult waders with 70 odd Ringed Plover, 7 Dunlin (myrsnipe), a single Temminck's Stint and a few Redshank (rødstilk), Greenshank (gluttsnipe), Whimbrel (småspove) and Curlew (storspove).
I had a few other birds as I drove south with the highlights being Cranes (trane) and breeding Slavonian Grebes with young.

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