It was windy last night with winds up to 15m/s from SSW. As forecast though the winds had died down this morning to around 4m/s from the W. When I got to Brentetangen at 0930 I expected to see a stream of birds flying south back out of the fjord and in addition that they would be close to shore due to the W wind. Instead I saw a lot of sea, an awful lot of uninterrupted sea. If any birds had been blown in by the storm then they had already left. A single juvenile Kittiwake (krykkje) feeding offshore was some evidence of a displacement but that was it. Where were the shearwaters, the skuas or the terns?
In the next hour and a half apart from a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls (sildemåke) making their way south I had 2 Guillemots (lomvi), a single Black Guillemot (teist) and a single Velvet Scoter (sjøorre) for my troubles and was thinking that it was time to be sensible and move on. Then at 11am I picked up a bird at distance to the north of Bastøy island. It was a bit smaller than a Common Gull with brown upperparts and head and a clearly visible pale belly. It was flying low over the water on stiff wings with a few flaps and then gliding and occasionally banking when it showed it underparts. It was making its way slowly but purposefully south and landed for a short period of time during which I lost sight of it before picking it up again in flight. Although the views were (very) distant, the light was good and there was no doubt this was a Balearic Shearwater (balearlire). This is a real rarity in Norway but a bird was seen further south in the Oslofjord at the end of July and it was high on my list of hoped-fors when I saw the weather forecast yesterday. Due to there being so little wind the bird did not fly in classic shearwater style for long periods but then again Balearic Shearwater is more gull like in its flight than other shearwaters.
Moving on to Kurefjorden there had been an arrival of Ringed Plover (sandlo) and Dunlin (myrsnipe) but five Bar-tailed Godwits (lappspove)were the only scarce waders amongst them. Geese numbers were a lot lower than they have been and raptors were scarcer than last week.
The light was not great for photography and there were few close birds so I still have not tested out the camera properly. The pictures I did manage to take today were not very satisfactory due to light and heat haze and also because I need to get used to the lens.
|Juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit|
|juvenile ? Buzzard (musvåk)|
|adult Common Buzzard|
|juvenile male Goshawk (hønsehauk)|