Thursday, 17 January 2013

Vestfold vandering

Today was spent in Vestfold with Rune today braving snow, icy conditions and a biting northerly wind. My target today was to find our own Water Pipit (vannpiplerke) amongst the Rock Pipits (skjærpiplerke) that usually winter on the beach at Moutmarka, Tjøme. As it turned out the snow and ice had covered the rotting seaweed that they feed on so all we found was a single Rock Pipit feeding on an offshore rock and looking very sorry for itself. Incredibly little else here although a total of six Wrens was heartening given how badly they suffered due to the cold winters a couple of years ago.
The sea had some life though with five Black Guillemots (teist), 2 flyby Little Auks (alkekonge) and a single Slavonian Grebe (horndykker) the highlights.
We tried various other places around Tjøme and Hvasser but there was little to find with the weather not making things easier for us. At Dalen we knew that some Little Grebes (dvergdykker) were wintering. We found a single bird easily and wondered why we couldn’t find anymore. Then I noticed something hiding under a small abandoned floating jetty. Putting the scope on I eventually saw 7 Little Grebes hiding here and there could well have been more. Goldeneye (kvinand), Goosander (laksand), Eider (ærfugl) and Red-breasted Merganser (siland) were encountered all around the coast.
We tried for a Hawk Owl that has been seen close to the E18 motorway but failed to find it although did have two Great Grey Shrikes in the area.
distant Slavonian Grebe (horndykker) off Moutmarka, Tjøme

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