Thursday, 2 May 2013

First skua

Migration seems to have ground to a temporary halt again. Although it is sunny it is still cold and a lack of green leaves and insects is holding back the second wave of migration. That doesn't stop me though.
After the first skuas were reported from Brentetangen yesterday I thought I would get there early this morning as strong southerlies were forecast overnight moving to south westerlies in the morning. After arriving at 0555 I had a very cold three hours with little happening. I decided though that I wouldn't leave until I had seen a skua. At 0830 I changed tactics and decided I would stay until 0855 to make it a round 3 hours and as usually happens I was rewarded with a dark phase Arctic Skua (tyvjo) heading north at 0845. Otherwise there were three Common Terns (makrellterne) and a few divers and Kittiwakes and a pair of Gadwall (snadderand) heading north.

Kurefjorden had little to offer with fewer ducks and waders than on recent visits. The flooded fields at Grindholmen held my first Wood Sandpiper (grønnstilk) of the year.

Heading back into Akershus I visited Hemnessjøen and Hellesjøvannet. Hemnessjøen had a large flock of Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås) and a few ducks. At Hellesjøvannet I only had one Marsh Harrier (sivhauk) this time with the others probably off hunting.

At Kjelle the waters are receding and there were only 120 Teal (krikkand) left, down from 600 reported yesterday and the Green-winged Teal (amerikakrikkand) has left with the rest of the Teal. Although it looks good for waders now there were only 8 Green Sandpipers (skognsipe) although I expect good numbers of Wood Sandpipers to arrive next week. Another site that will soon host many Woodies is Svellet and here the water levels are also receding creating vast mudflats. Today there were 10 Redshank (rødstilk) and 13 Greenshank (gluttsnipe) but soon there will be hundreds if not thousands of waders here. Also here my first Yellow Wagtail of the year.
Yellow Wagtail (gulerle). I reckon this is a female flava as opposed to the normal scandinavian thunbergi. Females without the company of a male are not the easiest to ID to subspecies.

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