Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Autumn arrives

Knots (polarsnipe) still in their fine red summer plumage at Årnestangen

It now feels like autumn has arrived. Not because of the weather which continues to be scorching summer weather but due to the face that autumn wader migration is now getting going. Rune and I took an early morning trip to Årnestangen today and were rewarded with 17 wader species. I’ll list them all to give a feel of what it was like:

11 adult summer plumaged Knot (polarsnipe)
4 adult summer plumaged Dunlin (myrsnipe)
2 adult Temminck’s Stints (temmincksnipe)
1 adult summer plumaged Sanderling (sandløper)
5 Ruff (brushane) - 2 adult females, 2 juvenile males and a juvenile female
1 Redshank (rødstilk)
8 Greenshank (gluttsnipe)
2 Curlew (storspove)
1 Whimbrel (småspove)
1 Bar-tailed Godwit (lappspove)
8 Lapwings (vipe)
12 adult and 1 juvenile Golden Plover (heilo)
1 Green Sandpiper (skogsnipe)
6 Common Sandpipers (strandsnipe)
20 Wood Sandpipers (grønnstilk)
2 adult and 4 juvenile Little Ringed Plovers (dverglo)
4 adult Ringed Plovers (sandlo)

Not exceptional numbers but a great variety and with so many summer plumaged birds lots of colour too. Interesting that the first juveniles are also on the move perhaps suggesting a good breeding season. We had a bit of fun with the Golden Plovers and spent some time on one slightly smaller and slimmer bird but in the end had to accept it was just a small Golden Plover although some plumage features also got us excited.

Very few ducks yet and raptors were only represented by a single Marsh Harrier (sivhauk) and at least four Ospreys (fiskeørn).

We continued into deepest Østfold and visited the great rubbish tip (sh*t hole?) that is Øra. There were vast mud flats exposed and distant waders but hardly anything close enough to be identified in the heat haze and certainly no sign of the Ruddy Shelduck (rustand) that has been there for the last week or so (and which was seen in the evening). We beat a hasty retreat from the heat, flies, smell and toxic dust.

Kurefjorden had a greater selection of waders than during my trips last week with a Knot, 3 Ruff and 5 Dunlin the highlights.

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