Thursday, 15 August 2013

Honey Buzzard and Kurefjorden

After finding temporary homes for the kids this morning I was able to join my fellow NSKF member, Oddvar Heggøy, for an overdue trip to Kurefjorden. Originally I had planned a trip out to Årnestangen but with water levels rising I feared that the long walk out would be a waste of time whereas Kurefjorden has been hosting a good selection of waders recently including Broad-billed Sandpiper (fjellmyrløper).

The turf fields close to Kurefjorden held 34 Ruff (brushane), 50 Golden Plover (heilo) and 10 Lapwings (vipe) – these fields will surely turn up something rare soon. At Kurefjorden the water levels were high concentrating the waders although as usual in the middle of the day the light was a bit challenging. After some discussion with another birder as to the ID of a gull he had found - Common (fiskemåke) as opposed to the hoped for Mediterranean (svartehavsmåke) - we set about grilling the waders.

The Broad-billed Sand quickly gave itself up but was too distant for any photos. Five Turnstone (steinvender) were my first of the year and there were also 2 Temminck’s Stint, 9 Knot (polarsnipe), 2 Bar-tailed Godwits (lappspove), 9 Spotted Redshank (sotsnipe) as well as Dunlin (myrsnipe), Ruff, Ringed Plover (sandlo), Greenshank (gluttsnipe), Redshank (rødstilk), Curlew (storspove), Wood Sandpiper (grønnstilk), Common Sandpiper (strandsnipe), Golden Plover (heilo), Lapwing (vipe) and Oystercatcher (tjeld). 17 waders species is not something you moan about in these parts. Raptors were not in evidence other than two Osprey (fiskeørn) and a single Sparrowhawk. Numbers of dabbling ducks are slowly building up and five Shoveler (skjeand) were the highlight.

Checking the nearby farmland for harrier drew a blank but we did have Red-backed Shrikes (tornskate) at three locations and best of all a low flying male Honey Buzzard that was carrying something in its talons. It wasn’t easy to see what it was but is presumably the core of bee or wasp nest which it was taking to the nest.
Honey Buzzard (vepsevåk). The grey head and unbarred primaries show this to be a male

The small prey item is best seen in this picture and seems to be a small white lump presumeably containing wasp larve

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