Thursday, 21 August 2014

Liking gulls?

Yesterday was an exciting day and today was never going to live up to that but never-the-less it’s not been too bad a day. I started in the Zoological Museum in Oslo taking photos of the first Subalpine Warbler for Norway which is held in the collection there. This species is about to be split into three separate species which are far from easy to tell apart from each other but hopefully with this specimen we will be able to assign it species and we also have the chance to run a DNA sequence.

After that I headed downtown to look for gulls. There were a few birders around including some hardcore twitchers who had either driven overnight or flown from Stavanger on the west coast. The bird took a few hours to show – some had been waiting since the early hours – but just after noon it suddenly appeared. It showed exceptionally well as it fought for scraps of bread and eventually secured itself a large bit before then moving away (although still in sight) to sleep off its meal meaning that people who arrived later had to be content with poor views.

My hope today was to get to see one of the Caspian Gulls well but although some people had enjoyed good views early in the morning whilst waiting for the real action to start I was not lucky enough to see one. Always another day though and the gull autumn is still very young so many more good birds could still turn up for those with the right disposition (it feels wrong to say this but I might be getting interested myself...).


  1. The Pallas's Gull was reported as heading out into the fjord around 21:00 on 20th and then didn't show straight away the following day. This fits well with my previous experiences of this species being a nocturnal feeder in the same way Audouin's Gull is. Anywhere with lights near the sea might be a good place to check after dark - whenever I've seen this species before it has been at night when the birds have hunted around the vessel - no doubt picking off stuff attracted by the lights on deck.....

  2. Hi Simon,
    Do you know if the gull is still around? I landed on Oslo yesterday on holiday and stumbled over your blog last night.
    Would be a great gull to see in Europe!

  3. Hi Oli

    the bird hasn't been seen since Saturday. It was searched for all day Sunday by a number of birders and not seen. Since then though I think there have been few people looking. If you want to look for you should go down to the end of Akerselva (river) behind the Opera building and scan the gulls in the area. Good luck!