Monday, 4 August 2014

Out birding at last

Finally some proper birding afer two days of Ikea furniture construction hell! Yesterday evening and through the night there was lots of rain meaning that a trip to Årnestangen was on the cards for this morning with the hope of good numbers of downed waders – and I wasn’t to be disappointed.

On the long walk out I heard and briefly saw a group of 10 or so crossbills that were perched in a birch tree before flying off. I strongly suspect they were Two-barred Crossbills (båndkorsnebb) which are irrupting into Sweden at the moment however I didn’t see them in the bins or hear the diagnostic trumpet call so will have to leave these go as I don’t feel confident enough separating their normal call from Common Crossbills (grankorsnebb). I also heard a few overflying crossbills at the cabin in Bodø which I suspected had bars but never even saw those birds.

At the end of Årnestangen there are good mudflats exposed but views from the new designated watchpoint are rather distant. However it was overcast meaning that although a bit dark there was no sun in my face so viewing conditions were good and it was just to go painstakingly through everything that was there. There are very few juvenile waders coming through yet although this will change soon so most birds were in nice breeding plumage. Most numerous were Ringed Plovers (sandlo) with at least 95 birds of which I only noted 4 juveniles. Dunlin (myrsnipe) numbered 86 with 8 being juveniles. Quality came in the form of a dark red male Bar-tailed Godwit (lappspove), 2 Temminck’s Stints, 4 Grey Plovers (tundralo) two of which were males in pristine plumage, 7 red adult Knots (polarsnipe) and 10 Sanderlings (sandløper) all of which were adults – it is still far too early for juveniles of this high arctic breeding bird to turn up.

In total I had 19 species of waders which must go down as a good total. Two species that are normally very numerous: Wood Sandpipers (grønnstilk) and Ruff (brushane) were both represented by only two individuals but will hopefully increase soon.

There were few ducks to be seen and raptors were only represented by single Marsh Harrier (sivhauk), Kestrel (tårnfalk) and Buzzard (musvåk) plus at least 4 Ospreys (fiskeørn).

Passerines haven’t yet really begun to migrate but a single juvenile Red-backed Shrike (tornskate) was a nice find.

As it there frequent showers I kept the camera in the bag which meant I missed a good photo opportunity of a juvenile Cuckoo (gjøk). My attempt of pictures of waders from the watchpoint show distance and bad light involved.

adult male Bar-tailed Godwit (lappspove)

juvenile Red-backed Shrike (tornskate)

very much a record shot showing four Grey Plovers (tundralo) and below them a few Ringed Plover (sandlo) and Sanderling (sandløper) one of which I have enlarged

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