Friday, 26 September 2014

Back home

Birding around Oslo right after the excitement of Værøy always feels like a bit of an anticlimax but today wasn’t too bad. I chose just a quick trip to Fornebu where there were quite a few thrushes feeding on berries and flying around and still some waders although warblers were represented by just a single Blackcap (munk). Three Slavonian Grebes (horndykker) in the bay at Koksa were quite a good local record and three Water Rails (vannrikse) squealing in the reedbed at Storøykilen were probably part of the family I saw in the summer.

At around 11am the wind suddenly picked up (as forecast) and as it was from the south I headed for Rolfstangen. Although the wind hadn’t been blowing long enough to have any real hope of anything having been blown into the inner Oslofjord it is this time of the year that big days have occurred in previous years (with Sabines Gulls, shearwaters and many skuas). As I walked out there were white tops to the waves, a wind surfer flew past and it felt good. However there was no movement to be seen and it was just the local Herring (gråmåke) and Black-headed Gulls (hettemåke) to be seen. After half an hour I picked up a Long-tailed Duck (havelle) in flight that flew around a couple of times before landing on the sea outside of Bygdøy on the other side of the fjord. Then after 40 minutes I picked up a dark gull off Bygdøy that quickly transformed itself into a juvenile skua. It is always exciting to pick up a skua especially here where a skua of any species is rare. It is not always easy to tell which species of skua you are watching but his one seemed a fairly straightforward Arctic Skua (tyvjo). It looked like it was trying to fly south into the wind but ended up landing on the sea and staying there until I left. It was at some distance meaning no real photo opportunity but it was easily in the Oslo part of the fjord (as opposed to Akershus where I was watching from) and therefore became an Oslo tick for me.

Further south there have been reports of shearwaters and Pomarine Skuas (polarjo) so if the wind continues into the night then it might be worth a trip to Rolfstangen again at dawn tomorrow.

at 2.5km range you have to take my word for it that this is an Arctic Skua

three Slavonian Grebes (horndykker) plus three other large grey fish eating birds

the three Slav Grebes

3 (of 15) Lapwings (vipe), a Dunlin (myrsnipe) and a Ringed Plover (sandlo). There was also a Greenshank present today

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