Saturday, 16 May 2015

Less than expected

Tomorrow (17 May) is a day when Norwegians indulge themselves in an orgy of nationalism which would be illegal in almost any other country and it is also such that any activity that does not involve the waving of the Norwegian flag is illegal. Therefore it is necessary to get any birding in today as the practising of such an activity tomorrow would lead to instant ostracism from society.

Per Christian and I were not entirely sure where to go this morning but ended up choosing Brentetangen/Kurefjorden.  On the way we had 3 Peregrines (vandrefalk) flying over the motorway which I have never before experienced. When we arrived at 0630 the two best seating positions had already been taken although the early birds had not seen anything to make us regret our late arrival. Over the next 2 and a half hours there was just enough to keep us interested but just as in my two previous visits this spring it never really kicked off. The undoubted highlight was two Arctic Skuas (tyvjo) a light and a dark phase bird that flew very strongly and quite high to the north. Their manner of flight had me thinking (hoping) they were Pomarine Skuas (polarjo) but that was not to be.

After this we headed towards Kurefjorden and stopped at a recently sown field along the way to look for Dotterel (boltit). What felt like a thorough scan revealed a single Golden Plover (heilo) but just as we were about to leave I thought that a dark stone looked suspect – and indeed it was a Dotterel. Whilst admiring this we suddenly realised there were two!

Kurefjorden had a few waders including 10 Dunlin (myrsnipe). One wader caused us a lot of head scratching when we first saw it in flight and it appeared much large than it actually was. Eventually though we saw it on the deck where it revealed itself as a Knot (polarsnipe) in winter plumage (presumably a 2cy bird).
A boat, dirt on the lens and a prick that may be one of the Arctic Skuas we saw
The two Dotterel

I took this picture to document the single bird we saw but inspecting it afterwards showed I captured both although we hadn't yet noticed the bird to the left



  1. Looks like I'll be (even more) ostracised then as I will celebrate the national day seawatching.

  2. Looks like it was worth it though. I can only dream about such a day in this part of Norway: