Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Seawatching still disappointing

Skuas (joer) started moving up the Norwegian coast yesterday with a good southerly tail wind and those southerly winds continued today so it would surely be a good day to be at Brentetangen? I awoke an hour before my alarm at 03:30 and after a bit of tossing and turning decided to get up and make some food and coffee and head off. I arrived at 0500 to find that some mist meant that views were not great but the wind was fresh so I sat down and shock horror discovered I had left my coffee at home – crisis! Luckily I soon had some coffee carrying company and could steal some coffee. And I needed it because excitement on the bird front was not going to keep me awake. In just under 4 hours we had 1180 Common Scoter (svartand) which were moving in a northerly direction but kept landing on the water and were perhaps just resting birds that had been disturbed by boats. This is a good total but was not matched with good numbers of anything else. Just 10 Red-throated Divers (smålom), 30 Velvet Scoters (sjøorre), 2 Pintail (stjertand) and 1 Black-throated Diver (storlom) moved north and 7 Gannets (havsule) heading south.

Kurefjorden surprised with good numbers of waders but the vast majority of these flew off north whilst I was there. This shows how one has to be a bit lucky at this time of the year and also confirms how criminal the raising of water levels in Nordre Øyeren is as there is clearly a lot of migrating waders at the moment. I had 47 Redshank (rødstilk), 3 Greenshank (grønnstilk), 16 Ringed Plover (sandlo), 6 Dunlin (myrsnipe) and 8 Bar-tailed Godwits (lappspove).

Dotterels were not to be found today although there were a few Golden Plovers (heilo).

With low cloud I did not expect to see raptors today but we twice had a male Kestrel (tårnfalk) heading low over the sea at Brentetangen and this was probably a local breeding bird, we also had Marsh Harrier (sivhauk) slowly heading north, plus I had another Kestrel, a Buzzard (musvåk) and best of all my first Honey Buzzard (vepsevåk) of the year migrating north.
a very photogenic female Lapwing (vipe) that was probably and unfortunately a failed breeder

the migrating Marsh Harrier (sivhauk)

all the birds at Kurefjorden reacted as though there was a raptor at one stage and here I have captured Whimbrel , Bar-tailed Godwits and Pink-footed Geese

the view from Brentetangen over to the Vestfold side of the fjord (4km) with2 Gannets Passing by

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