Saturday, 18 July 2015


That boring black duck with a knob on its beak that I found on Wednesday is proving to be quite popular ;-)

 Although there is a female currently present in Finnmark and there was another individual in Finnmark in 2011 this bird is clearly more accessible and being an adult male possibly more appealing. It has already been twitched by car from Oslo (1300km each way) and also from Stavanger although I’m not sure if this twitch was by car (1500km) or plane. To put this in context the distance from Oslo matches Lands End to John o’Groats in the UK and the 2 days it takes to drive from Oslo (due to slow roads) must in time equal any fabled UK twitch such as Isles of Scilly to Fair Isle. So it is not just the UK that has crazy twitchers!

I made the 30 minute drive from the cabin to the scoter this morning at 6am and as I had hoped, and as forecast, there was sunshine and little wind so my hope was to bag some better pictures of the beast. When I stopped the car there was a group of ducks just offshore where I had the bird on Wednesday and within perfectly acceptable photo range. Unfortunately Stein was not among them and it took a few minutes before I found him 500 metres further up the fjord. I walked closer but although the light was good the range was always too far so my pictures were unfortunately not an improvement. With the good light and calm(ish) sea I could see that there are many hundred of diving/sea-ducks spread across the fjord although far too far out to ID them. We are therefore very lucky that Stein chooses to be so relatively close to land and it also makes you think what else might be lurking out there. I did find a Garganey (probably a male in eclipse) with some Teal plus, and finally, a couple of fine summer plumaged Red-necked Grebes but these were at even greater range than Stein.


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