Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Med Gull

After finishing yesterday’s post by saying there wasn’t much to look forward to (birding wise) at the moment I go and find my third national rarity of the year today. A species I have found before but none-the-less a nice bird: a Mediterranean Gull. It was in 1st winter plumage as have been the three other birds I’ve seen in Norway and I so wish that the next one is a smart adult. The bird was at Merkja, Nordre Øyeren and kept its distance although just when I thought I was going to be able to get closer to it and get some half decent pictures an adult male Goshawk rushed through and scared everything up into the air and they then sought sanctuary out on Svellet where close views are never on the cards. Hopefully though it will hang around and offer better views over the coming days.

I had started the day hoping once again to get some cracking photos of Jack Snipe but didn’t even find a single bird today at Snekkervika. The Great Grey Shrike was again present as were a flock of 8 Long-tailed Tits which showed ridiculously well in fantastic light and will be the subject of their own post a bit later when I’ve gone through all my pictures. After giving it an hour and a half here and having nothing interesting flying over I was in half a mind to drive back to Oslo but thought I would give Merkja a go. Here there were a number of ducks including 3 Shoveler and 3 Gadwall and I checked out the 20 Whooper Swans hoping for a Bewick’s. After 20 minutes of checking the waterfowl I realised there was nothing more exciting to find amongst them so in a rare inspired moment decided to check through the gulls that were loafing around. I spent some time with a striking 1st winter Common Gull that I unsuccessfully tried to turn into a Ring-billed Gull. After this I went through the other gulls very quickly until I came to a bird sitting on its own and immediately felt today was going to be a good day! A classic 1st winter Med Gull.
Pictures of the Med Gull (svartehavsmåke) only just classify as record shots

here with Common Gulls (fiskempåke)

flight shots were perhaps a bit better

an attempt at phone digiscoping wasn't particularly succesful

although the bird did fly off before I had honed my technique
Two female Gadwall (snadderand)
There are three Shoveler (skjeand) in this picture (two are in inset) plus a couple of Mallard (stokkand) and a single Teal (krikkand). The remainin birds are Mallards although in the bright light a number seem to have white axillaries meaning I've actually found a flock of American has been shown before the white axillary character has to be used with great caution!

the Great Grey Shrike (varsler) was showing well again in Maridalen and was one of three individuals I had today


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