Wednesday, 10 February 2016


After yesterday’s signs of spring I thought that a visit to Kurefjorden today might turn up something. Initially I found very little with a light mist not helping things but eventually it brightened up a bit and a few birds showed themselves.

Four Shelduck were my first of the year and a quite an early record. Greylag Geese numbered 106 and such a high number so early is I think a sign of the ever increasing feral population and the competition for breeding sites. There were quite a few Great Crested Grebes and Velvet Scoters on the water and amongst them were five Red-throated Divers but I found no scarcer grebes, divers or ducks. Highlight was a flock of six Purple Sandpipers on a distant rock. The rock was small but the sandpipers managed to be out of sight more than they were in so it was luck that I found them.

On the way home I scored with three Great Grey Shrikes in the Golden Shrike Triangle but surprisingly this was not the three birds I have though were wintering here but actually confirmation that there are four territories in such a small area. There have been sightings of a bird at Årungen which is less than 1km from the northern territory so I have assumed this related to one and the same bird. Today however I saw birds at both sites within 2 minutes of each other confirming that there actually two different territories. I have updated my map over these territories showing how small the territories are and how close they come to each other.

A Great Grey Owl was found today near Larvik about an hour and a half drive from Oslo and with a Hawk Owl along the way I think I know where I may be heading tomorrow....
Distant Purple Sandpipers (fjæreplytt). The island is 650m away

The 4 Great Grey Shrike territories with pictures of three of the birds taken today. The territories are small and the close to each other implying a good supply of food. The green and yellow circles are where birds have been reported in Artsobservasjoner this winter

my first Red-throated Diver (smålom) of 2016

and my first Shelduck (gravand) here together with Eiders (ærfugl)
A distant video of the Purple Sands. It is amazing that they can find enough food on this small barren rock and you can also see how they just manage to walk out of view and disappear.

the small rock in the middle of the picture is where the Purple Sands were


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