BIRD GUIDING AROUND OSLO

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Knobby and Surfy and something better?

One of my goals for this summer at our cabin near Bodø was to find some interesting ducks in the fjord close to Fauske. I went a long way to fulfilling that goal by refinding last years Stejnegers White-winged Scoter on Thursday but that species has now become old hat ;-) and I was hoping to find something else. With there being so many scoter here then one of Surf, (American) Black Scoter or Deglandi White-winged Scoter was on my wish list and Barrow's Goldeneye and Harlequin Duck must also be possible. I was therefore a bit annoyed when a Surf Scoter was found on Sunday by people (unsuccesfully) searching for Knobby as I wanted to find one rather than twitch one....
I went out early this morning hoping to see both Surfy and Knobby and with a wish to get some good(ish) pictures. I found Knobby quite easily and over the course of two hours as the tide rose he came close enough for good scope views and some improved pictures. I searched widely for the Surf Scoter but it was only when light conditions changed and a large flock of duck far out in the fjord suddenly became identifiable that I found him. I went through the flock and saw him again in a different place and suspected that there might be two birds but it took quite a while before I had both birds in the same sweep about 70m apart - so I did find my own Surf Scoter :-) !

A very frustrsting bird was a 1st summer (2cy) Black-throated Diver type. I saw it at long range but it was a small bird, appearing no larger than the Velvet Scoters it was with, had a small bill and I saw no white flank patch. I suspect it to be a Pacific Diver and if it is it could well be the same bird earlier seen further south in Trondelag at the same time a (the) Stejnegers was also there. I saw what was probably the same bird on Friday when it just slept so it looks like it is in the area and I may be able to find it again at closer range.

I have previously spoken about how good the fjord close to Fauske is but here are some of the birds I saw today:
250+ Velvet Scoter, 150+ Goldeneye, 70+ Red-breasted Merganser, 25 Long-tailed Ducks, 22 Common Scoter, 40 Slavonian Grebes, 116 Wigeon, 7 Red-throated Divers, 2 Black-throated Divers, 80 Eider, 25 Teal, 2 Pintail plus several hundred duck too distant to ID but probably Velvet Scoter. Easy to see why I like the area isn't it and also strange that it gets so little attention from the locals.

I'll post this now and come back with pictures later - my only time for birding and picture editing is early in the mornings whilst the family sleeps and I nearly need to choose which activity I will do each day and of couse the birding wins hands down.

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