Tuesday, 5 July 2016

White-winged Scoters

Last summer I was lucky enough to discover the first ever male White-winger Scoter in Norway close to our cabin near Bodø in Northern Norway, see here. This follows one approved record of a 1st summer female from 2011, and a photographed female earlier in 2015. All of these were of the asian (sub)species stejnegeri.
I have long been looking forward to our summer holidays and the chance of refinding the drake since he was moulting with a large flock of Velvet Scoters and there is a very good chance he would mount in the same place (and could well have moulted here before).

I still hope I find him but suddenly the species has lost its rarity. This year there have already been four different males! Geographically they are spread such: Telemark (also seen in Vestfold), Trondheim and two in Finnmark. One of the birds in Finnmark is also Norway's first record of the North American (sub)species deglandi. Both this bird and the bird in Vestfold were also in scoter flocks that also contained Surf Scoters so looking through scoter flocks is definitely a worthwhile pastime although it is now Black Scoter that will be the one to find.
Only the deglandi is currently being reported so maybe I can find the three other males moulting in the large scoter flock this summer?

I have a feeling that the Trondheim bird is the same as “my” bird due to what I consider to be a poorly marked bill but this will be difficult to prove.

Here are links to pictures of this year birds

Telemark 26 May (presumed same bird Vestfold 26 June)

Finnmark deglandi 25 June – 2 July

here are also pictures of the two females which is a much more impressive ID job than finding a male!

Finnmark 2cy female stejnegeri 21-22 June 2011

Finnmark female stejnegeri 7 July - 23 July 2015

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