Saturday, 6 August 2016

Rare scoters from The Cabin

It is bucketing down in and around Oslo at the moment and the Olympics are starting so today will mostly be spent on the sofa. Gives me a chance though to post some of the remaining pictures from our time in the Bodø area in July. If you want to get an understanding of what life is like for Norwegians at their cabin's then this song by Ylvis (famous for "What does the Fox say") may give you an idea

First yet again some pictures of the Stejneger’s (Siberian) and Surf Scoters. These birds were far from cooperative and never came close for good photos but the Stejneger’s (Knobby) showed on every visit bar two normally loosely associating with a small group of Velvet Scoters and I saw him 10 times. The Surf Scoters were much less accommodating and I only ever saw a single Surf Scoter after having initially seen two and only saw this species four times in total. There were always large numbers of ducks too far out to scrutinise so both could well have still been present plus who knows that else.

On the morning of 20 July it was sunny and windless meaning I had perfect viewing conditions but unfortunately Knobby was just a bit too far out and the Surf was only a prick in the ‘scope but on the 19th I managed some photos of Surfy.




Knobby on 20th

Stejneger's White-winged Scoter (knoppsjøorre) together with a male Velvet Scoter.

the shape of the knob shows best in this picture

The brown underparts was something I also noted in 2015 and is not something I find mentioned in the literature for stejnegeri. The North American (sub)species deglandi has brown flanks but here you see that this bird has black flanks so I don't think the brown underparts are anything to worry about ID wise. I thought last year that the brown belly was a sign of it being a young adult but then they should not be visible this year. An alternative explanation is that as the bird is moulting that these feathers are old/new and prone to getting waterlogged and therefore look different?

here one can see the heavy wing moult

perhaps the best picture I've managed showing the bill colouration although the shape and extent on the knob has not come through aswell on this years pictures as it did last year
the windless conditions on the 20th made for some fantastic reflections on the fjord. These pictures were taken on the drive from the cabin to the by holding the scoters

Surfy on 19th
Surf Scoter (brilleand)

If you think the above pictures are bad then look at my best efforts from the other days...
Knobby on 19th
Knobby on 23rd
Knobby on 15th - he is on the left!

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