Sunday, 11 September 2016

Long distance skua

The last week has seen very hot and settled weather over Southern Norway but yesterday afternoon it started blowing from the south and this morning there was forecast rain. I had initially planned to search for passerines at Fornebu but when I saw that winds might be up to 10m/s I thought that some seawatching would be more productive and thought I would give Huk at Bygdøy a try. When I awoke at 7am there was less wind than I had expected so instead chose to go to Fornebu where I could start with some seawatching from Rolfstangen before heading for Nansenpark if there was nothing happening over the water.

Down by the sea the wind was fairly fresh with white tops to the waves but there was no sign of any arrival of seabirds. Scanning I had a Hobby flying towards Nessoden and offshore from Bygdøy there were a few Commic Terns feeding. After about 30 minutes of scanning I picked up a skua which is always a kick. Although distant it soon became apparent this was a dark morph juvenile Long-tailed Skua (and quite possibly Andreas's bird from a week ago). I saw it on and off over the next hour as it searched for food almost like a small gull. It covered large areas and went very close to land at Huk (would have given a nice photo opp!), Nessoden and Halden Brygge but not where I was. It was a dainty bird and when it occasionally flew into the wind its slender wings gave it a shearwater like jizz.

A Fulmar that spent most of its time on the water was the only true displaced seabird but 5 Knot and a calling Barwit flying past were some quality.

Dark morph juv Long-tailed Skua (fjello) Here the long, slender wings giving a shearwater jizz can be seen. Note also the long tail
flying close past Halden Brygge. Here the underwing of the left wing is visible with extensive white and the over wing of the right wing is visible with just some white on the outermost primaries (honestly...)
In Oslo, flying between Bygdøy and Nakholmen at ca. 2km range
another jizz photo showing how dainty it was
about to give Nessoden a flyby
The Barwit (lappsove) that flew over my head calling
and a Fulmar (havhest)

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