Saturday, 22 September 2018

Better seawatching

The winds became even more favourable yesterday afternoon with them being pure southerly and up to storm force. I positioned myself at Krokstrand for nearly six hours using the car as a base to seek cover during the frequent deluges. Things started well with the first rain storm bringing with it a load of Gannets and Fulmars with both of these species then being seen regularly after this with a single group of 38 Gannets and 8 Fulmar seen on a single sweep although estimating the total numbers was very difficult because I think I was seeing the same birds circling around during the whole period (others take a far less conservative approach though and would have probably reported at least twice the numbers I did).

With Gannets and Fulmars being such proper seabirds then I was expecting other species, but a single Kittiwake and a few auks was it!! This is clearly a sign that there were very few birds in the outer Oslofjord in the first place and sites further south had a bit more variety but no large numbers with especially Kittiwake being surprisingly scarce. The winds continued until around midnight before becoming more westerly and this must have pushed in more birds because people who were watching from dawn in Østfold today had Cory’s, Sooty and Manx Shearwaters all heading south and out of the fjord.

I leave for Værøy on Monday but I have to be honest and say that expectations are not high. With the current weather forecast I am not even sure I will see Yellow-browed Warbler and our sights are set more on seabirds and a yankee or two.

Fulmar (havhest) - there was areal swell today and the Fulmars were shearing around

13 or so Gannets (havsuler) from a single group of 38

some closer Gannets

and the days only Kittiwake (krykkje)

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