Wednesday, 10 October 2018


Yesterday’s wind died off during the night and today was a very calm and warm day. I thought that a trip out to the islands could pay dividends with hopefully there being left over seabirds hanging around plus the chance of an interesting passerine or two (the southerly winds should bring something with them).

There were far fewer seabirds than I expected with most having probably left at first light (or overnight) and a report of 3 Great Skuas heading south (including a great photo of one) from Drøbak confirms this. My trip was not in vain though.

I got good views of Lesser Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, saw the long staying 2cy male King Eider again and now in a much smarter plumage that is starting to warrant the noble name. I also had a Red-necked Grebe in the same place as the bird I found at the end of August and which was last reported on 18 September, but this bird was in winter plumage and with no signs of juvenile features and therefore a new bird. A single Fulmar on the sea was swimming quite strongly but the complete lack of wind probably meant it had no real desire to fly. Bird of the day was an adult Gannet which I stumbled upon on land. Cleary sick or injured its wings were hanging but it could flap them. I thought I would try to capture it and take it to the water where I thought it would have a better chance of surviving. I was worried about the bill though and decided I would throw my jacket over the bird to hopefully calm it down and also allow me to hold the bill. I did not feel entirely confident with this strategy but as I moved towards the bird it showed that it still had quite a bit of energy left and flapped its way towards the water. It did first become stuck in a bush! but freed itself and then made it to the water. To be honest I don’t rate its chances but I view things like this as the way of nature and do not think there is any point in calling people who offer help with injured birds. I saw no obvious injuries and there was no plastic around the bill, wings or legs so the bird could just have been ill for natural reasons.

close up of a Gannets (havsule) eye 
this is where I found the bird

although it had droopy wings at times it did seem strong and made a lot of noise when I got too close. I am not sure whether it is oil or other much on its breast

here it is sitting with its wings properly folded

there was no obvious injury or plastic/fishing line impeding the bird 
once it was on the water it looked to be in better shape although if it cannot fly then it will have problems feeding

Fulmar (havhest)

2cy male King Eider (praktærfugl) that is now looking a lot smarter

female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (dvergspett)

Red-necked Grebe (gråstrupedykker) looks to be an adult

juvenile Red-throated Diver (smålom)

Green Woodpecker - the grey feathers on the head show it to be a 1cy and the black moustache a female

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