Monday, January 23, 2006

Øygarden 23 Jan 2006 - Wild Goose Chase

White-fronted Goose Tundragås

The title of this post should perhaps be called "the wind remained the same" the well known birding adaptation of Led Zep's classic. The southerly gale continues unabated, but the snow changed to rain. Without using underwater camera gear hopes of obtaining decent pictures dwindled rapidly - shooting at 400 ISO at 1/60 with water covered lenses in car being shaken by the wind didn't exactly make for optimal conditions .

The five Whitefronts tundragås were still at Tjeldstø, and in what passed for daylight were quickly identified as the "normal" albifrons (from NE Europe / Siberia). Main clue was the pink bills. Plenty of Redwing rødvingtrost and Fieldfare gråtrost in the fields - no doubt making the most of the thaw

Bean Goose sædgås

A quick check at Breivik confirmed that the two Bean Geese sædgås were still present with five Greylags grågås. Still look like rossicus on account of bill size and pattern. The birds also seem a little smaller and daintier than the accompanying Greylags.

Sick of driving around in the car and periodically washing my objective lenses in the deluge, I opted for a stroll at Solberg. The Eiders ærfugl and Long-tailed Duck havelle were close in - forced there by heavy seas. Best bird here was a female Goosander laksand, a species that is generally seen inland and is barely annual in Øygarden. A Woodcock rugde and a Common Gull fiskmåke were also present. Common gull are surpisingly few and far between during the winter in Øygarden - they are much more numerous in Bergen.

Yet another example of how the weather is never too bad to stay home.....


Menotti Passarella said...

Hi from Italy. The coldest wave that stuck Central Europe led in NE Italy a flock of 39 Snow Geese from a feral population ringed in Northern Germany. See picures in my blog: or click on my name.

Alicia Bennett said...

Greetings, I was reading some blogs and came across your blog. I'm quite impressed , with how it has a good feel. This is one to watch.