Monday, May 08, 2006

Skogsøy 08 May 2006 - HOT!!

Otter oter at Skogsøy today

A red hot seawatch in all ways - baking heat, little wind and some majorly good birding.

It all started out quite normally with a few White-billed Diver gulnebblom and a steady passage of Red-throated Diver smålom and not a lot else, just a light southerly passage of Black-headed Gulls hettemåke. At 1030 I picked up what I assumed would be another Black-headed Gull - but as the bird approached I realised it seemed to have an all white head. I double checked with the scope to make sure - NO head markings. The red bill looked longer than on Black-headed and the forehead more sloping. Additionally, the upperparts were slightly paler than Black-headed Gulls passing both before and after (no direct comparison possible). The wings seemed slightly longer and the wingbeats a little shallower than Black-headed Gulls. This of course pointed towards an adult Slender-billed Gull smalnebbmåke - a first for Norway if accepted.

After that most things paled into insignificance but an adult Black-throated Diver storlom was a good Skogsøy bird and a Common Greenshank gluttesnipe was the first there this year. A Sedge Warbler sivsanger singing at Breivik was also new for the year.

As if all this was not enough an Otter came ashore and cavorted in the kelp for a few minutes before swimming off - not exactly an everyday occurrence either!!

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