Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The carnage continues.....

One of many oiled Long-tailed Duck havelle in Øygarden

Predictably the carnage was even worse today. More birds have come in contact with the oil and those that were affected first are showing the effects of it. Everywhere I went today there were oiled duck on the sea and hauled up onto the rocks.

More pictures from today can be found here.

The species most affected is the Long-tailed Duck havelle with approximately 20 oiled individuals at Svelingen alone. Plenty of Eiders ærfugl are also stricken by the spill - over 25% of those I saw near Hjelme church were oiled to some degree. On the offshore islands birds are distant and hard to observe but judging by behaviour there are many more affected than the "few" I saw. Here is one female eider that will not be lining her nest with down plucked from her own chest this year:

Another oiled Black Guillemot teist was seen again today and other species covered with black oil included Red-breasted Mergansers siland and gulls.

Also at risk in the area are Purple Sandpipers fjæreplytt - seen scurrying over the oiled shoreline at Svellingen today. Another species in the firing line is the local White-tailed Eagles havørn - one was seen eating what was presumed to be an oil spill victim on one of the offshore skerries and another was just as interested in catching an oiled Red-breasted Merganser siland as I was. It was the eagle that scared the bird into the sea rather than myself.

Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt at Svellingen today....

Adult White-tailed Eagle havørn on the lookout for oiled birds....

Once again not much evidence of the authorities in the places I visited today....they are no doubt prioritising areas that are stricken even more badly.

A single Northern Gannet havsule was the 15th species to be affected by this disaster.

The only other bird of note was a Kestrel tårnfalk near Svellingen.

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