Sunday, November 02, 2014

Hellesøy 02 November - Seabirds on the move and a wanna-be Yellow-legged

Strong southerly winds and very little in the way of rain.

Otter photographed from the terrace

A Blackcap munk in the garden was one of the first birds of the day. An Otter caught a large lumpsucker and devoured it with an audience of enthusiastic gulls and crows.

One of the Little Auk alkekonge flocks that came past at Hellesøy

Most Razorbill alke flew past today but there were also a few on the sea

At least 10 Red-throated Diver smålom fed in the area today - quite a variety of pluamges

Three Scaup bergand  (see head shape and white on the forehead) came through with a Teal krikkand tagging along for the ride

It was late - almost lunchtime - before we got out. What was meant to be a cursory check at Hellesøy turned into an hour or so. Loads passing and plenty on the sea. Best birds were three Scaup bergand that came through with a Teal krikkand in tow. At least 20 Red-throated Diver smålom headed through the channel from the fjords along with a similar number of Little Auk alkekonge. Other stuff passing included several each of Kittiwake krykkje and Raxorbill alke, a few Velvet Scoter sjøorre, a Black Guillemot teist and most of the usual late autumn suspects. A late Oystercatcher tjeld was also noteworthy.

A quick walk around Hjelme West produced more of the same plus a couple of Gannets havsule with a small flock of Parrot Crossbill furukorsnebb as bonus birds,

P10 shows white to the tip and. large mirror on P9 and generally plenty of white on the primary tips all point towards Herring Gull gråmåke.The black on P5 is good for Yellow-legged but perhaps not quite enough.

Yellow legs and large prominent red spot on the bill are both features of Yellow-legged and omissus type Herring Gulls. The general jizz and, in my opinion, rather delicate bill don't point in the "right" direction on this one.

A report of a gull with yellow legs had me heading down to Harkestad to check it out. Although a couple of features pointed towards Yellow-legged gull gulebeinmåke I'm pretty sure this was just yet another omissus type Herring Gull gråmåke. Why do these gulls have to be so difficult?

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