Sunday, May 17, 2015

Skogsøy 17 May 2015 - Ja vi elsker....Skogsøy!

Light SW with occasional squalls early on. Calm and sunny after around 0800.

I celebrated Norway's national day in my own special way. I started with a one man, one dog parade (without flags and, sadly, without the brass band) shortly after 0500. I arrived at the lookout and settled down to watch a procession, not of schoolchildren, scouts, various sports clubs etc etc, but of Skuas, Divers, seaduck and other seabirds.

So, in my own special way, not unlike the average Norwegian at all!

On the way to Skogsøy I stopped briefly at Breivik and had a singing Reed Bunting sivspurv and at least two Sedge Warblers sivsanger.

Although it was fairly quiet to start with it was far from disappointing. Highlights were a total of 13 Pomarine Skuas polarjo, six Arctic Skua tyvjo, a Great Skua storjo (amazingly my first of the year), three White-billed Diver gulnebblom and a decent passage of Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås.

This all looks very nice at a distance but was somewhat less comfortable when it got up close and personal....

A seawatcher's view.....

I have no idea where this surf came from - the calm winds could in no way have caused this.

Some Barnacle flocks passed in front of me.....

...others tried to sneak past behind me (looks like they are flying in the wrong direction!)

....others came directly overhead

..whilst this thing set the pulse racing briefly . just a partial albino and NOT the Snow Goose I thought it might have been for a second or two!

Common Scoter svartand

Gannets havsule

Some Gannets havsule came VERY close

Twite bergirisk

In the end I sat from 0545 to 1230 and had the following (not an exhaustive list):

Red-throated Diver smålom: 40N
White-billed Diver gulnebblom: 3N
Gannet havsule: 72N, 13S
Shag toppskarv: 2N,13S
Barnacle Goose hvitkinngås: 429N (+another 305 on the way back to the car!)
Common Scoter svartand: 34N, 5S
Long-tailed Duck havelle: 7N (ALARMINGLY LOW yet again - it should be peak passage for this species now and there are VERY few passing)
Oystercatcher tjeld: 32N
Whimbrel småspove: 2N
Turnstone steinvender: 3N
Pomarine Skua polarjo: 13N
Arctic Skua tyvjo: 6N
Great Skua storjo: 1N
Kittiwake krykkje; 4N, 6S
Arctic Tern rødnebbterne: 10N
Guillemot lomvi: 1N
Razorbill alke: 6N
Puffin lunde: 2N

The Black-tailed Godwit svarthalespove was still present at Tjeldstø

What better place to celebrate Norway's national day than watching the best that south-west Norway has to offer?

Gratulerer med dagen folkens!

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