Friday, January 13, 2017

Skogsøy 13 January 2017 - Only a little bit unlucky for a Friday 13th

Calm and sunny as I set off but degenerating into a strong northerly gale with showers.

I wasted spent time on work for the first few hours of the day. This meant I was both late and pressed for time by the time I got out. Conditions during the morning were wonderful, although I did have to scrape a thin layer of ice off the car windows and everyone else seemed to be driving very slowly indeed for some reason.....

It was always going to be Skogsøy today - first trip of the year and I really needed the walk if nothing else. A lot of the usual suspects failed to put in an appearance (the unlucky side of the day) but it was not a total loss.

One of several northbound Gannets havsule seen today. I don't normally bother taking such long range shots of this species but since this was only the second time this year (or week really) I snapped a few record shots.

Massively cropped record of the first Kittiwake krykkje of the year

There was a light movement of Gannets havsule and the first Kittiwakes krykkje of the year for Hordaland (not just Øygarden) put in an appearance during the 40 minutes I spent seawatching. The only other stuff on the move were Herring Gulls gråmåke and Great Black-backed Gulls svartbak. Oh, and a lone diver, probably Great Northern, heading south.

Small numbers of Long-tailed Duck havelle and just one White-tailed Eagle havørn also put in an appearance.

Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt

Highlight was an unusual sighting of Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt - they are quite a common bird out here during the winter but this one was feeding in freshwater pools on top of the cliff where we seawatch from rather than down on the shore close to the sea where they normally hang out. Given the state of the surf I can't say I blame the poor thing but I think if I was a Purple Sand I would have moved to the east side of Øygarden out of the worst of the weather.....

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