Friday, April 27, 2018

Skogsøy 27 April 2018 - Svalbard here we come!

Light southerly winds, mixed cloud cover with sunny spells.

As is now the last week of April it was somewhat predictable that I got up at silly o clock and went off to Skogsøy for a few hours before work.....

This flock looks like it is heading the wrong way to Svalbard but was the first flock I saw passing behind the lookput.

Some flocks were picked up a long was off over land....

Other flocks came rather closer.....

One of today's Gannets havsule

Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke with nest material

One of two Twite bergirisk I saw during a drive-by at Herdlevær

I spent a little of three hours there and had a decent passage of Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås heading north on their way to Svalbard. I am pretty certain that a number of flocks passed more or less undetected behind the lookout - I saw some flocks behind me but heard others that I just didn't see.....Although far from any kind of record the final tally was just under 800 birds. These were the first I have seen locally this year, although the first flock was observed here on 21.04.

Other than the geese there was very little passing and remarkably no divers at all. Small numbers of the usual seaduck (largely Common Scoter svartand and Long-tailed Duck havelle) passed including the first two Velvet Scoter sjøorre of the year - it has been the worst winter ever for this species in Øygarden. A light movement of Oystercatcher tjeld was also noted along with the usual Gannets havsule, Shags toppskarv and a single Guillemot lomvi.

A Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke gathered nesting material close to where I was sitting - it is not always obvious if the Rock Pipits we see are local breeders or birds passing through.

Another new for the year were a couple of Lesser Whitethroat møller - one feeding and picked up on call, whilst the other bird was in full song.

No comments: