Saturday, December 31, 2011

Øygarden 31 December 2011 - Bird Race Day 2

Fresh and chilly SE wind, snow showers later

Another day marred by species missed - once again many of the regular species failed to show which put a downer on the first part of the day. However, had it not been for the fact this was meant to be a bird race this would have been a superb day's birding.

At Hjelme Vest a couple of Curlew storspove, a few small flocks of Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt and a Common Gull fiskemåke were the only new species. Small numbers of Little Auk alkekonge and the usual seaduck also present.

At Hjelme a couple of Woodcock rugde were just about the only birds to be seen.

A good alternative to turkey dinner at New Year - a freshly dead Whooper Swan sangsvane

Passing Nautnes I found a feshly dead Whooper Swan sangsvane - probably killed by collision with overhead lines. Briefly considered as an alternative to the New Year Turkey I took the bird home with me.

Female Scaup bergand at Alvheim

Next stop was Alvheim where the only bird of note was a female Scaup bergand.

Three of the European Whitefronts tundragås at Tjeldstø

Final locality was Tjeldstø which again saved the day with nine Tundra Bean Geese sædgås, a Pinkfoot kortnebbgås, a Razorbill alke and a Common Snipe enkeltbekkasin. I thought that was that for the day but after a tip off I headed out again to Ådnevika to see a flock of six European Whitefronts (albifrons) tundragås. All the previous Whitefronts this year in Øygarden have been of the European form albifrons.

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