Thursday, October 14, 2021

Skogsøy 12 October 2021 - Grey Phalarope at last!

A morning of NW winds and sunny with it.

This time I got my act together and sat in my usual autumn spot. Much better than the hide now that a) the wind was from NW and b) it was not raining.

I sat from 0830 to 1200 and there was a constant passage of birds. Once again, a lot of birds passed rather distantly and I spent a lot of time looking through my scope rather than with bins which is often my normal preference.

Best bird was a Grey Phalarope polarsvømmesnipe - an inexplicably rare bird in Øygarden and the first time with certainty that I have seen it here despite several probables in the past. In a way it was identified by default rather than by plumage features alone. I picked the bird up at about 700m out headings north and immediately suspected something due to the wing bars, pale head and flight. Almost immediately it started flying in circles low over the considerable swell before going in for landing and disappearing from view behind a big swell never to be seen again.

The other highlight was White-sided Dolphins feeding a couple of kilometres offshore - the behaviour of gulls and Gannets havsule led me to them and I saw them quite well several times in the scope over the course of a couple of hours. The first Little Auks alkekonge of the autumn also passed.

Peregrine vandrefalk and Snow/Lapland Bunting were among the other non seabird sightings of interest. Two White-tailed Eagles havørn appeared to be hunting far out to sea - at approximately 2km range - more or less where the dolphins were at one point.

Grey Phalarope polarsvømmesnipe 1

Gannet havsule S 108

Auk sp S 226

Cormorant storskarv S 60, N 4

Great Northern Diver islom S 1

Red-throated Diver smålom S 8

Common Scoter svartand S 6

Merganser siland S 1

Common Gull fiskemåke S 9

Long-tailed Duck havelle S 16

Razorbill alke S 11

Auk sp S 226

Little Auk alkekonge S 2

Guillemot lomvi N 2

Velvet Scoter sjøorre S 5

Common Scoter svartand S 6

Eider ærfugl S 2

Kittiwake krykkje S 6

Oystercatcher tjeld S 2


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