Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Here's Knobby!

This year’s summer holiday hasn’t followed the tried and tested formula of the mountains around Beitostølen and then northern Norway around Bodø. Instead we headed straight to Bodø once the school holidays started. I therefore got to bird the fjord at Fauske/Klungsett earlier than previously and my hope was to follow the build up of moulting ducks and to at least refind the Asian White-winged Scoter (Stejneger’s Scoter) from the last two years and the Surf Scoter from last year plus to find something else new and exciting (American Black Scoter would be a nice find for example).

I had my first check of the ducks on 3rd July (compared to the 7th in the last two years). There were fewer birds than later in the month in previous years with Goldeneye (300+) the most numerous. The best birds were two adult male King Eiders which had only just started their moult when I found them, 3 male Scaup and rarest of all (in local terms) a Great Crested Grebe. But no Knobby (found on 7th in 2016 and 15th in 2015). Despite near daily visits I couldn’t find anything more exciting although Velvet Scoter numbers did start increasing to ca. 300. We then went off to Lofoten on the 10th for a week (will have to cover that in a separate post) and my next chance to check out the ducks wasn’t until today, 18 July. The sea wasn’t that calm but it was clear that numbers had risen. The two King Eiders were still present at Røvika and with a very high tide ducks were feeding close to land. I was hoping to get good pictures of the eiders when I noticed Knobby – so nice of the local birders to let me find him three years running! In overcast conditions the light was not good but he was closer than I have ever had him other than on the day of discovery in 2015 and I managed to study the bill better than ever before. The bill of this bird is quite dull and mostly pink (differs to drawing and pictures of other birds of the species) and makes me quite sure that this is the same bird that has also been seen in Trøndelag. As in previous years he was in active moult with most of his primaries missing so will be around for a while.

Here are some pictures and a video (my best yet of the bird?). More blog posts and video from the holiday will follow at some time. Surprisingly the pictures from the superzoom have turned out better than from the bazooka.


Adult male Stejnegers's Scoter / Asian White-winged Scter (knoppsjøorre) 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Some videos

In the absence of time to post anything current here are some videos from earlier in the year. Here is the first instalment.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Little Gulls

It is now the summer holidays and the Oslo Birder is now birding in northern Norway.

The 1310km road trip up to Bodø was relatively uneventful except for fantastic views of Little Gulls. They were feeding so close to me that my pictures should have been totally amazing but unfortunately they didn't turn out to be that great.

Little Gull (dvergmåke)

this group flew high and were calling

the lake where they were was almost a village pond with a path all the way round and a few houses/cabins. It was a very bird rich lake with Slavonian Grebes, ducks, Arctic Tern as well as the Little Gulls and Black-headed Gulls (the gulls didn't seem to be breeding though)

Little Gull with Slavonian Grebe (horndykker)


mountains in Sweden
male Kestrel (tårnfalk)