Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Bird day - 09/05/09

Started my birthday off with an early morning session at Ripagården. A strong SW wind was blowing and things looked interesting on the sea. Casual watching produced 47 barnacle geese north, at least 12 gannets, two Arctic terns and a brace of shoveler north. Divers were evidently on the move, but most at long-range, a few red-throats and two nice black-throats came by closer. The high water levels had got under the weed mats on the beach and a few gulls and waders were in; little ringed plover (2), greenshank (1) and common sandpiper (1) were the highlights. Left before the pomarine skua went through...

Cochlearia officianalis at Ripagården

Gannets are more exciting here than in the UK, their presence can indicate good sea-watching conditions. It is always hard to spot good sea-watching days here though because the volume of birds is so much lower. No fillers in-between the good stuff. You might see nothing for half an hour and then a Leach's petrel flies past. Takes a bit of getting used too. I walked away too early this morning too...

Our afternoon walk was scheduled to allow me to see another pomarine skua seen heading south near Gothenberg at 1000. I reckoned on four and half hours to Hovs Hallar. So we walked from Yttre Kattvik to Hovs Hallar after a picnic lunch. Plenty of gannets about, many feeding in the lee of the peninsula. A peregrine was nice - hard to find at this time of year on the patch. At Hovs Hallar we waited and waited but examining the pager messages as the bird was tracked south, it just disappeared an hour north of us. Probably stopped or went inland or did I miss out during one of the spells when Numbers 1 & 2 were using me as a trampoline? The easy highlight here though was the splendid dark phase adder we found on the way back.

Nice dark adder, hissing away and impressing the kids

Too fast for me - it's the advancing years...

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