Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bunting hunting

Nipped out for a morning in falling snow looking for the Lapland buntings amongst the flock of 350 yellowhammers at Vråen (near Ripagården). The flock was pretty obliging and allowed a close approach, occasionally sections of the flock flew up into the hedgeline to be sorted. It did not take long before my scope was on a Lapland bunting but getting an idea of whether more than one was present was more problematic. Occasionally a sparrowhawk whipped through and shuffled the deck. Other birds present here included the rough-legged buzzard, a handful of chaffinch and brambling, about 50 redpoll and three reed bunting. Nipped down to the sea to find it clear of ice (wind direction change?) and harbouring a flock of 18 coot.

Next stop was Torekov rev as I dashed around to try and make the most of what was left of the morning. The rev produced a single black guillemot, optimistically in breeding plumage. The harbour had a flyby white-tailed eagle (2K?) and my first wigeon (4) of the year but no shags. A look at the sewage works for the grey wagtail once again failed but the rough-legged buzzard was still present and seven teal flew out of the works, where no doubt the wagtail was holed up laughing at me.

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