Saturday, January 14, 2012

Kattvik goes nova!

Today neatly demonstrated why I am such an inept twitcher. I had intended to go birding this morning but settled into the sofa with the kids and did some Tanzania revision instead. Neglecting my mobile it took me two whole hours to realise that Olof Jönsson had found an Iceland gull at Kattvik early in the morning. I dashed out and found a goodish crowd, just a few of whom were watching a splendid near-adult Iceland gull.

A hoped-for bird this winter after the big invasion of white-winged gulls in northern Europe. Iceland gull becomes my first rare gull in BK and a Swedish tick too.

What I did not realise was that the other gallery was watching a point-blank red phalarope feeding off the little beach just to the west of the harbour. I realised when I got home though thanks to phone calls from Mikael Olofsson and then the tension ratcheted up a notch with the arrival of a second Iceland gull at Kattvik. We all dashed out but we missed the second younger Iceland gull quite easily... The phalarope was behaving nicely though just offshore, nice to get under the belt so soon in the year.

The overall Swedish list hit 200 in record time this year, helped by an extraordinarily mild winter and some winter storms that made available a number of seabirds normally associated with autumn gales. Red phalarope was one of these birds and it was great to catch up with one after missing the bonanza on the 4th.

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