Friday, September 7, 2012

a tale of two seawatches - part 2

Undaunted by the events of Wednesday, I headed out again for another seawatching session at Yttre Kattvik in a similar (just a little too light) westerly blow. This time on arrival I found Bengt and Lars already in place and relaxed somewhat, not much was going to get past us today. More seabirds available today too, I quickly got to grips with an Arctic skua (one of perhaps four, definitely two, seen during the four-hour session) as it scragged a Sandwich tern and dropped back onto the sea. Gannets (4), fulmar (1), kittiwake (2) and little gull (1) were all recorded today and were all conspicuously absent on Wednesday. Black-throated divers loafed offshore.

The big bird of this session though was a brief but close view of a male pallid harrier, picked up at the last moment overhead by Lars. We all got on to it, although I quickly and wisely made the choice not to try and get bins on it and enjoyed it sans optics. A blistering bird, we were pleased but slightly miffed that it had crept up on us so well (behaviour reminiscent of the juvenile pallid I had at the same spot last autumn). My first adult male in Sweden! Typically whilst we were congratulating ourselves (and Lars) we missed a sooty shearwater, reported off nearby Hovs Hallar at the same time. Two marsh harriers also came in-off during the session but there were surprisingly few raptors recorded this week coming across the bay. Excellent birding though!

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