Friday, May 17, 2013

big bird

Strong easterlies this morning, so only one option, go birding. I checked out the coast between Stora Hult and Ranarpsstrand and hit pay dirt big time. Stora Hult was quiet just a little ringed plover of note and just one redshank (they seem scarce this spring). North off Grytskären in the distance I could make out a flock of common scoter just offshore.

Moving onto to Grytskären I got out of the wind and started going through the 300-strong scoter flock. They were close and busy, feeding actively and very difficult to work through. I glimpsed a black scoter candidate but it vanished in the melee. It took one-and-a-half hours to finally clinch the identity of this bird and all the time the light was deteriorating. I would see the bird briefly and it would dive or immediately be hidden. I questioned my judgment during it's frequent long absences but thankfully did not give up. At one point the whole flock was up in the air, spooked by a low-flying crane, but mercifully circled round and landed even nearer! Finally the bird surfaced at the front of the flock and there it was, a fine male black scoter swimming along. I put the news out and walked north in a state of disbelief, I had just found a BK first.

I had gone just 50 metres when a falcon came in-off right in front of me, my bins revealed that it was a male red-footed falcon! It caught a few small insects in the lee of the plantation but hardly deviated from it's easterly track. With the realisation of the black scoter sighting starting to hit home and only my second BK red-foot under the belt shortly after, the adrenaline really hit home. What a morning!

In the afternoon we checked out Klarningen hoping for a black tern but the place was rather quiet. Just single pairs of gadwall and shoveler to get excited about, that is until a male peregrine stormed in from the west and worked the site over very thoroughly but without result.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on both the scoter and the falcon. Can you chivvy them north into norway?