Wednesday, October 30, 2013

BK tick! pallid swift! (29102013)

Pallid swift - honest! I could probably be heard swearing in Denmark when I looked down after taking these shots to find that the mode dial had slipped again on my 7D. The lock on the mode dial of the Canon 5D Mark III is calling to me and it will not be too long before I upgrade I suspect.

We survived the overnight storm and I turned a slightly startled blind eye to the damage to our roof as I packed the car for a day out birding with the kids. It smelled of rare and we had to get out. With the kids installed in the car we headed to Yttre Kattvik, would seabirds perform? Would the kids behave? The storm damage we came across en route was jaw-dropping!

An hour at Yttre Kattvik showed that whilst gannets were moving, most stuff was distant in the SW wind, so we headed off to Ripagården  [we should have stayed!]. A two hour spell at Ripagården produced untickable views of a great northern diver which pitched into the sea before I could get to grips with it. Also here my latest BK records of shelduck (1) and oystercatcher (1) and a single little auk.

Next stop was Klarningen (partly to check the tower hide was still standing - it was) hoping for a storm-blown addition to my site list. This succeeded, the first bird in the 'scope was a common scoter! Also here were yesterday's cranes (4), gadwall (2), shoveler (5), tufted duck (5), grey heron (7), hen harrier (1), rough-legged buzzard (1), golden plover (220) and lapwing (450).

Heading to get the kids a burger for lunch as a treat I got the news that a pallid swift had overflown the observers at Yttre Kattvik... Gulp. We grabbed our lunch and drove back and had to face the grinning gallery for half an hour before the bird put in a reappearance and put my mind at rest. I cannot say I do not twitch, I just restrict my activity to a 20 minute drive from my house. Twitches are obviously rare and nail-biting events therefore but somehow I kept my cool and got the 'scope locked on to the bird to confirm it's identity. Sweet! The bird performed on-and-off for the rest of the day. Offshore anything could have been going on but kittiwakes (5) were definitely more obvious than in the morning.

A gallery in BK! Experienced Swedish/Danish observers might be able to identify these rear views of some of the local players.

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