Wednesday, November 6, 2013

skuas! (05112013)

The comedy moment of the seawatch today came when Bengt informed us that he had passed a brent goose on the track out to Yttre Kattvik and it was coming our way. Sure enough half an hour later it paddled west past us with great determination. No Svalan code for migrating this way funnily enough...

We were promised half-decent westerlies today so I headed out to Yttre Kattvik after my domestic taxi-run this morning. Wind direction stayed a little to the south of west I suspect and we did not get the strength that was forecast but there was still stuff to be had, including a brace of year-ticks for me.

The four-hour session was notable for the number of kittiwake out in the bay (at least 150 being logged but perhaps many more) and I counted at least 60 gannets too. Skuas were occasionally spotted feeding a long way out in the bay and dark juvenile great, pomarine and even a late Arctic were logged. The latter was a year-tick and was joined at last by an adult little gull. Everything was rather distant though and surprisingly little else was moving. Sea duck went past in very small numbers but included two long-tailed duck. Five snow buntings came in-off and a brent goose paddled past west (only my second record of bernicla this year in BK).

A 2K white-tailed eagle really tried hard to catch something at Klarningen today, putting up the best goose flock of the season in the process...

After four hours I was done and headed to Klarningen for a check, picking up a hunting goshawk on the way. The move paid off well as I connected with the four cranes (over-wintering attempt?) as they flew between Eskisltorpsdammar and Skottorp as I drove up the access track. Then at the hide I just had time to go through a large assemblage of roosting geese before a young white-tailed eagle stormed on site and put them to flight. In amongst 650+ greylag were 45 barnacle geese, at least five white-fronted geese, one Taiga bean goose and what I initially thought were six tundra bean goose were actually pink-footed geese (thanks Jan...). Amongst the geese and unafraid of the eagle was a single adult tundra swan, my first of the autumn. Later two more adults migrated past. Nice session.

On the way home I looked unsuccessfully again for the great grey shrike at Älemossen but did pick up a huge flock of 17 long-tailed tits.

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