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Post Info TOPIC: Bird Watching In Norway - White-tailed Eagles Everywhere

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RE: Bird Watching In Norway - White-tailed Eagles Everywhere

Great birding there Eddie. It started off like an English birding session then all these amazing birds turned up!
Thanks. Henry.


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With Easter came the snow. Not unusual here in Norway, especially that Easter is so early this year, but even so, I had planned to check out some Woodpecker localities, not an easy job when there is a foot or more of snow. No, it had to be a drastic change of plans and head for the milder climate of an island on the west coast of Norway. Even here it had snowed, but not as much as at home and as I set up my telescope the sun was melting what snow lay on the ground. Looking out to sea the first flock of birds flew into view. 22 Eurasian Oystercatchers, these were followed by a small flock of Atlantic Puffin. This was how it continued during the half hour I kept vigil. Flock after flock of Oiks and Puffins, all heading north. Amongst these there was the odd flock of Common Guillemot and Eurasian Curlew. Northern Gannets flew north further out at sea while on the nearby rocks both Great Cormorant and Shag stood side by side. Next stop was some farmland to check for migrants. Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail were feeding. Pied Wagtail are not common in Norway, but every spring small numbers find their way to the west coast. A flurry of white wings caught my attention, a flock of Snow Bunting - welcome home guys. Greylag Geese and a remaining Whooper Swan were feeding on a nearby lake, were they uneasy with my presence? A Common Raven also gave an alarm call, and no wonder, looking up produced 3 White-tailed Eagles. Next stop was an area of fjord about a kilometre from the open sea. I had hoped for some sea-duck but I must say I was disappointed. No Scoters, only a few Common Eider and a hand full of Long-tailed Duck. Red-breasted Mergansers and Common Goldeneye's however were in good numbers. While checking through the flocks an adult White-tailed Eagle flew low over the sea and landed on a small island, this was quickly joined by another adult bird while at the same time two immature birds flew overhead. No less than 4 birds - what more could one ask for. However the lack of ducks pushed me on to yet another locality. Here I found the ducks. 72 Long-tailed Ducks, 100 or so Common Eider. There was also small numbers of Common Scoter and yes, dare I say it another 4 White-tailed Eagle. These were not the only raptor about, A Peregrine Falcon was keeping an eye on things from her sea cliff perch. One last scan through the scope produced a winter plumaged Great Northern Diver and a flock of 18 Purple Sandpiper - a nice way to end the session. You may have noticed I have not named the locality where I was birding, the reason for this is, as you have no doubt guessed it, there is a good breeding population of White-tailed Eagles. There is also a healthy population of Eagle Owls and two nesting areas that were checked looked very promising for this year. Before leaving the island for a neighbouring island I noted Stonechat, Crested Tit and the last White-tailed Eagle of the day. All in all 12 of these magnificent birds of prey. It was nearly four in the afternoon when I arrived at my last port of call. Not the best time to start birding but one or two interesting species to add on to my days list. A single Slav Grebe feed amongst the 30 or so Velvet Scoter and other sea duck while in the surrounding fields a flock of over 50 Snow Bunting and a single Lapland Bunting were busy feeding before the onslaught of dusk and another night on the cold west coast of Norway.

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