Sunday, December 16, 2012

Harsfjord Bru

Weather was kinda rough yesterday ... strong winds all around. I ended up midway Harsfjord Bru after all the regular haunts were still inundated with unploughed snow. By the bridge I managed to get a closer view of the Eurasian Widgeon, they were quite a few of them there together with several pairs of Mallard, Mute Swan, Common Eider and several gulls.

Nazeri Abghani/Dec2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Ducks at Madla and Harsfjord Bridge

It was snowing last weekend, then things started to freeze ... thought this was as a good a sunny day for checking out the ducks around Stavanger. With the day being so short these days, there are not many hours to birdwatch even if it's not -5 deg C.

The sun creeps up slowly by 8:30am or 9:00am; there's barely any light at 9:30am. By 3pm things starts to wind down, ducks returning to roost and suddenly nightfall! Including travel to and from site, you probably have only a few hours of prime birding ... if you don't freeze along the way.

We left the house towards Madla around 10:30am and made our way down to the water's edge with difficulty with frozen ice completely covering the grounds. There were a few hairy almost fall flat on your face moments ... fortunately we managed unscathed.

The reluctant birder

Melanitta fusca

Anas penelope

Anas penelope

Anas penelope
First winter gull ... Glaucous or Iceland or Herring?

From the lake edge, it was already clear that things were not quiet with the ducks even at this temperatures. They were pretty active seeking food in the waters, parts of which having the consistency of slurpy. There were about 20-30 Velvel Scoter feeding together in two large clumps. There were also several pairs of Common Scoter about the lake. A group of Mallards as well as a sizable number of Common Eider were slowly cruising near the middle of the lake. Mallards being Mallards, these were the only species that would come up towards you completely unafraid expecting food ... prime candidate for Peking Duck in some places.

The gulls were around too, I'm still clueless at to which is which.

We have seen the scoters before at Jaeren coast, as well as the Long-tailed Duck. A new duck for us at Three Swords was the Common Goldeneye. Another new one for the list was the Eurasian Widgeon which we saw near Harsfjord bridge later in the day.

There were a few other good places for ducks that weekend ... with time being so short, temperatures colder than we are used too, we decided to call it a day. There's no pressure ... the ducks will be there next week.

I was introduced to ducks while in Holland way back. Watching pochards, other ducks and geese on the northern coast bordering Germany in -5 to -10 deg C windchill factor was one winter actvity I dearly missed.

Next stakeout when temperature permits : Stokkavatnet, Mosvannet and Harsfjord waterbody by the airport.