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bird notes.


LAST week I visited Europe's official northernmost headland, Knivskjellodden.

The Norwegian headland lies just west of the more popular tourist hotspot of Nordkapp, the unofficial northernmost point!

The former is a barren and bleak tundra expanding for miles. Here you might imagine a whole host of unfamiliar birds but you would be wrong. Juvenile ruff, golden plover and spotted redshank were seen and out to sea were big flocks of puffin and kittiwake. Arctic skuas pirated the skies, harassing terns whilst along the shore were oystercatcher, wheatear and rock pipit. Thankfully for me it was a superb day; clear, blue and bright. A local commented that days like that only happened six to 10 times a year. Sure enough, the next day it rained.

My whole time was spent well above the Arctic Circle in surprisingly warm weather. One thing I had wanted to see was our wintering birds on their summering grounds and I caught up with quite a few including waxwing, smew, brambling and many fieldfare. In addition were a surprising number of summer migrants such as chiffchaff, redstart, pied flycatcher and sedge warbler. At a few sites young bluethroats were seen whilst common redpoll were widespread.

Back at home a juvenile ruff was seen at Conwy RSPB along with regular sightings of kingfisher. Birds are now on the move with headlands starting to see the first autumn migrants so it's a great time to be out looking for something scarcer.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 14, 2010
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