January 07, 2015

Somateria spectabilis

No: Praktærfugl, En: King eider, It: Re degli eredoni

Dear All,
New year! We have enjoyed a KING EIDER - PRAKTÆRFUGL here in Hordaland this month. On January 7, instead of going to work, I drove up to Salhus north of Bergen to ‘get it’.

It is a remarkable sight to watch a flock of more than 700 Eiders (Ærfugl) diving for mussels. And among these one a single KING EIDER! King eiders are inhabitants of the far north (Finnmark, Spitsbergen, Siberia). Occasionally they appear on our latitudes. Last time in Hordaland was in 2009. They are also seen near Jomfruland (Bamble, Telemark) perhaps once every 5-6 years or so. And, on the coast of Scotland one or two are seen every year, so keep eyes open in Morar!

This bird is a male, about 3 years old. When they grow older they develop a characteristic ‘blub’ on the beak. (“Conspicuous head”). On this bird it is barely visible, so older birds are perhaps even more impressive. Still, I choose this as  the first bird of 2015. 

Best regards,

Added January 2016:
It is back again this winter! Some pictures below.

Salhus, Jan. 2015
Nygårdsviken, Gravdal, January 2016 
Nygårdsviken, Gravdal, January 2016

Nygårdsviken, Gravdal, January 2016