Quick trip to Mandal and Lista

Mid December we did a quick trip to the very south of Norway. Even here the conditions were quite winterly and cold, but a few good birds made our day.

The first stop was Mandal, where a 2ndcy American Herring Gull has been guesting the harbour. This bird shoved up for a couple of months in February-March this year, when it was ringed and thoroughly identified as a «yankee». When spring came, it disappeared, but by the start of December it was back at the same spot.

Being a neat female, now in its second plumage cycle, it resembles a European Herring Gull by first glance, and it helped a lot that it was ringed with a digit code, JEP50, easy to identify in the field.
By closer studies, however, the details are clear: all dark tail feathers and dark bars on under tail-cover being the most obvious.

After a good hour with this exotic guest, we drove on to Lista. Different species of ducks were feeding along the shorelines. In the Lista Harbour we found quite a few Greater Scaups. 

Female Common Scoter.

Velvet Scoter.

We also spotted a few Slavonian Grebes.

A few common buzzards stay here through the winter.

Not many passerines to see, but a beautiful male Black Redstart was a highlight of the trip.