Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Skogsøy 04 July 2017 - More Gannet spam

A brisk northerly and rather sunny today.

A selection of Gannets havsule that passed today. Note the plastic rope on the bird in the centre picture. A common sight on Gannets havsule and an indication of just how much rubbish is out there.

This morning it was a case of quantity rather than quality. Nothing very special - just a Great Skua storjo of any interest along with several Guillemot lomvi and a few of the usual auks. 176 Gannets havsule passed in the two hours I was there.

Other than that just a White-tailed Eagle havørn, several Arctic Terns rødnebbterne and the usual. A Lesser Whitethroat møller sang on the way out and the Corncrake åkerrikse was still singing from Herdlevær.

Young Curlew storspove

Elsewhere another adult White-tailed Eagle havørn was present at Tjeldstø and a young Curlew storspove fed at Harkestad - obviously not moved far since it hatched. Once all the houses currently being built have their humans and associated cats in them these birds will have an even harder time of things.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Skogsøy 03 July 2017 - Weather is great / quality not quantity

A lot of normal people complain about the weather here in the west of Norway. I love it! Weather brings the birds - in this case the strong winds of yesterday afternoon / evening pushed seabirds close to land and gave a spectacular backdrop.

I can cope with a few days of what the general population call good weather and may even spend time with my family under such conditions - as has been the case of late. The last few days I've been fishing, swimming and even camping in attempt to fit in.

However, today I was back at the coal face for an early morning shift. Cracking light and a westerly breeze after the very strong winds during the night meant there were plenty (92) of Gannet havsule to see in the two hours or so I spent out there. Many passed very close giving amazing views.

Highlight were among the first birds to pass - a flock of three Sandwich Terns splitterne together with a 2cy Kittiwake krykkje. Whilst they were a long way off this caused some initial confusion as I kept thinking Sandwich Tern but the gull kept popping into view. Next best bird was a nice Long-tailed Skua fjelljo - though not a full adult.

This might just be a record shot - the three birds in front are Sandwich terns splitterne, the one on the left is obviously a second year Kittiwake krykkje.

Even more cropping shows two of the terns....

...and three

The welcoming committee - an adult Raven ravn with a recently fledged youngster

Adult Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke with food for its young

Two southbound Red-throated Diver smålom

2cy Kittiwake krykkje - not the same bird as with the terns but very similar in terms of plumage.

As so often at this time of year it was quality rather than quantity - not much else passed - just a couple of Puffin lunde, a Guillemot lomvi, a few Red-throated Diver smålom and a Fulmar havhest.

Heard the Corncrake åkerrikse singing again from Herdlevær on the way out.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Skogsøy 01 July 2017 - Elementary camera mistake.....

With a NW breeze blowing I squeezed in a cheeky couple of hours of early morning seawatching.

The results were pretty good and most stuff passed very close. The battery on my camera was dead, at first I wasn't that concerned and happily pulled out the spare I always have with me but it was also dead. Although this gave me one less thing to think about it would have been very nice to document today's skuas - two of the three Great Skuas storjo, a Pomarine Skua polarjo and a dark phase Arctic Skua tyvjo all came past close in.

Other stuff included a few each of Puffin lunde, Guillemot lomvi and Razorbill alke - all heading north, a single Red-throated Diver smålom. The mainstay of the action were 86 Gannets havsule.

A few southbound Whimbrel småspove passed, a White-tailed Eagle havørn put in an appearance and a family of newly fledged Raven ravn were both entertaining and noisy.

The newly cut fields at Breivik held a flock of 10 Lapwing vipe among other things.

Engerdal, Hedmark 04-16 June 2017 - Broad-billed Sandpipers, Slav grebe and early morning Beaver

My hopes and plans for this trip to Engerdal went straight down the pan as work once again put an enormous spanner in the works. So I didn't get to explore some of the new areas I had targeted and only managed a few short trips out and about.

Broad-billed Sandpiper fjellmyrløper

Broad-billed Sandpiper fjellmyrløper display flight

The results, as usual, were pretty good with a few displaying Broad-billed Sandpipers fjellmyrløper at the same site as I had them last year.

Some early morning Beaver shots 

Brambling bjørkefink - one of the commonest breeders in the woods

Common Scoter svartand were seen at a few locations

Dunlin myrsnipe taking a break down in the valley

Icterine Warbler gulsanger

Pinkfoot kortnebbgås

Slavonian (Horned) Grebe horndykker

Wood Sandpiper grønnstilk - a common passage migrant and breeder in Engerdal

A few Little Gull dvergmåke, Crane trane, a selection of the usual waders, an unseasonal Pinkfoot kortnebbgås, a couple of singing Icterine Warbler gulsanger and plenty more besides.

Sometimes things don't quite go to plan.....
In other places roads/tracks were closed due to recent flood damage.

Mother Teal krikkand with a few of her chicks

Crane trane sneaking off into hiding....

Other highlights were some new species for me in Engerdal including Black Woodpecker svartspett and Slavonian (Horned) Grebe horndykker. Both these species are probably a lot more regular in other parts of Engerdal that I have yet to visit.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Bleikenøvlingen, Høgskjæret etc 30 June 2017 - Some good news and some bad

Took a boat trip around the islands in the north west of Øygarden in the cracking summer weather today. Very calm and very hot.

Arctic Tern rødnebbterne diving for fish

....catches fish that was either caught in, or hiding under jellyfish

....and flies off with the prize

A couple of second year birds with all black bills made me look twice......a pitfall for the unwary.

The good news that there is at least one decent Arctic Tern rødnebbterne colony on the go with possibly 50 pairs seeming to be on eggs. There also appeared to be a few smaller colonies. Lets hope they don't just get going and then give up as they so often do.

Gull numbers seemed down, though quite a few have downy young. Great Black-backed Gulls svartbak, Herring Gulls gråmåke and Lesser Black-backed Gulls sildemåke all breeding and a number of Common Gulls fiskemåke feeding on the island but not sure if they were breeding there.

A pair of Common Tern makrellterne at Nautnes

A few moulting male Eiders ærfugl were hanging out on the islands

This female was the only one seen with a chick. 

Several Grey Seals havert were relaxing in the sun and were typcially very curious

Four Whimbrel småspove - autumn migration has started.

Very few Eiders ærfugl with JUST ONE chick seen. And no Black Guillemots teist today. Several pairs of Shags toppskarv were on their nesting ledges, plenty of Oystercatcher tjeld and a few pairs of Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke were also seen. One or two pairs of Common Tern makrellterne were near Nautnes - no doubt the same birds that have been fishing in front of my house of late.

Other birds included a few Common Scoter svartand and a party of four Whimbrel småspove - probably returning birds that have either finished or given up on their breeding attempts.

Earlier in the day I had a quick look for the Trumpeter Finch trompetfink without success - the fields close to where it has been hanging out are in the process of being cut so it may have moved to a new food source along with the finches it has been associating with.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Beivik & Tjeldstø 25 June 2017 - Trumpeter Finch remains and a BIG miss....

It has, as usual, been difficult to get out and about and to find the time to update here.

Trumpeter Finch trompetfink

A short trip to Breivik gave the best views yet of the Trumpeter Finch trompetfink. Other species here included Skylark sanglerke and Twite bergirisk.

Tjeldstø produced the first Whinchat buskskvett I have seen locally this year - a nice male that gave brief views.

A BLACK:BROWED ALBATROSS svartbrynalbatross was reported from Herdlevær along with several Manx Shearwater havlire. Possibly the same bird I saw heading north past Skogsøy a few weeks ago.....