Friday, October 21, 2016

Breivik 20 October 2016 - Geese

Another calm and sunny day.

Bean Goose sædgås with Pinkfoot kortnebbgås - no doubt the same birds as a few days ago

Whitefronts tundragås

Managed a massive 45 minutes out of the house and sped round Breivik where there was a small  but interesting goose flock - a Bean Goose sægås, a Pinkfoot kortnebbgås and three Whitefronts tundragås (2 adult and a young one).

Glossy Ibis bronseibis

The Glossy Ibis bronseibis was still present and feeding constantly. Unfortunately still very much in the shade when I stopped by.

The only other bird of note was a roadside Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett that I didn't have time to stop for.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hernar 19 October 2016 - The Ace of Spades!

Light SE, some clouds at first, hot and sunny later.

WHAT A DAY!!!!!!!

As usual when I do a full day on Hernar at this time of year knowing that ringing is going on a few km away I had Motorhead's classic "Ace of Spades" in my head - especially the line about "gamblings for losers". Even the text message I sent Nigel as I boarded the boat at Hellesøy - "who has the joker this time?" fitted well with this.

Too dark to bird on arrival....

The point of no return, All bets are off from here on in......

It turns out that Nigel had the joker, he didn't even need to say what he had caught when he called: "I've got it" were his first words. "It" was of course SIBERIAN ACCENTOR sibiirjernspurv. Being on Hernar there was no chance I was going to make this. An hour or two later, having "only" found an Arctic Redpoll polarsisik I got another call - this time about a GLOSSY IBIS bronseibis at Skjold. How could have I got things so wrong?!! 

Glossy Ibis bronseibis obviously finding enough food on a pool that , with the exception of the occasional Green Sandpiper, is largely ignored by birds.

Last time I did this it was me who had the best hand but today I started regretting being stuck on the island....However, it was a magic day with loads of photo opportunities and some decent birds. And I managed to connect with the ibis once back on the mainland - albeit in fading light.

The best bird(s) on Hernar was at least one exilipes Arctic Redpoll polarsisik. There could well have been more of them in a Redpoll gråsisik flock feeding on the island but I could only claim one for sure. At least four, probably five Water Rail vannrikse, a couple of Peregrine vandrefalk, a Waxwing sidensvans and a selection of the usual later autumn migrants made this a good day out.

Arctic Redpoll polarsisik

Arctic above, common below. Just to put any over exposure ideas to bed.....

On the deck this  bird shone

The bird on the right is the one I'm claiming - the unstreaked flanks and blindingly white rump being the main features. The bird on the left has a very white and unstreaked rumpt too but seemed to be in a different class to the one on the right. 

Small bill, loose looking plumage and unstreaked undertail coverts here


Flowering ivy and the hordes of insects it attracted proved the best spot to see most of the day's Blackcaps munk

Chiff-chaff gransanger. A "normal" one given the call.

Two juvenile Peregrines vandrefalk came over together as I headed for the boat home...

There was a life and death Raven ravn fight today. This fight club was eagerly cheered on by at least 15 Hooded Crow kråke

Early morning toad. It was still too dark to bird at this point....

One of the days several Water Rail vannriske running around in the open. And not in a swamp. Only on Hernar.....

A decent variety of interesting geese were also reported from Øygarden during the course of the day - hardly surprising given the number of birders heading out to see the all the goodies on show......

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Øygarden 18 October 2016 - Another few new for the year

Light SE but mild and overcast much of the day.

Record shot of three Brent Geese ringgås resting on the sea.

Took a walk at Hjelme Vest where the best birds were three Brent Geese ringgås of the rather uncommon dark-bellied race bernicula. Other than a few flocks of Common Scoter svartand and at least nine Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt it was quiet on the sea.

Over the land flocks of Blue Tits blåmeis and Common Crossbill grankorsnebb were constantly flying over. A Treecreeper trekryper also put in an appearance here.

A drive-by at Sæle produced at least 10 Blackcap munk, a Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett and a few Long-tailed Tit sjtertmeis - the first I've had in Øygarden this year.

Female Scaup bergand at Tjeldstø

Female Shoveler skjeand

A trip to the shops meant I had to stop at Husvatnet on the way - it was rather better than normal with the highlight being a single female Scaup bergand - another new for the year locally. At least one of the Shoveler skjeand was still around as were the Common Sctoer svartand and a small flock of Goldfinch stillits.

Back home and working in the garden a flock of 15 Long-tailed Tit stjertmeis landed briefly, a Common Scoter svartand landed on the sea in front of the house and a good 300 Fieldfare gråtrost flew south. And the usual couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn.

So all in all the giving up birding thing is not going very well at all.

Herdlevær 17 October 2016 - A change in the weather

Cloudy with light rain at times. Still SE winds,

A very late walk at Herdlevær produced a few bits and bobs though nothing remarkable.

One of at least eight Blackcap munk present today

Still lots of Common Crossbill grankorsnebb about

Getting on the late side for Lesser Black-backed Gull sildemåke

This abnormally pale Song Thrush måltrost raised the pulse rate for several seconds

Over the sea a Great Northern Diver islom headed south and a Black-throated Diver storlom landed on the sea. A Peregrine vandrefalk hunted over the waves too. There was some movement too with small numbers of Common Scoter svartand and several auks. A lateish Lesser Black-backed Gull sildemåke was among an obvious southward movement of gulls of various species.

Gannet havusle entangled in rope.

A Gannet havsule entangled in rubbish flew around me a few times - almost as if it was showing me. Unfortunately this is quite a common sight.

On the land the biggest change was at least 8 Blackcap munk and a very pale Song Thrush måltrost that got the pulse racing for a bit.

fabalis Bean Goose sædgås with Pinkfoot kortnebbgås

Best birds were at Breivik in the form of a fabalis Bean Goose sædgås together with a Pinkfoot kortnebbgås.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Øygarden 14 - 16 October 2016 - Still not trying

Light SE and sunny throughout.

Still trying to give up birding (well at least stop being frustrated about not getting out, which might not be quite the same thing).

Guillemot lomvi photographed from my terrace 16 October

Meadow Pipit heipiplerke still around in decent numbers

Some Raven ravn shots that would have been good if they were in focus and/or correctly exposed

Lots of Redpoll gråsisik moving through - not all are just flocks flying over....

Part of a Wigeon brunnakke flock at Tjeldstø

Yellow-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger at Herdlevær

Lots of thrushes, Common Crossbill grankorsnebb and Common Redpoll gråsisik moving through. Brambling bjørkefink, Bullfinch dompap, Grey Wagtail vintererle (a really good year for this species!) and more also on the move. Most birds seen / heard from my terrace - not really getting outside anywhere else.

Wigeion brunnakke showing quite well with birds seen at a few localites. Four Common Scoter svartand turned up on Husvatnet - this species is not common on freshwater in Øygarden.

Other stuff included a Yellow.-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger and a Waxwing sidensvans during a very short stroll at Herdlevær on 14 October.