Friday, August 16, 2019

Hernar 15 Augusr 2019 - Vis mig

The weather turned out better than expected with light easterlies and clear skies.

So there was not much in the way of grounded migrants. However, all was not lost as there was a bit of passage which resulted in a number of new species for the island for the year and indeed even a new species for Hernar - a Spotted Redshank sotsnipe that was picked up heading south together with a couple of Greenshank gluttsnipe, a Redshank rødstilk and another smaller unidentified wader. The Spotted Red split off from the group and headed in to land. Unfortunately this was only seen in the telescope.

Young Fieldfare gråtrost

First year Kestrel tårnfalk

Ravens ravn

The other new species for Hernar for the year were Golden Plover heilo, Greenshank gluttsnipe, Ruff brushane, Dunlin myrsnipe, Sand Martin sandsvale and Kestrel tårnfalk.

Several flocks of Greylags grågås headed south too.

Among the usual suspects were plenty of Twite bergirisk and a couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn.

Meadow Pipit heipiplerke

A cooperative Ruff brushane
Worth lying in a marsh for.

After a couple of hours working I headed back out again - this time to Tjeldstø. No surprises there - just a couple of Ruff brushane, a Greenshank gluttsnipe and the usual.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Skogsøy 13 August 2019 - Gannets

Fresh northerly winds had me hoping for a bit more than Gannets havsule. I sat for over 1.5 hours and notched up 110 northbound Gannets, mostly at close range. Little else passed other than a flock of 30 Knot polarsnipe - also heading north.

Gannets havsule

Lesser Black-backed Gull sildemåke

Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke

I ran into a couple of Wren gjerdesmett families on the way home.....

The previous day was spent guiding in even stronger northerly winds - but at Herdla rather than Øygarden. At least 12 species of wader, a couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn and a Yellow Wagtail gulerle were among the sightings.

Øygarden 10-11 August 2019 - Taking it easy / Unusual TBC irruption

Taking things very easy with just a couple of strolls at Tjeldstø, some observations from the garden and a walk at Hjelme West.

Tjeldstø produced the usual seasonal waders with up to three Green Sandpiper skogsnipe on 11 August when a Wood Sandpiper grønnstilk also put in an appearance. Other waders included a few Greenshank gluttsnipe, Redshank rødstilk, several Ruff brushane and up to 20 Snipe enkeltbekkasin.

Tjeldstø also produced Merlin dvergfalk and a "rusty" Cuckoo gjøk.

The house and garden gave pretty much more of the same plus a Whimbrel småspove.

Heavily cropped shots of the bird near Storavatnet

The male Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb at Hjelme West

Male Two-barred Crossbills båndkorsnebb were heard singing close to Storavatnet and at Hjelme West on 11 August. I was completely thrown when I first heard the song - I am well accustomed to the usual harsh metallic call and the better known trumpet call. But the song was totally unexpected - and thoughts of some strange sylvia warbler sprang to mind as the song reminded me somewhat of a rather strange Lesser Whitethroat. The bird at Storavatnet was alone but the one at Hjelme West had a companion which answered its calls / song but did not show well.

This singing is just another unusual aspect of the ongoing irruption. Some of the other differences are largely single birds rather than flocks, later than "usual" and bypassing the area and getting to the UK before here.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Hardangarvidda 07 August 2019 - Late season vidda

Constantly changing conditions from overcast with rain to sunny - as can so often be the case in the mountains

Although this was not intended as a birding trip as such, a few stops were made in the usual kinds of places and at least some of the target species were found to still be present including five Temminck's Stints temminksnipe and small numbers of Shorelark fjellerke. Bluethroats blåstrupe were still widespread and a reasonable selection of other waders were seen including a Green Sandpiper skogsnipe. Lapland Bunting lappspurv was heard only at one location.

The commonest species were Meadow Pipit heipiplerke, Fieldfare gråtrost, Yellow Wagtail gulerle, White Wagtail linerle, Wheatear steinskvett, Willow Warbler løvsanger, Common Gull fiskemåke and Golden Plover heilo. Other species were Kestrel tårnfalk, Reed Bunting sivspurv, Raven ravn, Common Sandpiper strandsnipe, Ringed Plover sandlo, Cormorant storskarv, Herring Gull gråmåke, Redwing rødvingetrost, Redshank rødstilk and Tufted Duck toppand.

Some young Bluethroats blåstrupe were particularly cooperative!

 Young Bluethroats blåstrupe

A more typical view of Bluethroat blåstrupe

An adult female

One of this year's Dunlin myrsnipe

Various views of the Hardanger glacier

Young Ringed Plover sandlo

Young Shorelark fjellerke

Yellow wagtail gulerle

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Tjeldstø 06 August 2019 - Two Barreds at last!

This years Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb irruption has been a bit unusual, normally they pass through Øygarden fairly early - before they start hitting the UK at least. It is more than possible that I have missed them as so much of the summer has been spent doing anything other than birding but they have not been reported in any numbers locally.

So it was no real surprise to see (and hear!) a flock of six of these birds heading south over the reserve. Small numbers of waders too with a Ruff brushane along with small flocks of Golden Plover heilo and Ringed Plover sandlo.

Two Green Sands skogsnipe at Hatten, Greenshank gluttsnipe at home and more Greylags grågås heading south.

Herdlevær and Nautnes 04-05 August 2019 - a good tern year

Hot and sunny.

One of many Wheatear steinskvett at Herdlevær

My usual stroll at Herdlevær produced some migrants on 04 August with my first Knot polarsnipe of the autumn heading south with Oystercatchers tjeld. A Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper was the first I have seen there this year too. Other migrants included a couple of Greenshank gluttsnipe, a skein of southbound Greylags grågås (good timing at the hunting season started the same day!).

Back home at Nautnes a Peregrine vandrefalk flew over the garden.

I spent much of 05 August out fishing but had a Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett from the garden and a Green Sandpiper skogsnipe at Hatten among other things. Lots of terns about with decent flocks of both Common Tern makrellterne and Arctic Terns rødnebbterne, with quite a few fledged young of both species - a good tern year at last!

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Skogsøy and Tjeldstø 02-03 August 2019 - Housework

I am making the most of the weather and time off work to get things done on the house. BUT still managing to get some time out and about.

Still some young Curlew storspove about, this one at Breivik

Gannets havsule passing at Skogsøy

Young Whitethroat tornsanger at Tjeldstø

On 02 August with a fresh northerly breeze I chose to head to Skogsøy. I sat for an hour or so but there was little passing, around 30 Gannet havsule, some indication of a northbound movement of Shags toppskarv and a couple of Puffins lunde were about it over the sea.

White-tailed Eagle havørn, a family of Twite bergirisk and most of the usual stuff too.

On 03 August I had a lie in and then did Tjeldstø which produced my first Greenshank gluttsnipe of the year, a Dunlin myrsnipe and a Peregrine vandrefalk among other things.

Back home at Nautnes another Greenshank gluttsnipe put in an appearance in front of the house.