Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tjeldstø 12 July 2016 Flying visit

A quick look at Husvatnet produced the usual stuff including some of the breeding waders still around, Crested tits toppmeis, Arctic terns rødnebbterne and so on. Highlight were a party of three Swifts tårnseiler which were the first I've seen locally this year.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Skogsøy 28 June 2016 - Autumn migration

South westerly winds, showers at first, sunny later

Curlew storspove


Rock pipit skjærpiplerke with rather a lot of food....


A short seawatch in the morning gave the usual summer result - a pale phase Arctic Skua tyvjo, small numbers of Gannets havsule, Guillemots lomvi and other auks, and singles of Red-throated Diver smålom, Kittiwake krykkje and Fulmar havhest.

Driving past  Breivik on the way to Skogsøy there was a large flock of 25 Curlew storspove feeding in the fields along with two adult Bar-tailed Godwits lappspove which were the first of the year. The autumn wader migration is obviously well underway....

Monday, June 27, 2016

Øygarden 26-27 June - Business as usual

Light showers, light winds.

Common Tern makrellterne at Nautnes


Anxious Redshank rødstilk at Tjeldstø

Young Wheatear steinskvett at Tjeldstø

A walk at Tjeldstø on 26 June produced just the usual suspects - including Wheatear steinskvett with young, Raven ravn with young and many other species also with fledged youngsters,

A stroll at Herdlevær on 27 June was very much the same although a pair of Redshank rødstilk that obviously have young (along with at least three other species of wader) have obviously managed to keep their breeding attempt secret until now. A Greenshank gluttsnipe was the only migrant. Twite bergirisk also feeding newly fledged young here.

At Nautnes the Oystercatcher tjeld pair outside my house suddenly showed up with at least three young today. Woodcock rugde still roding in the evenings.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Øygarden 03-06 June 2016 - Taking it easy

Summer has arrived. Calm and HOT pretty much constantly.

Spent time doing "normal" stuff instead of birding and thus didn't rack up much in the way of sightings.

One of four Golden Plover heilo at Tjeldstø

Mallard chick

Otter oter at Herdlevær

Redwing rødvingetrost



Encouragingly the Lapwings vipe at Tjeldstø seem to have joined forces and are nesting almost communally in the Herring / GBBG / LBBG colony. Any unfortunate gull flying to or from it's nest is harried constantly by several irate Lapwings. No doubt they also benefit from the defence the gulls are able to give against mink and other predators.

Small numbers of Golden Plover heilo at Tjeldstø had to get checked out in case there was anything special with them. Many species now with fledged young.

Otherwise just the usual White-tailed Eagle havørn, Woodcock rugde still "roding", terns and all the summer regulars.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Hernar 02 June 2016 - Late spring migrants

Calm and rather misty to start with, hot and sunny later.

Things looked promising yesterday evening so a trip to Hernar was on the cards for today. A cracking morning on the island produced some decent sightings.

Corncrake åkerrikse


Male Red-backed Shrike tornskate


Just about the first bird I saw after getting off the boat was a nice male Red-backed Shrike tornskate but it was not very cooperative when it came to taking photos. The next best sighting was first one and then TWO singing Corncrakes åkerrikse! At least one of the island's Starling stær was doing a passable mimic so it was hard to tell for sure at first until I heard them both at the same time - and today I even SAW one of them.

Chiff-chaff gransanger

Fieldfare gråtrost have young out and about....

Lesser Redpoll brunsisik

Other migrants were thin on the ground but there was an odd sounding Chiff-chaff gransanger singing and a Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper present. A Kestrel tårnfalk flying over was the first I've seen in Øygarden this year.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Skogsøy 16 May 2016 - All four divers!

Light northerly and sunny.

An excellent morning spent seawatching. Not massive numbers but steady action and a good variety of species - even though we somehow missed the Long-tailed Skuas fjelljo seen at Herdlevær. A good day for divers with multiple sightings of all four species - many at close range.

Barnacle Goose hvitkinngås

Massively cropped image of one of four Black-throated Divers storlom seen today

Common Scoter svartand together with a single male Teal krikkand

Cormorant storskarv

Adult Great Northern Diver islom - this bird gave the watchers at Herdlevær a headache so here is the proof.

Oystercatcher tjeld flock - many passed very close in

Velvet Scoters sjøorre


White-billed Divers gulnebblom

The last bird of the day - a White-billed Diver gulnebblom that came past overhead


We sat 05:40 to 13:00 and had the following

Red-throated Diver smålom 363 N
Black-throated Diver storlom 4 N (!) A good number for Hordaland.
Great Northern Diver islom 3 N (2 adult, 1 2K)
White-billed Diver gulnebblom 5 N
Gannet havsule 8 N
Cormorant storskarv 16N, 5S
Shag toppskarv 10 N, 10 S
Barnacle Goose hvitkinngås 2N Not quite the numbers we had hoped for after yesterday evening
Teal krikkand 2 N
Shoveler skjeand 2 N (both males)
Long-tailed Duck havelle 14 N
Common Scoter svartand 33 N
Velvet Scoter sjøorre 30 N
Merganser siland 3 N
Oystercatcher tjeld 101 N (suspect some flocks may have come too close to be seen)
Ringed Plover sandlo 2 N
Dunlin myrsnipe 6 N
Whimbrel småspove 5 N (also heard in addition to these)
Turnstone steinvender 2 N
Arctic Skua tyvjo 3 N
Kittiwake krykkje 10 N
Arctic Tern rødnebbterne 30 N
Guillemot lomvi 6 N
Razorbill alke 20 N
Auk sp 28 N

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Tjeldstø 15 May 2016 - No hopes = good day!

Strong northerly winds and sunny yet again.


Osprey fiskeørn

Still feeling on the cool side - at least in the wind. I took a very late and lazy stroll at Tjeldstø with no expectations whatsoever. It was therefore a very pleasant surprise to see an overflying Osprey fiskeørn - not the commonest of birds out here.

Work also (almost) stopped play again as it has the last few days but as we worked Mrs Naturalbornbirder looked up from her computer to see a flock of geese passing. This was just the first of several flocks seen during the late afternoon / evening. In all around 600 Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås passed during the evening. One flock of a few hundred birds also rested on one of the offshore islands.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Skogsøy 14 May 2016 - Just in case

Strong northerly winds though somewhat decreased for a little while from yesterday's gale.

Hoping for skuas I headed out for a few hours early on. No skuas,

Gannet havsule coming past at close range

Whimbrel småspove on the move

But not a waste of time - a couple of small flocks of Turnstone steinvender were the first of the year. Other waders on the move were a couple of Dunlin myrsnipe and Whimbrel småspove. Apart from these it was just small numbers of the usual seaduck and Red-throated Diver smålom.

The only other bird of note was a Whimbrel småspove feeding at Tjeldstø.

Loads of geese with big families now....

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Øygarden 11 May 2016 - Another bogey bites the dust

Hot and sunny again.

Work has almost stopped play again.

2cy Bluethroat blåstrupe

Female Black Redstart svartrødstjert

Instantly recognisable Tree Pipit trepiplerke


Today another of my Øygarden bogey-birds bit the dust - not quite in the way I like but anything goes. Mr Goodgame caught a Bluethroat blåstrupe at Herdlevær - a new species for us both in Øygarden. Nice. Although little more than a drive by a Tree Pipit trepiplerke dropped in - perhaps the same bird that was caught later and the female Black Redstart svartrødstjert was still around - impossible to get close to but I tricked it by pretending to leave and then snapping a couple of shots from the car.

Male Gadwall snadderand

Lesser Redpoll brunsisik

Female Pintail stjertand


I managed a short walk at Tjeldstø which turned up the long-staying male Gadwall snadderand, the female Pintail stjertand that turned up yesterday and perhaps even better - singing Sedge Warbler(s). Sedge Warbler sivsanger were a regular breeder at Tjeldstø when I first moved out here but it has been a few years since I last heard one singing at this locality. Hope it / they stick around. It was very hot and the heat haze didn't exactly help with the record shots.....

Just before midnight last night a Greenshank gluttsnipe dropped into the bay in front of my house.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Herdlevær 10 May 2016 - Dotterel

Calm and sunny again.

Time to get back to work so I just took a quick check at Husvatnet, Tjeldstø and the short round at Herdlevær. I was not disappointed.

Heavily cropped picture of the male Gadwall snadderand (right hand bird)


At Tjeldstø I finally connected with the male Gadwall snadderand that has been hanging around for a few days. Also here the first Tree Pipit trepiplerke of the year flew out of the trees.

Probably a male Dotterel boltit

Female Dotterel boltit

Female Greenland Wheatear steinskvett

Twite bergirisk


Herdlevær was quite good with the undisputed highlight a nice pair of Dotterel boltit - first in the county this year. The female Black Redstart svartrødstjert was still knocking about and the ringers caught a couple of Greenland Wheatear steinskvett - amazing to think that these birds will fly all the way to Greenland. Also Whimbrel småspove, Twite bergirisk and the usual suspects.


Monday, May 09, 2016

Herdlevær 09 May 2016 - Pipit head-scratcher

Calm, sunny and HOT

Streaked rump

P5 looking too long to be RT

Not quite sure what this means yet but best to document

More of a super than on most Meadow Pipits

At first glance a Meadow Pipit heipiplerke

A pipit caught in the nets at Herdlevær was a bit of a head-scratcher - not quite fitting anything quite right. It had rather dark legs, a streaked rump, wingth length right at the very top end for Meadow pipit (but fitting other stuff instead).At the time of writing my money is on a strange Meadow Pipit, but it could be all kinds of things, possibly even a hybrid.

Also picked up a female Black Redstart svartrødstjert - probably the same bird found here a couple of days ago.





Common Seal steinkobbe


A Common Seal steinkobbe was very close in and made the water look most inviting.....

Otherwise Cuckoos gjøk now all over the place and a singing Sedge Warbler sivsanger at the usual place was the first of the year for me.