Monday, May 10, 2021
Sunday, May 09, 2021
Weather was everything. Calm and clear until a little after 0700 when we sat through a rain / hail / sleet shower that lasted over half an hour and had us evaluating moving to the "seawatching" hide. After that back to calm and sunny conditions.
Plenty of action today with pretty much uninterrupted passage.
The highlights today (aside from the expected White-billed Divers gulnebblom) were a decent passage of Whimbrel småspove, above average numbers of Velvet Scoter sjøorre and a good movement of Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås - frustratingly we heard a number of flocks before we saw any of them and some flocks passed behind us so numbers were undoubtedly higher....
Totals between 05:15 and 12:00 were:
Red throated Diver N 213
White Billed Diver N 12
Northern Gannet N 15
Great Cormorant N 5
Eurasian Shag N 17
Eurasian Shag S 35
Barnacle Goose N 1356
Tufted Duck N 5
Long tailed duck N 68
Common Scoter N 224
Common Scoter S 3
Velvet Scoter N 25
Merganser N 15
Oystercatcher N 59
Whimbrel N 62
Arctic Skua N 1
Common Gull N 47
Black-legged Kittiwake N 10
Razorbill N 4
Atlantic Puffin N 4
Auk N 17
Saturday, May 08, 2021
Started off with calm and clear conditions, wind turned to the north around 0900 and increased.
A good seawatch but the variety seen last time was not reached. Basically mainly divers passing and just one Arctic Skua tyvjo, although good numbers of Razorbill alke were of note.
Other birds included the usual White-tailed Eagles havørn, migrating Skylark sangelerke (once again rather late), Lapland Bunting lappspurv and both Golden Plover heilo and Ringed Plover sandlo were heard.
About 6.5 hours of seawatching produced the following
Red throated Diver N 218
Red throated Diver S 1
White Billed Diver N 16
Northern Gannet N 13
Northern Gannet S 3
Great Cormorant N 16
Great Cormorant S 5
Eurasian Shag N 23
Eurasian Shag S 74
Tufted Duck N 2
Eider S 1
Long tailed duck N 8
Long tailed duck S 1
Common Scoter N 1
Common Scoter S 14
Merganser N 4
Merganser S 4
Oystercatcher N 16
Whimbrel N 10
Arctic Skua N 1
Common Gull N 86
Black-legged Kittiwake N 5
Common Guillemot N 6
Razorbill N 51
Atlantic Puffin N 2
Auk N 16
On the way home I found a new neck-ringed Greylag grågås at Kollsnes - UB9. This is the first sighting since it was ringed at a moulting site at Kårstø last June.
Friday, May 07, 2021
A pre-breakfast drive-by at a few locations on 04 May produced a Greenshank gluttsnipe at Tjeldstø along with the usual wader species.
A flock of 15 Golden Plover heilo fed with Lapwing vipe at Breivik.
At Kollsnes I managed to read a colour-ringed Lesser Black-backed Gull sildemåke which was interesting. The bird was ringed as a chick on Fedje (just north of Øygarden) back in 2013 and since then the only sighting reported was from Portugal in 2018 before it showed up here:)
Two Wryneck vendehals singing on the way home today.
From the terrace displaying Common Sandpipers strandsnipe, Otter and the usual.
In the afternoon I had to make a shop run and a very slight detour gave me my first local Hawfinch kjernebiter of the year.
On Thursday 06 May I spent the morning on Hernar. It was quite a productive morning despite many migrants still not showing. My first Ring Ousel ringtrost of the year turned up along with some other migrants including a couple of Goldfinch stillits, some Whimbrel småspove dropped in, a Skylark sanglerke flew over (late for this species to be migrating). Strangely I saw no Robins rødstrupe and no Wrens gjerdesmett....Around 45 species present meant that it must have been a reasonable day:)
I returned home to see the first Common Tern makrellterne of the year fly past the terrace:)
Thursday, May 06, 2021
Light winds, dry and sunny.
After the unprecedented social and birding activity over the weekend it was back to reality. Being early May all I wanted to do was hang out at Skogsøy but this was not possible.
However, some good birds to be seen. On 03 May breakfast at Tjeldstø produced a nice Tundra Beam Goose tundrasædgås. It has been a while since I saw this species in Øygarden and was not on the radar at all in early May - this species is normally a winter visitor here. It was seen alongside the long-staying Pinkfoot kortnebbgås which gave good comparison views albeit at long range.
I moved to my usual breakfast stop location and the goose came right past giving better photo opportunites.
Goldfinches stillits turned also up at Tjeldstø and a few migrating Golden Plover heilo joined the five of the usual breeding species of wader there.
Once home it was back to the computer but a few short random scans from the terrace gave a total of 950 Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås heading north and a couple of flocks of Red-throated Diver smålom totalling 17. It looked like it would have been another good day at Skogsøy....
On 04 May I took breakfast at Herdlevær before work. Here a half hour seawatch gave an adult White-billed Diver gulnebblom and 45 Red-throated Diver smålom. Another good Skogsøy day I will never have again....
On the way home a Wryneck vendehals sang enthusiastically but I couldn't really stop to enjoy the experience very long.
Monday, May 03, 2021
Sunny with light winds.
On 01 May I took things very easy with a stroll at Herdlevær and a visit to Tjeldstø.
Herdlevær produced nothing remarkable, although a White-billed Diver gulnebblom passed during my usual coffee / sandwich break along with a selection of the usual suspects.
Another coffee stop, this time actually with another birder (!!) at Tjeldstø produced the first Sand Martin sandsvale of the year, the long-staying Pinkfoot kortnebbgås put in an appearance and there was generally a lot of action and song - a lot more Redshank rødstilk and Snipe enkeltbekkasin now back and getting down to business.
After this it was back home to work. A few random scans with the scope from my terrace showed that it was a good day for passage with 60 Red-throated Diver smålom, a Great Skua storjo and a couple of White-billed Diver gulnebblom seen during these all too short breaks.
On 02 May it was a different story despite my so-called smart phone switching itself off during the night and thereby switching off my alarm clock. A long and immensely fun day at Skogsøy - seawatching from 0545 to past 1500 with some very, very good company indeed. And no shortage of birds either - 26 White-billed Diver gulnebblom, an Arctic Skua tyvjo, a couple of Great Skua storjo, two Shoveler skjeand, a decent passage of Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås, a few Bar-tailed Godwits lappspove, several Whimbrel småspove and lots of other passage meant there was never a dull moment.
Three days in a row of birding WITH OTHER PEOPLE must be some kind of record for me:)
Friday, April 30, 2021
Having been away for a couple of weeks I returned to find spring had really taken off.
On the evening of the 28th I had my first local Dunnock jernspurv at Tjeldstø as I did my shopping and a Swallow låvesvale flew over my house when I got home.
Before I left the house the following morning Chiff-chaff gransanger was singing nearby.
The rest of the morning was spent on Hernar where many of the local breeders had returned including Swallow låvesvale, Wheatears steinskvett, Twite bergirisk, Linnet tornirisk, Chiff-chaff gransanger, Willow Warbler løvsanger and more.
A Golden Plover heilo, a few Redshank rødstilk and a couple more Swallow låvesvale were seen at Husvatnet later in the day.
Somewhat predictably I was up bright and early for some seawatching at Skogsøy on 30 April. Light SE winds meant that despite the date it was not a big day for divers with just seven White-billed Diver gulnebblom (all but one adults) and a low count of just 42 Red-throated Diver smålom, a Great Skua storjo was another new for the year and there was a steady passage of other species throughout the 5.5 hours or so I sat out there.
A White-tailed Eagle havørn went a fair way out to sea low over the waves to attack a Gannet havsule sitting on the surface. The Gannet promptly threw up the last fish it had caught, the eagle picked it up and headed back into shore with the minimum of effort and drama.