Friday, September 27, 2019

Hernar 23 September 2019 - "Good" weather

Another cracking day weather wise and thus the island was relatively quiet - but far from dead.  Magic to be out and about - still rather summery with lots of butterflies about too.

Garden Warbler hagesanger

Twite bergirisk

Things were relatively quiet on the island though three species of sylvia warbler all gave nice views. Blackcap munk and Garden Warbler hagesanger were feeding in fruit trees and eating both fruit and insects. A Lesser Whitethroat møller stuck to insects. The only phylloscopus warbler was a lone Yellow-browed gulbrynsanger which called a few times during the morning but never showed itself. Other autumn migrants in the form of Brambling bjørkefink and Reed Bunting sivspurv put in an appearance.

Decent numbers of Song Thrush måltrost were hiding in the trees along with smaller numbers of the other common thrushes.

A Peregrine vandrefalk and a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk hunted over the island.




My first Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt of the autumn showed up on the shoreline as we left the island. Other waders on islands on the way home were Oystercatcher tjeld, Curlew storspove and a few Golden plover heilo.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Herdlevær 22 September 2019 - Yellow-broweds

Had a hour or so actually in Øygarden and therefore had to get out for a quick look.

A brief look at Herdlevær and Breivik produced my first two Yellow-browed Warblers gulbrynsanger of the autumn and a vocal Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett at Herdlevær.



Three Pinkfeet kortnebbgås at Breivik were the best birds there.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Nautnes 08 September 2019 - Home is best

In the morning I covered a few localities starting with a failed attempt for the Rosefinch rosenfink at Herdlevær. A Merlin dvergfalk, a few Chiff-chaffs gransanger and an obvious movement of Golden Plover heilo were the among the sightings here. Little of note at Breivik or Tjeldstø either.


First year Peregrine vandrefalk at Tjeldstø. Another was present at Nautnes later in the afternoon


So I returned home and sat on my terrace for a couple of hours to see what would pass. A Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove was a new for the house and passed together with a flock of Golden plover heilo - 116 of the latter headed south. A couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn, a Peregrine vandrefalk and a Kestrel tårnfalk were the raptors.

Possibly the most interesting sighting was a relatively late Swift tårnseiler which spent the whole time I was outside feeding over the woods with Swallows låvesvale. Most of the usual stuff also put in an appearance with several Gannets havsule, a Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke on the shore in front of the house and a couple of Red-throated Divers smålom.

A flock of 300 Starling stær fed in the area but contained no interesting ones.....

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Herdla 02 September 2019 - Off the reservation guiding pays off

Light winds and mostly dry, some sunny spells and a couple of heavy showers.

Another guiding trip to Herdla, the intention was to cover this locality and then move on elsewhere. However, it took all day to cover Herdla properly. There was plenty to see with the undoubted highlight being a first year Citrine Wagtail sitronerle which suddenly turned up but was hard to follow as it chased pipits around. It gave good views in the scope when it appeared out of the grass it was feeding in and called repeatedly in flight.

One of the many Bar-tailed Godwits lappspove present

Here showing darker upper tail coverts

Most features visible in this shot

Full pale border around the face dark lateral crown string.


Two broad white wing bands and broad white edges to tertials

White undertail coverts showing well here

All black bill

Citrine Wagtail sitronerle

We were also treated to repeated aerial acrobatic displays by two young Peregrines vandrefalk - they seemed just to be playing and did not hunt at all - though there was some evidence that they had been feeding on waders. A few White-tailed Eagles havørn were present on and off throughout the day.

As expected waders were the focus with 14 species including a couple of Little Stint dvergsnipe, two Sanderling sandløper, singles of Knot polarsnipe and Turnstone steinvender and around 25 Bar-tailed Godwits lappspove. By far the most numerous wader was Ringed Plover sandlo. Ruff brushane and Dunlin myrsnipe gave the best views as the fed in the grass.

All in over 50 species so a great day out.

A Nutcracker nøttekråke flying over the road on  the way home was a nice bonus bird!


Herdlevær and Skogsøy 31.08 - 01.09 - Taking it easy

A relaxing weekend with my daughters - I took things very easy but still managed to get some late and lazy birding in here and there.

On 31 August we did the usual Herdlevær round picking up my first local Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove of the year along with a variety of other waders including Whimbrel småspove, Sanderling sandløper and Turnstone steinvender.

On 01 September I did a short walk at Tjeldstø where the best bird was a Knot polarsnipe (not often seen in the reserve) along with several other species of wader. At least three White-tailed Eagles havørn gave stunning views in the sunshine. An obvious arrival of Wheatear steinskvett was also noted.

In the afternoon I did an hour of seawatching at Skogsøy. Best birds were two Great Skua storjo heading south. Plenty of passage with Common Gulls fiskemåke, Oystercatcher tjeld, Cormorant storskarv and Gannet havsule the most numerous species on the move. Four Red-throated Diver smålom were the first of the autumn for me.

Some waders on the deck here too with an adult Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove, 10 Ruff brushane, a Knot polarsnipe and a Sanderling sandløper among the species.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Hernar 29 August 2019 - Rain = migrants

I decided to take the risk of heavy rain and with southerly winds and light rain as I set off things looked promising....




Common Redstart rødstjert - looks like a first year male




Wryneck vendehals

The rain was not too bad, though I did hunker down for about an hour through the worst of it. Before the rain set in a Whinchat buskvett was one of the few grounded migrants I picked up. After the rain a nice Redstart rødstjert and a Wryneck vendehals were the pick of the sightings. A Garden Warbler hagesanger also showed briefly.

Predictably there were some waders passing with Golden Plover heilo the most numerous. Others included a flock of three migrating Greenshank gluttsnipe.

A Peregrine vandrefalk put in a couple of appearance, first going after Starlings stær and later seen chasing a Common Tern makrellterne. White-tailed Eagle havørn and most of the usual suspects meant there was always something to see.

Things turned sunny just before I left.....

A quick look at Tjeldstø later on produced the first Goldeneye kvinand of the autumn (very early), White-tailed Eagle havørn and a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk giving a good go at catching a Swallow låvesvale.

House Sparrow gråspurv in my garden - it seems to have been a good year for them with plenty of young birds present.

Still lots of Painted Ladies about - this one on a yellow budlia in my garden

Herdlevær 28 August 2019 - (almost) Before the weather breaks.....

With work to do in the morning I left it until the last minute before the forecast torrential rain hit. I almost made it but was thoroughly soaked on the way home.





Sanderlings sandløper

Fresh westerly winds with rapidly approaching clouds may have been responsible for putting down a few waders. Best of the bunch were four of this years Sanderling sandløper. Other waders were three Knot polarsnipe, a couple of Golden Plover heilo, four Redshank rødstilk, Snipe enkeltbekkasin, and a Common Sandpiper strandsnipe. The only other migrant was a Kestrel tårnfalk.

On the way home a few Whinchat buskskvett joined the usual Wheatears steinskvett at Kollsnes.

Herdlevær 17 August 2019 - Rainy day birding

With SE winds and rain I hoped for a wader bonanza at Herdlevær. This was not the case with just a couple of Golden Plover heilo, Snipe enkeltbekkasin, a Common Sandpiper strandsnipe, a Greenshank gluttsnipe and some Oystercatcher tjeld.


Green Sandpipers skogsnipe

Snipe enkeltbekkasin


The way home produced a few more waders with a couple of Ruff brushane at Kollsnes, a couple of Green Sandpiper skogsnipe and more Snipe enkeltbekkasin at Ådnevika and a couple more Greenshank gluttsnipe at Tjeldstø.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Skogsøy 16 August 2019 - Late start wader migration

Light WSW winds but with a heavy swell coming in from somewhere else.

I just couldn't drag myself out of bed this morning and didn't get up until 0640. This was a mistake.

There was obviously quite a bit on the move and I assume I missed the best bit that normally occurs around dawn...

I had to make do with over 400 Oystercatcher tjeld, 195 Common Gull fiskemåke, 60 Great Black backed Gulls svartbak, 30 Turnstone steinvender, 16 Knot polarsnipe, 4 Curlew storspove and several Lesser Black-backed Gulls sildemåke heading south. Over 40 Gannets havsule went north along with a single flock of Knot polarsnipe.

The walk in and out produced Sparrowhawk spurvehauk, Ruff brushane and Greenshank gluttsnipe in addition to the usual Crested Tits toppmeis etc.

After a bit of work at home I checked out Tjeldstø but there was little other than a White-tailed Eagle havørn and a couple of Greenshank gluttsnipe present.

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.