A weekend of wild weather. Gale force onshore winds with some short hail / rain showers.
On Saturday 21 November I thought I would try somewhere at least slightly out of the brunt of the weather and opted for Hellesøy. A Little Auk alkekonge, a few White-tailed Eagles havørn, a couple of Kittiwake krykkje and a Red-throated Diver smålom were the rewards here. Otter up close and personal here too.
I then proceeded to pop in at various localities to see if anything had been blown down the east side of Øygarden. Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt and Kittiwakes krykkje at Tjeldstø were a promising sign (both new species for the year there) and two more Otters even more up close and personal.
Flocks of thrushes and Starlings stær all over the place but nothing out of the ordinary.
Back home I had a Common Scoter svartand on the sea, a couple of Curlew storspove (first of the "winter" birds which I suspect come from Iceland - just as this weather front did) and more Kittiwakes krykkje.
Another highly unusual sighting were two birders checking out the promising area in front of my house. They did not see anything much of note - but someone else REALLY did. A Leach's Petrel stormsvale was photographed passing through Nautnesvågen - past my house in other words - just an hour or so before I came home.
From artsobs (thanks for the message Rixy) : https://www.artsobservasjoner.no/Sighting/25630741
A number of birders were out in Øygarden on Saturday - the two keenest did 2.5 hours of seawatching at Herdlevær before starting to check bays etc - including Nautnesvågen just an hour after this bird passed. Just shows how the luck of the draw affects things:)
Note to self: Do more birding from the terrace, there IS a reason behind the location. My house is not the best place for traditional seawatching but I've always thought of it as a potential spot for storm-blown bird. Next storm I'll stay at home:)
Sunday saw more of the same weather and a similar routine. Hellesøy produced little of note, just three White-tailed Eagle havørn and a couple of Long-tailed Duck havelle among the usual suspects.
Other birds of note included a Goldfinch stillits at Toft, two Woodpigeon ringdue and a Peregrine vandrefalk at Tjeldstø where the Greylag grågås flock had increased from 19 to 22.
A colour ringed Herring Gull gråmåke at Blomvåg was not the most exciting of finds but still nice to see where the birds were are seeing come from. This particular bird was ringed in 2019 some 15km away at Ågotnes.....so not a big mover (but this was the first sighting since it left its nest!)
A short stop at Solberg gave the best sighting of the day in the form of a Knot polarsnipe - a species never before recorded in November in Øygarden together with a late Oystercatcher tjeld and a seal. The wind was so strong it was impossible to keep my scope steady so I gave up and went home.
From the still very windy terrace I picked up a Red-throated Diver smålom on the sea, a few Common Scoter svartand and several Kittiwake krykkje. My terrace provided the best photo opportunities of the day: