Monday, April 30, 2007

One of three Collared Dove tyrkedue at Herdlevær

Female Merganser, Skogsøy

White-billed Diver gulnebblom
Not a breath of wind until around 11:00 after which a barely perceptable northerly breeze began to blow. In other words, not ideal diver migration conditions - it therefore came as something of a surprise to see a total of 17 White-billed Diver gulnebblom head north.
The crap photo above in no way does justice to these birds - but it does show the typical pot-bellied look of this species.
Well over 100 Red-throated Diver smålom, a Shelduck gravand and two Velvet Scoter sjøorre were among the other species heading north. The only passerine of note out at Skogsøy was a Tree Pipit trepiplerke coming in off the sea.
In a local context three Collared Dove tyrkedue at Herdlevær were a much rarer, if rather less interesting, find than the White-billed Divers.....

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Øygarden 29 April 2007 - Diver day

Seawatching at Skogsøy

Not quite as good as the same day in 2006 (see here), however, this traditionally good diver day produced the goods despite something of a slow start.

Highlight was undoubtedly a total of seven White-billed Diver gulnebblom, a Great Northern Diver islom and 98 Red-throated Diver smålom all heading north. A few more unidentified large divers also passed.

The one that got away was a medium sized raptor seen by observers at Skogsøy and Kollsnes, probably a Common Buzzard musvåk. Other raptors included several White-tailed Eagle havørn, hunting Merlin dvergfalk and Kestrel tårnfalk.
New for the year were several Whimbrel småspove on the move.
Two Collared Dove tyrkedue and two Greenshank gluttesnipe and a Carrion Crow svartkråke were reported from Herdlevær. All good birds for the time of year.
At Tjeldstø the highlight was three Black-tailed Godwit svarthalepsove and a Barnacle Goose hvitkingås.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Skogsøy 26 April 2007 - Barnacles on the move

Barnacle Geese hvitkingås winging their way past Skogsøy in the fog

Two Red-throated Diver smålom pass overhead

White wagtail linerle

Having heard that "Godzilla" and other satellite tagged Barnacle Geese hvitkingås had calready rossed the North Sea there was no way I wasn't going seawatching today. Despite somewhat foggy weather and rather reduced visibility several flocks of Barnacle Geese passed during the course of the morning. No "big" day, but around 170 was better than nothing given the conditions.

Other noteable birds included the first Arctic Skua tyvjo of the year, a Northern Fulmar havhest, 40 Red-throated Diver smålom and, birds of the day: a pair of Shoveler skjeand heading north together with a flock of Common Scoter svartand.

Land birds in the area included Northern Wheatear steinskvett and a hunting Merlin dvergfalk.

Back home at Tjeldstø a Kestrel tårnfalk made its way north.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Herdlevær 24 April 2007

Chiff-chaff gransanger

Rather a dull day and little time out and about. A quick look at Herdlevær produced little other than a flock of five Black-headed Gulls hettemåke and a Chiff-chaff gransanger among all the usual suspects.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Tjeldstø 23 April 2007

Golden Plover heilo

A look around the reserve was quite productive with a fly over Waxwing sidensvans being the best bird, with excellent views of a male Merlin dvergfalk competing for first place. Other birds of prey included White-tailed Eagle havørn scaring up the geese and a male Peregrine vandrefalk which caused blind panic in one of the gull colonies.

Plenty of small stuff to see too with singing Reed Bunting sivspurv and Chiff-chaff gransanger both setting up territories in the reserve. Most of the breeding waders have now returned including several Redshank rødstilk. A few Golden Plover heilo also rested out in the reserve.

Male Pied Wagtails svartryggerle still obvious around Husvatnet and the farm building.

News from yesterday included a couple of Black-headed Gull hettemåke and a Barnacle Goose hvitkingås beside Husvatnet.

An evening stroll produced the first Barn Swallows låvsvale and House Martins taksvale of the year with three of each feeding over the lakes and woods. A Northern Wheatear steinskvett also showed in the reserve and the 2 cy Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke turned up on Husvatnet.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Skogsøy 02 April 2007 - Iceland Gull

Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke, Herdlevær

Not really birding but "couldn't help noticing" that the Scaup bergand first reported last Saturday (24.03) was still around and the first flock of Linnet tornirisk I've seen this year flew over a few times.

Obviously some passage today - a few small flocks of Oystercatcher tjeld, a few hundred Common Gull fiskemåke and a single flock of 28 Curlew storspove all heading north.

The Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke was back at Herdlevær - managed a few pictures despite the first cloud and rain for at least 10 days....

Øygarden 01 April 2007 - Eagles galore

Part of a flock of scared geese....

Not out birding at all today but two Lesser Black-backed Gulls sildemåke were the first for Tjeldstø this year and at one point there were six White-tailed Eagles havørn visible from my terrace. These made the geese very nervous and flocks flew up in panic throughout the day.

Elsewhere in Øygarden two different Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett were heard singing and A Red-necked Grebe gråstrupedykker was seen on the sea north of Sæle.