Friday, November 28, 2008

Tjeldstø 28 November 2008 - Hail

Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke

Mallards stokkand in hailstorm

Eventually the hail eased off.....

For various reasons I couldn't go far today and was out briefly a couple of times. By and large quite pleasant weather but with some major hailstorms - well illustrated in the Mallard stokkand pictures above.

Only saw one of the Rock Pipits skjærpiplerke well today and the flock of six Goldfinch stillits were still around. Whilst waiting for the pipit to show I was surrounded by a flock of Goldcrests fuglekonge - some of which fed and preened within 20cm of me! No use having a telephoto lens under such circumstances.
Other sightings of note included a Goshawk hønsehauk and late Teal krikkand and Snipe enkeltbekkasin. A Brambling bjørkefink joined the usual crowd at the bird feeder.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tjeldstø 27 November 2008

Rock pipit skjærpiplerke#1. Lacking olive green tones, paler cream underparts with little (and not very smudged) streaking
Rock pipit skjærpiplerke#2. Almost solid colouration on the breast but clean off white bely and undersides (shown better in other pictures)

Rock pipit skjærpiplerke#3. Check out the underpaert colouration and the very gret lesser coverts....

The one that got away (from me) - a Peregrine vandrefalk that took a crow in the reserve

....and the one that didn't get away....head of a crow kråke neatly cut off the body which lay nearby. Killed by the falcon pictured above.

Mild, wet, windy and dull weather wise. A short look at Tjeldstø once again proved quite productive with a flock of six Goldfinch stillits as technically the best birds. However, they were quite flighty in the windy conditions.

Missed the photographic chance of a lifetime when I stumbled over a Peregrine vandrefalk eating a freshly killed Hooded Crow kråke at VERY close range. Frustrating.

The wintering Rock Pipits skjæårpiplerke are back, these seem to differ from the more typical olive-grey ones normally seen along the shorelines of Øygarden. Extremely hard to get close to and difficult to view or photograph in dull conditions. Just wish I knew where they went when it is sunny....

Other birds included a Meadow Pipit heipiplerke and the first thrushes for a few days in the form of three Redwing rødvingetrost and a Fieldfare gråtrost.

A couple of Woodcock rugde were flushed at Hjelme.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tjeldstø 26 November 2008

Godfinches stillits

Little Auk alkekonge

Just out for the briefest of strolls and considering the short time out and about it was not too bad. Best birds were a couple of Goldfinch stillits. Typically I managed to mess up the photos, settings changed while the camera was inside my jacket and an empty battery just as the birds really started posing nicely (and close!). Needless to say by the time I had changed the battery they had moved on. Typical.
Nice views of a Little Auk alkeonge on the sea and a Woodcock rugde flushed near the shore were other birds of interest.

Skogsøy 25 November

Large billed Common Crossbill grankorsnebb

Uncharacteristically quiet. Just a few Kittiwakes krykkje passing and a couple of Purple Sandpipers fjæreplytt of near interest. One each of Razorbill alke, Guillemot lomvi and Little Auk alkekonge.

A pair of Eiders ærfugl mating on the sea was somewhat unseasonal!

Shag toppskarvKittiwake krykkje

On the way back I found myself close to some feeding Common Crossbills grankorsnebb which included the very large billed bird in the above pictures. Not very straightforward if you ask me....

Monday, November 24, 2008

Dåvøy 24 November 2008

Female Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb
Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb

White-tailed Eagle havørn

An almost good photo of a Common Gull fiskemåke conforming to the unwritten law of "if its in focus then a wing tip will be missing"

Black-headed Gull hettemåke - uncommon winter bird in Øygarden

Seemed like a quiet day at the time but looking back on it there were some decent observations highlight being at least one Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb - they are still hanging about in the crossbill flocks.

Great views of a White-tailed Eagle havørn, a Goshawk hønsehauk, several Velvet Scoter sjøorre and most of the usual fare.

Back home at Tjeldstø a late Teal krikkand joined the Mallards stokkand feeding on the shore (all freshwater still frozen).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hjelme Vest 23 November 2008

Red-necked Grebe gråstrupedykker
Raven ravn

Common Scoter svartand

Black-headed Gull hettemåke

Nice views of a Red-necked Grebe gråstrupedykker was the best observation today but also Great Northern Diver islom, 20+ Purple Sandpipier fjæreplytt, a Black Guillemot teist and a late Meadow Pipit heipiplerke.
Otherwise just the usual Rock Pipits skjærpiplerke, White-tailed Eagle havørn, a Kittiwake krykkje, a Little Auk alkekonge and small numbers of Long-tailed Duck havelle.
Back home a Black-headed Gull hettemåke and a Common Scoter svartand seen from the garden.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Skogsøy 22 November 2008

White-tailed Eagle havørn with prey
Poor record shot of a Red-necked Grebe gråstrupedykker

An hour or so seawatching were well spent. As soon as I arrived two 2cy Glaucous Gulls polarmåke flew past, other stuff included a couple of Great Northern Divers islom heading north, two Gannets havsule, a Red-throated Diver smålom, two Black Guillemots teist and a Peregrine vandrefalk. A late flock of 19 Greylags grågås was also worth a mention
The walk out and in produced a White-tailed Eagle havørn with "something", fresh Woodcock rugde tracks in the snow and a Red-necked Grebe gråstrupedykker on the sea.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hellesøy 21 November 2008

Otter oter
Mergansers siland

Herring Gull gråmåke

Strangely "hooded" Common Gull fiskemåke

If anything conditions were even worse today, gale force winds and heavy hail showers making things rather difficult.

Typically under such conditions an Otter oter was the most interesting thing, although a "hooded" Common Gull fiskemåke got the pulse going briefly. A Snipe enkeltbekkasin was the only bird of near-interest here.Add Image
A White-tailed Eagle havørn flew low over the garden as I went out to get the post - without my camera...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tjeldstø 20 November

Above and below juvenile Scaup bergand

The juvenile Scaup bergand was still on Rotevatnet today. Dreadful viewing conditions (very dull, snow / sleet / hail) and the fact that it keeps its distance don't help.
Whilst watching this bird an Otter turned up at quite close range - often the case that I see these animals when the weather is at its worst....
A Skylark sanglerke, a flock of 30 Starling stær and a Little Auk alkekonge were the only other birds of note.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tjeldstø 19 November 2008

Still small number of Redwing rødvingetrost around
An aythya duck, probably a Scaup bergand

Just a quick trip out in dismal weather conditions.
Looks like the Whitefronts tundragås have gone - just eight Greylags grågås remain now. A couple of Whoopers sangsvane kept well hidden in the north of the reserve and an aythya duck was probably a Scaup bergand - I didn't have time to stay and watch and just took a quick picture in the hope I could get a good ID later....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tjeldstø 16 November 2008 - Little Auks (again!)

albifrons Whitefronts tundragås
Little Auks alkekonge

Little Auk alkekonge

Little Auks alkekonge

Kittiwake krykkje

Cormorant storskarv

North westerly gales forced a number of seabirds into the fjords today. The vast majority were Little Auks alkekonge, with well in excess of 100 seen. A Razorbill alke, several Guillemot lomvi and a dozen or so Kittiwake krykkje were also seen.

Other stuff at Tjeldstø included the five Whitefronts tundragås and a Skylark sanglerke.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Skogsøy 15 November 2008

Above and below Little Auk alkekonge

Eiders ærfugl
Part of a large flock of Herring Gulls gråmåke feeding in a "sheltered" bay

Very difficult conditions for both birds and observer today in gale force westerlies. But it had to be done.
Not that much passing and during an hours seawatching 26 Little Auk alkekonge and 12 Kittiwake krykkje were just about all that went past. A Peregrine vandrefalk also flew past - no doubt also on the lookout for Little Auks.
At Tjeldstø the five Whitefronts tundragås were back again after yesterday's absence.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Øygarden 14 November 2008

Red-breasted Mergansers siland displaying at Dåvøy

Little Auk alkekonge at Tjeldstø

Grey Herson gråhegre

Female Blackcap munk at Dåvøy

Yet another pleasant morning out in Øygarden in mild and calm conditions.

A few Blackcaps munk about with a female at Dåvøy and two males at Alvheim.

At Solberg there was a Great Northern Diver islom on the sea and a Peregrine vandrefalk sat on one of the islands.

Tjeldstø was quite good again with plenty of Little Auks alkeonge on the fjord and a number of late migrants including a Woodpigeon ringdue, a Teal krikkand, a Skylark sanglerke and a Meadow Pipit heipiplerke. Other birds of interest included a Goshawk hønsehauk, three Snipe enkeltbekkasin and a Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt.