Monday, September 28, 2009

Skogsøy 28 September 2009

Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås heading north....

A short seawatch with strong onshore winds was again fairly quiet. Passage was limited to 21 Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås heading the wrong way, eight Red-throated Diver smålom heading south and a selection of the usual stuff.

A Peregrine vandrefalk sat out on its lookout post during the whole time I was there.

Remarkably a Water Rail vannriske turned up right out among the rocks at the lookout. This is the third bird I've seen in pretty much the same place - there must be something there that attracts migrating rails....

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Øygarden 27 September 2009

A very wet Wheatear steinskvett
Golden Plover heilo

A few breif stops at various localities showed that there were things on the move despite the constant rain. The strong winds forecast did not materialise but Richard's Pipit tartarpiplerke and a Lapland Bunting lappspurv showed at Breivik where a flock of geese heading south were just too far off to identify. Wheatear steinskvett, Golden Plover heilo and plenty of "small stuff" also present here.

A Knot polarsnipe, a couple of Red-throated Diver smålom and an Otter were the best sightings at Solberg.

Øygarden 26 September 2009

Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper
THE bird of Hernar - Twite bergirisk

Wheatear steinskvett

Spent the day on Hernar where there was not a massive amount of activity. However, a Water Rail vannrikse was new in and a Lesser Whitethroat møller was present. Some frustratingly difficult to see phylloscopus warblers went unidentified - only a couple of Willow Warbler løvsanger and a Chiff-chaff gransanger were identified with certainty. Several Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove flew over and small numbers of other migrants were in the bushes.

An adult Common Tern makrellterne at Hellesøy was a relatively late find for this species.

At Breivik at least one Richard's Pipit tundrapiplerke remained.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Øygarden 25 September 2009

Little time in the field the last couple of days with work getting in the way of things. Having not found any rarities for several days and with a run of rain and south westerlies I was beginning to wonder if that was the autumn finished. However, a short walk at Breivik in rather inclement conditions soon put things right.

A large flock of Meadow Pipits heipiplerke sheltered in long grass and got up as I arrived - I thought I heard some "interesting" calls but couldn't be sure due to the wind and rain. Another squall and a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk attack later I had all but given up when up from the grass flew first one Richard's Pipit tartarpiplerke calling repeatedly. I could scarcely believe it when another one flew up to join it! They flew off together but despite not giving the impression they had gone very far I couldn't relocate them.

Other stuff included a small flock of Wheatear steinskvett and a couple of Skylark sanglerke.

At Solberg a Common Tern makrellterne and two Arctic Tern rødnebbterne were still hanging around as was a Lesser Black-backed Gull sildemåke. All on their way to warmer climes any day now...

Quite a lot of thrushes about along with a floack of at least 550 Starling stær outside my house yesterday evening.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Skogsøy 23 September 2009

Gannet havsule

Strong onshore winds meant optimism was once again cruelly dashed. Relatively quiet, though a few birds managed to save the day: a Pomarine Skua polarjo, an early Little Auk alkekonge and the first flock of Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås of the autumn.
Otherwise just several each of Red-throated Diver smålom and Fulmar havhest along with the usual suspects.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Øygarden 22 September 2009

Record shot of Rook kornkråke
White Wagtail linerle

Arctic Tern rødnebbterne at Solberg

Very strong southerlies but little of the forecast rain. Didn't have much time out and about and the best bird was a Rook kornkråke at Tjeldstø where Guillemots lomvi and a Gannet havsule were also seen heading down the fjord.
At Solberg four Arctic Tern rødnebbterne were feeding. Problems with the autofocus on my camera caused no end of frustration whilst trying to take some pictures so I gave up and went home. A latish Oystercatcher tjeld waited out the weather here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Skogsøy 21 September 2009

Strong winds and rain today but spent a little over an hour seawatching in the hope that something might pass. Not much other than six Red-throated Diver smålom, three Velvet Scoter sjøorre and what in these times can be called quite a few auks - 20 or so - mostly Guillemots lomvi.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tjeldstø 20 September 2009

Just pottering about really and, predictably, the best bird was seen from my living room - an Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke. This is probably the bird that turned up mid-summer and has since been seen a few times across the fjord at Herdla.

Other birds of note inlcuded a Carrion Crow svartkråke, a Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove, a small flock of Twite bergirisk and a few each of Common Tern makrellterne and Arctic Tern rødnebbterne.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Øygarden 18 September - Turtle Dove

Turtle Dove turteldue at Breivik

Chaffinch bokfink at Herdlevær

Highlight today was a Turtle Dove turteldue at Breivik. It was quite shy and flew off before I maanged to take good photos. However, it didn't seem to go far and may still be in the area.

Herdlevær was quiet with just a northbound adult Great Northern Diver islom of note. It flew over land and would probably have been missed had I been at Skogsøy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Øygarden 17 September 2009

Relatively quiet although there were signs of the first irruptive migrants of the autumn with a Jay nøtteskrike (first this year in Øygaden!) flying over the road at Nautnes and a Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett at Herdlevær.

Half an hour at Svellingen produced the first Snow Bunting snøspurv of the autumn, a Great Skua storjo chasing a Raven ravn and a flock of 10 Twite bergirisk.

White-tailed Eagle havørn more obvious today with at two adults at Svellingen and two younger birds further south.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hernar 16 September 2009 - Rosefinch at last

Record shots of juvenile Common Rosefinch rosenfink

Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper

Hernar may not be Utsira or Fair Isle but its the closest there is in Øygarden and it produced the goods yet again despite only a "half day" visit....

With the wind in the west I initially began to regret choosing Hernar instead of Skogsøy but after a couple of hours a vaguely familiar call from a dim and distant past set alarm bells ringing. A few minutes of frantic searching later I got some brief and distant views of a Common Rosefinch rosenfink. Later on it came a lot closer but never really posed well for the camera.

Other migrants included a couple of Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper, a Chiff-chaff gransanger and a flock of four Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove. Wrens gjerdesmett obviously on the move too with increased numbers on the island.
Otherwise it was much the usual with Twite bergirisk, a Merlin dvergfalk and a White-tailed Eagle havørn.
Back at home a Garden Warbler hagesanger fed on rowan berries in my garden (where else would a Garden warbler turn up?).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Øygarden 14 September 2009

Rock pipit skjærpiplerke at Herdlevær
Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove at Tjeldstø

At Herdelvær a (the?) Chiff-chaff gransanger indulged in a bit of autumn singing - no doubt inspired by the cracking weather. A couple of Reed Buntings sivspurv and a flock of 15 Siskin grønnsisik were the only signs of migrants on the ground - although there was a steady passage of Meadow Pipits heipiplerke overhead..

A few minutes at Tjeldstø produced a Kestrel tårnfalk heading south and a Peregrine vandrefalk harassing the crows. A Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove turned up beside Husvatnet in the evening.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Øygarden 12 September 2009 - forget the migrants, its not happening today

Eagle Owl hubro

Despite meeting three dejected seawatchers at the Skogsøy car park I still embarked on a futile attempt to see some seabird movement. After an hour or so of mediocre passage I gave up and headed back having seen barely the usual suspects.

Rather than do Herdlevær which was well covered by several other birders I went onto other things - and I'm glad I did.

It is easy to forget there are some good birds about that don't need special weather conditions to bring them within range....

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tjeldstø 11 September 2009

In all honesty this shot would have been better with a shotgun than a 400mm lens...

Crested Tit toppmeis

Dull and wet. Not much about with a flock of 18 Siskin grønnsisik the best sighting. Tree Sparrow pilfink numbers clearly on the increase with at least 11 present.

Skogsøy 10 September 2009

Chiff-chaff gransanger
Common Scoter svartand

Gannets havsule

Hoping for some return movements after the recent strong winds I started the day off at Skogsøy. Not a lot doing passage wise. Just Gannets havsule, a flock of eight Sanderling sandløper and a Red-throated Diver smålom.
Both Peregrine vandrefalk and Merlin dvergfalk present in the area.
A quick look at Herdlevær showed that there was at least some passerine movement with the first Chiff-chaff gransanger for some time, Whinchat buskskvett and Goldcrest fuglekonge.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Skogsøy 09 September

Gannets havsule

Great Skua storjo with rather pale undersides

With 25 knots WSW hopes were typically high for a rather late spell of seawatching.
It seemed passage was dropping off even as I arrived but managed to get a single Manx Shearwater havlire heading south along with 41 Fulmar havhest and over 100 Gannets havsule. Several Red-throated Diver smålom, a few Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove, a lone Kittiwake krykkje and three Great Skua storjo were the best of the rest.
A Rook kornkråke by the car park was a surprise find (only the second in Øygarden this year so far).

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Tjeldstø 06 September 2009

Meadow Pipits heipiplerke feeding on manure pile

Just a quick stroll out, plenty of birds about and obvious migration of thrushes etc. Best birds were a Goshawk hønsehauk and a Carrion Crow svartkråke. A flock of 14 Wigeon brunnakke was a new arrival and a flock of 20 Black-headed Gulls hettemåke was a big flock for these parts.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Skogsøy 05 September 2009

Kittiwakes krykkje
Juvenile Great Skua storjo attacking Gannet havsule

Seawatching on days with strong wind in autumn can be a very hit and miss affair at Skogsøy and today must be classified as "miss". Virtually nothing passing, just a juvenile Great Skua storjo and cracking views of a Pergerine vandrefalk as it sped past.

Four Knot polarsnipe, five Kittiwake krykkje, an Arctic Tern rødnebbterne, a Razorbill alke, four Common Scoter svartand and a light passage of Gannets havsule and Cormorants storskarv were all that was seen.

Had to try though....

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Hernar 03 September 2009

This picture shows the broad base to the beak and the short pale supercillium which ends at the eye. Also shows the white eye ring.
The white outer tail feather shows here (not caused by light shining through tail)

The most complete view in one photo

Close up of beak and face

Above and below Red-backed Shrike tornskate

A typical Hernar day - in other words about 40 species, some good migrants and a potential mega. Hopefully one that won't get away....
Typical view of Garden Warbler hagesanger

First the straightforward stuff. Highlight was a juvenile Red-backed Shrike tornskate, more migrants in the bushes this time around with Blackcap munk, Garden Warbler hagesanger, a few Whichat buskskvett, a Tree Pipit trepiplerke and most of the usual fare. The Twite bergirisk flock now numbering at least 40.

Then onto the more tricky business. A tail-pumping warbler in a tree top gave difficult views and the ID is tricky to me. Some votes have been for Garden Warbler but the bill colour and white outer tail feathers don't match this species. Any comments on the ID are welcome!
Blurred flight shot showing the white outer tail feathers and what looks like a wing panel.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Tjeldstø 02 September 2009

The best birds during a quick look at the reserve were a Peregrine vandrefalk which had a go at the ever growing crow flock, a Goshawk hønsehauk, a Greenshank gluttsnipe and a Ruff brusfugl.

Passerine migrants included a couple of Reed Bunting sivspurv and a Whinchat buskskvett.

Herdlevær 01 September 2009 - Sanderlings

First year Sanderling sandløper
Two adult Sanderlings sandløper

Knot polarsnipe

Cormorant storskarv

This amazing looking caterpillar was HUGE

At Herdlevær a small flock of Knot polarsnipe were attacked by a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk as I tried to get close enough for photos. Also here were a few Sanderling sandløper, Ringed Plover sandlo, a Dunlin myrsnipe and a Redshank rødstilk.

Other than several Wheatear steinskvett there was little in the way of passerines at Herdlevær.

The first migrant Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper of the autumn turned up at Solberg.