Saturday, December 25, 2010

Dåvøy and Alvheim 25 December 2010

Dåvøy was if anything even quieter than most places of late but one of the few birds on the sea there was a splendid Slavonian (Horned these days I suppose) Grebe horndykker - in exactly the same place as the previous winter. A couple of Black guillemot teist, a White-tailed Eagle havørn and several Fieldfare gråtrost were among the other sightings.

Alvheim produced a flock of 15 Mealy Redpoll gråsisik, a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk, three Common Crossbill grankorsnebb and best of all - a Woodpigeon ringdue flying over - a rare winter sighting for Øygarden.

Tjeldstø 24 December 2010 - more snow

We certainly got a white Christmas - snowed most of the day.

The garden was once again the most productive place with 8 Mealy Redpoll gråsisik, 25-30 Chaffinch bokfink, four Starling stær and the usual.

The woods were very quiet but all the usual Goldcrest fuglekonge, Coal Tit svartmeis and Crested Tit toppmeis were seen along with the bird of the day - a Treecreeper trekryper. A single Wren gjerdesmett still held out there too.

Hjelme West 23 December 2010

Quiet again. A distant Great Northern Diver islom, a flock of 30 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt and a Curlew storspove were the highlights.

A porpoise nise gave prolonged views as it basked on the surface - first I've seen for a while.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Solberg 22 December 2010 - Otters

Otter enjoying a fish

Starling stær in the garden
First winter Great Northern Diver islom

Still very quiet both bird and weatherwise. Almost no duck today but a first year Great Northern Diver islom made up for that. A single Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke and about 20 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt also seen here.

A party of four otters played in the snow on one of the islands and another showed very well closer in.

A Brambling bjørkefink, a few Mealy Redpoll gråsisik, 19 Tree Sparrow pilfink, 15+ Chaffinch bokfink, four Starling stær, nine Blackbird svarttrost and the usual in the garden.

Tjeldstø 21 December 2010

White-tailed Eagle havørn out in the reserve

Still covered in snow and totally frozen. Remarkably at least one Woodcock rugde survives in the area with fresh tracks in todays new snow beside a tiny trickle of unfrozen water. Other than that a few Starling stær in the garden among all the usual garden visitors.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hjelme West 20 December 2010

Goldeneye kvinand
Female Merganser siland
Mergansers siland
Merganser siland with small flatfish

Very cold, calm and quiet again. Most of the usual wintering birds present including a Red-necked Grebe gråstrupedykker, a Curlew storspove, 20 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt, a Velvet Scoter sjøorre, a Black Guillemot teist and five White-tailed Eagle havørn.
A Goshawk hønsehauk flew over the road at Sæle.
The Heron gråhegre roost at Dåvøy held 31 birds and there were the usual Goldeneye kvinand and Mergansers siland present.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Skogsøy 19 December 2010

Rather quiet. On a positive note 10 Whoopers sangsvane included six first year birds. Rather few seaduck and just a few Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt and a White-tailed Eagle havørn of any note.

At Tjeldstø a Goshawk hønsehauk was seen from the house.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Solberg 18 December 2010 - Merlin

Goldfinch stillits
Female Scaup bergand and male Merganser siland

Only had time for a very short visit to Solberg where there were few birds to be seen. However, among these were some good winter sightings including a Merlin dvergfalk, a female Scaup bergand, a Goldfinch stillits and a Curlew storspove.

Øygarden 14 December 2010

Red-throated Diver smålom at Solberg

Solberg was pretty quiet with a Red-throated Diver smålom the best bird otherwise just small numbers of the usual duck and a couple of White-tailed Eagles havørn.
A big flock of Greenfinch grønnfink in the garden with 105 the best estimate, also several each of Mealy Redpoll gråsisik and Chaffinch bokfink along with 16 Tree Sparrow pilfink and the usual visitors to the feeder - currently using 2.5 kg of sunflower seed per day....
A couple of Redwing rødvingetrost, a small flock of Fieldfare gråtrost, five Long-tailed Tit stjertmeis and two Waxwing sidensvans also seen at Tjeldstø.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tjeldstø 23 November 2010

Barel out today but this paid off with a Lapland Bunting lappspurv in / over the garden. Over 60 Greenfinch grønnfink and at least 15 Tree Sparrow pilfink at the feeders - almost 2 kg of sunflower seed being consumed daily....

Otherwise little to report other than the Heron hegre roost at Dåvøy numbered 55 birds today.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Solberg 22 November 2010

Red-necked Grebe gråstrupedykker
Male Blackcap munk feeding on elderberries

and snowberries....

Calm and sunny AGAIN.

Solberg was generally quiet so it was a case of quality not quantity, a Red-necked Grebe gråstrupedykker on the sea was probably the bird reported there yesterday and photogrpahed later at Heggøy. Also a Great Northern Diver islom heading south and a male Peregrine vandrefalk on the lookout for prey. Still plenty of Mealy Redpoll gråsisik about with at least 300 seen just at Solberg. Five White-tailed Eagle havørn also presesent here.

A Teal krikkand that flew in with eight Mallard stokkand was probably the bird seen in the area throughout the month.

At Sæle at least three Blackcap munk fed on elderberries and even snow berries.
Small numbers of Bullfinch dompap still widespread.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ljøsneset 21 November 2010

"Northern" Long-tailed Tits stjertmeis still on the move

Took things easy today.

A small flock of Long-tailed Tits stjertmeis in the garden joined the 60+ Greenfinch grønnfink, 10 Tree Sparrow pilfink and the others at the bird table.

Ljøsneset was pretty quiet with just 15 Waxwing sidensvans, a small flock of Common Crossbill grankorsnebb, a female Black Grouse orrfugl and a Woodcock rugde of note.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Skogsøy 20 November 2010

Red-breasted Merganser siland fishing

First year Robin rødstrupe
Whooper Swan sangsvane heading south

Calm and sunny - wonderful conditions to be out and about.
However, not much passage. A handfull of Little Auks alkekonge, one each of Great Northern Diver islom and Red-throated Diver smålom, a first year Whooper Swan sangsvane and a fly over Snow Bunting snøspurv were the best sightings.

A couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn, a few Black Guillemot teist and plenty of the usual seaduck.
At Breivik a rather large Goshawk hønsehauk almost caught a lone Greylag grågås.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Øygarden 19 November 2010 - more Waxwing

A fantastic adult winter White-billed Diver gulnebblom was seen further north in Øygarden
Waxwing sidensvans at Blomvåg

Rather quieter today.

A Water Rail vannrikse and a fly over flock of seven Waxwing sidensvans were at Toftøy.

Another flock of five Waxwing sidensvans fed in a garden at Blomvåg were an indication of some possible new movement.

Solberg produced a Peregrine vandrefalk, two White-tailed Eagle havørn, 40 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt and a Little Auk alkekonge on the sea.
Further north in Øygarden an adult winter White-billed Diver gulnebblom was a great find.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Skogsøy 18 November 2010 - Seawatching at last

Above and below, record shots of Black Redstart svartrødstjert

Common Scoter svartand

Long-tailed Duck havelle

Finally gave up on trying for passerines and despite the sunny weather and easterly winds decided to buck the trend and go seawatching instead. I was not disappointed.
Things started well as I almost trod on a Jack Snipe kvartbekkasin on the way out.
Mainstay of the passage today were almost 300 Little Auks alkekonge heading south - finally something approaching a movement of this species. Other good stuff headed south included a male Scaup bergand and a flock of four Red-necked Grebe gråstrupedykker. Other birds included 12 Velvet Scoter sjøorre, 15 Razorbill alke but JUST one Guillemot lomvi - something of a scarcity these days.
Most of the usual suspects turned up including a couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn, 20 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt and a Black Guillemot teist.

The way back home was even more productive with a late Black Redstart svartrødstjert feeding on that mound of rotting seaweed that normally only turns up Rock pipits skjærpiplerke.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Øygarden 17 November 2010

Male Mallard stokkand
Female Mallard stokkand

Raven ravn

Fantastic weather again with sun and a light SE wind. Generally quiet birdwise, popped in at a few places.
Still a fair number of Bullfinch dompap about with small parties everywhere.
At Breivik the best birds were a couple of late Meadow Pipit heipiplerke, a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk and a Goshawk hønsehauk causing havoc among the gulls and crows.
Two Blackcap munk were hanging on at Sæle but the bird of the day was an unidentified tick bunting flying over here.
At Hjelme brief views of a Water Rail vannrikse, a Great Spotted Woodpecker flaggspett, Nuthatch spettmeis and Treecreeper trekryper.
Other birds included a Woodcock rugde at Sture and six Common Snipe enkeltbekkasin at Tjeldstø.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Skogsøy 16 November 2010 - too bad!

Stong south westerly winds and persistent rain made things difficult. Even the dog stuggled today and with him in mind I gave up and went home.

Just a few Little Auk alkekonge heading south and eight adult Kittiwake krykkje heading north were all that I saw of any movement during an hour of seawatching.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Øygarden 15 November 2010

Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke
Long-tailed tit stjertmeis in the garden

Things obviously a lot quieter today.
Little at Herdlevær other than a Red-throated Diver smålom feeding on the sea. Otherwise just the usual White-tailed Eagles havørn, Tree Sparrow pilfink etc.
A Tjeldstø a small flock of Long-tailed Tits stjertmeis in the early morning almost made us late for school - first for Tjeldstø this year. Also a couple of late Meadow Pipit heipiplerke, a Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke and a Skylark sanglerke were the best finds.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tjeldstø 14 November 2010

Skylark sanglerke

Calm and mild again, lakes thawing again.

A Jay nøtteskrike in the garden and a Jackdaw kaie flying over was a good start to the day.

A couple of Whoopers sangsvane on Rotevatnet were the first of the autumn for me but at least one was reported on Friday. Other birds of interest included a flock of seven Goldfinch stillits, a Skylark sanglerke and at least ten Tree Sparrow pilfink in the garden - feeding started today!

Hernar 13 November 2010 - Siberian Chiff-chaff

White-rumped Redpolls once again eluded positive ID but this one could be a good candidate for Arctic Redpoll polarsisik
Siberian Chiff-chaff tristis gransanger, it was the piping bullfinch-like call that gave this one away.
Very pale colouration, rather grey compared to this bird

Skylark sanglerke

Adult winter Black Guillemot teist
A last minute trip to Hernar proved quite productive. Wonderfully calm weather added to the experience.

On the sea a couple of Great Northern Diver islom, several Black Guillemot teist and Long-tailed Duck havelle numbers continue to build - still no big flocks though.

On the island best bird was a tristis Chiff-chaff tristis gransanger. Picked up on its almost Bullinch-like call it responded immediately to playback. Very pale indeed. Other stuff included a male Blackcap munk, Water Rail vannriske, two Tree Sparrow pilfink and plenty of Mealy Redpoll gråsisik - including many with pale rumps but as usual the flocks were too restless to go through. Still one Skylark sanglerke present.

Also found the remains of a Waxwing sidensvans - no doubt eated by a raptor of some sort.

Hjelme Vest 12 November 2010

A couple of Curlew storspove and 62 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt were the best birds. Plenty of Crested Tit toppmeis in the woods.

A late Meadow Pipit heipiplerke and more Bullfinch dompap on the move a Tjeldstø

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Øygarden 11 November 2010 - oldest ringed Oystercatcher?

A number of birds with pale rumps like the left hand birds kept things pretty frustrating....
Top bird just a pale rumped Mealy Redpoll gråsisik?
Swarms of Mealy Redpoll gråsisik poured passed until around 10:00
Fieldfare gråtrost flock heading south
Fewer Mink around these days - but still too many

SE winds and a hard frost today - much freshwater frozen.

Tried an hour or so of "vis-mig" today at Herdlevær. During the first hour almost 1000 Mealy Redpoll gråsisik headed south. No doubt it would have been a lot more had I started an hour earlier. Passage dropped off rapidly after 10:00. Small numbers of Siskin grønnsisik and Fieldfare gråtrost also on the move.

Not a lot else passing but a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk headed south, at least one Goshawk hønsehauk hunting and up to five White-tailed Eagle havørn visible simultaneously.

FINALLY received details back on the ring I found in an Eagle Owl nest earlier in the autumn. As I had suspected the ring belonged to a wader. In fact it was an Oytercatcher tjeld that was ringed on the south coast of England over 29 years ago - this puts the bird at over 32 when it died - longer than the longest ever lived Oystercatcher in the UK!!

Details were as follows:

"Ringing Scheme: London Ring Number: FV61419 Species of bird: Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus

This bird was ringed by Devon & Cornwall Wader Group as age 3 years +, sex Unknown on 31-May-1981 at Dawlish Warren, Exe Estuary, Devon, OS Map reference SX9880, co-ordinates 50deg 37min N 3deg 26min W.

It was found on 25-Aug-2010 at Exact Location Unknown, Hordaland, Norway.

It was found 10678 days after it was ringed, 1230 km from the ringing site, direction NNE."