Sunday, January 31, 2010

Øygarden 31 January 2010

Robin rødstrupe
House Sparrow gråspurv

Coal Tit svartmeis

Blackbird svarttrost

Chaffinch bokfink

After yet more snow today was spent skiing and suchlike with the family. However, as this is Øygarden there were also some good incidental birds. The first Goldfinch stillits of the year allowed close approach despite dog, children and skis - but without camera!

At Hjelme about four Jays nøtteskrike were seen - a very localised species in Øygarden and not that easy to see in the area.

Tjeldstø 30 January 2010

Snowstorms obviously not dampening hormone levels in these Mergansers siland
Goldeneye kvinand displaying in the snow too

Several Tree Sparrow pilfink returned to the garden after a period of absence. The Chaffinch bokfink flock increased to around 20 and a few Coal Tit svartmeis also used the feeders. Although very common in the surrounding woods the latter species tends not to come into the garden much.

With so many birds at the feeders it was no surprise that a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk had a go at catching one of them.

Otherwise it was business as usual with a couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn over the garden along with most of the usual stuff.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Skogsøy 27 January 2010

Grey Heron gråhegre
some BIG waves today - no Purple sands feeding here under these conditions!

Small group of Whooper Swans sangsvane

Smew lappfiskand

Strong Northwesterly winds meant that there was little choice other than get out to Skogsøy. This was easier said than done - it was even more treacherous underfoot that last time.

The redhead Smew lappfiskand was still present and still associating with a flock of Goldeneye kvinand. At least 11 Whoopers sangsvane also feeding on the "lagoons".

There was some activity over the sea with at least 13 Gannets havsule - the first I've seen this year, along with four Kittiwakes krykkje, a Velvet Scoter sjøorre, a Guillemot lomvi and a Little Auk alkekonge.

Had two Little grebe dvergdykker at Herdlevær whilst I was turning my car around - didn't even do a "drive by" today.

Ono 26 January

Nothing special today, just a lone Curlew storspove, three Velvet Scoter sjøorre and at least six White-tailed Eagles havørn.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Øygarden 25 January

Black-throated Diver storlom
Goshawk hønsehauk

Slavonian (Horned) Grebe horndykker

Mallard stokkand

Much the same as yesterday both weather and birdwise.
At Hjelme Vest at least two Great Northern Divers islom, a Curlew storspove, 20+ Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt and at least 65 Long-tailed Duck havelle.

The Black-throated Diver storlom remained at Heggøy and the Slavonian Grebe horndykker was still at Dåvøy - and still just as far away. The only new bird today was a Goshawk hønsehauk which scared up a roost of 49 Grey Herons gråhegre.

A few Velvet Scoter sjøorre also on the sea at Dåvøy

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Øygarden 24 January - Black-throated Diver

Above and below adult Black-throated Diver storlom

Cormorant storskarv struggling with cod head

Above and below record shots of Slavonian Grebe horndykker

Otter oter

Scarce winter visitor - Wigeon brunnakke

A late and lazy start at Dåvøy seemed to work well with a Slavonian Grebe horndykker on the sea as the best bird and a male Wigeon brunnakke as runner up. The usual roost of over 30 Grey Herons gråhegre, an Oystercatcher tjeld, a Black Guillemot teist and a flock of over 30 Siskin grønnsisik along with most of the regular stuff.

Next stop was Heggøy where an adult Black-throated Diver storlom gave good views - never a common species at the best of times this was a most unusual winter observation. At the same place a Cormorant storskarv struggled with a cod head - first time I've seen this species scavenging like this - normally they catch stuff that is still very much alive.

Back at home a Black-headed Gull hettemåke was an unusual winter sighting and another first for the year.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hjelme Vest 23 January - White-billed Diver

The first impression was that here was very little about with only small numbers of the usual seaduck. However, that soon changed as good winter birds turned up one after the other.

Highlight was a White-billed Diver gulnebblom on the sea - a rare winter sighting in these parts; other unexpected birds were a Puffin lunde and an Oystercatcher tjeld. At least one Little Auk alkekonge, a couple of Curlew storspove, a flock of at least 35 Siskin grønnsisik and at least 50 Common Crossbills grankorsnebb meant there was plenty to see.

Among the usual suspects were few White-tailed Eagles havørn and Black Guillemots teist, several Common Scoter svartand and the small numbers of Long-tailed Ducks havelle.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Øygarden 21 January - Smew

Eagle Owl hubro
Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett

Two Little Grebe dvergdykker at Herdlevær

Female Smew lappfiskand (left hand bird) with Goldeneye kvinand

The prolonged big freeze is presumably to thank for the best sighting today - a female Smew lappfiskand on the sea with well over 20 Goldeneye kvinand.

Little passing although a number of distant auks headed south. At least three Black Guillemots teist and a Great Northern Diver islom on the sea.

In the woods a Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett was probably the same one that has been in the area since December.
A very quick look at Herdlevær produced a couple of Little Grebe dvergdykker and a Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett.
Last, but by now means least, a walk in the woods produced nice views of an Eagle Owl hubro.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Øygarden 20 January - STILL cold

One of three Little Grebes dvergdykker at Herdlevær
Typical selection of species - Grey Herons gråhegre, Red-breasted Mergansers siland and Mallard stokkand

Returned from a couple of weeks in the Med to find Øygarden still frozen solid and under a layer of snow. Checked out a few places relatively quickly and had a reasonably productive morning out and about.

Solberg was very quiet on the sea - possibly due to the five White-tailed Eagle havørn hanging around. Only birds of note were the first Waxwing sidensvans I've had this year and a Great Northern Diver islom heading north.

At Tjeldstø the best sighting was a Carrion Crow svartkråke and the holly tree which has been keeping the thrushes alive for the last few weeks held four Redwing rødvingetost and three Fieldfare gråtrost.

Popped in at Herdlevær where there were no less than three Little Grebes dvergdykker fishing.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Øygarden 05 January

Spent most of the day running errands but had a short walk at Herdlevær where a Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett was a new species for the year.

Bird of the day was a Jack Snipe kvartbekkasin flying over the road at Kollnes næringspark.

A couple of 2 cy Common Gull fiskemåke seen from the living room were also new for the year.

Otherwise "just" White-tailed Eagle havørn, Sparrowhawk spurvehauk and most of the usual suspects.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Hjelme Vest 04 January - Otters

Obligatory shots of White-tailed Eagle havørn - these images are not cropped....

Common Crossbill grankorsnebb with wing bars

Various shots of an Otter fishing....

Best bird today was a Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett seen flying right in front of the car at Svellingen.

At Hjelme Vest the higlight was once again the otters - seem to see them "everywhere" at the moment. Most of the usual birds were seen inlcuding a Great Northern Diver islom, a Curlew storspove, 90 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt, a couple of Velvet Scoter sjøorre, at least six White-tailed Eagle havørn and a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk.

Usual selection of Common Crossbill grankorsnebb, Crested Tits toppmeis anf Goldcrests fuglekonge in the woods.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Tjeldstø 03 January

Common Snipe enkeltbekkasin on one of the few remaining patches of "open" water

STILL snowy and frozen. Not much time spent out and about and most stuff, including a Woodcock rugde and a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk were seen from the house.

A roadside Snipe enkeltbekkasin was probably the best sighting.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Tjeldstø 02 January 2010

Redwing rødvingetrost feeding on holly berries

One of several White-tailed Eagles havørn at Tjeldstlø today

New Years Bird Race Day 3

Took things easy today and the best bird was at least one Snow Bunting snøspurv, first observed in my garden. Otherwise is was business as usual with at least four White-tailed Eagle havørn, a Woodcock rugde and most of the usual.

A number of the counties keener twitchers stopped by my garden to catch up with the Tree Sparrows pilfink. Seems like this is the only place to see them at the moment.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Skogsøy 01 January 2010

Any open fresh water is at a premium at present - here a pair of Mallard stokkand feed in a small stream

New Years Bird Race Day 2

The day started off well enough with 13 Whooper Swans sangsvane at the usual place along with 20+ Goldeneye kvinand and the usual suspects. Goldcrests fuglekonge and Crested tits toppmeis were also new species here. A hunting Peregrine vandrefalk was the highlight here.

Unortunately heavy snowfall completely wiped out the visibility and rendered seawatching a waste of time.

A Woodcock rugde or two and small numbers of Common Crossbills grankorsnebb were among the other species seen.

Back at Tjeldstø another Woodcock rugde, a couple of Brambling bjørkefink and most of the usual suspects.