Friday, April 29, 2011

Øygarden 29 April 2011

Trying out the new camera - Greylag grågås in flight

Calm, sunny and very warm.
A quick check at a few localities produced some sightings of interest:

The first Common Sandpipers strandsnipe for Øygarden this year at Hjelme.

At Hjelme Vest a Black Guillemot teist was the first I've seen for a while, small numbers of Long-tailed Duck havelle remain and a White-billed Diver gulnebblom headed north.

At Tjeldstø a Lapland Bunting lappspurv flew over. Later in the day a party of six Black-tailed Godwit svarthalespove dropped in breifly but soon moved on again.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Skogsøy 27 April 2011 - White-billed Diver

Three White-billed Diver gulnebblom together (click for larger image)

Normally they come by in ones and twos...

Adult White-billed Diver gulnebblom

Red-breasted Merganser siland

Gannet havsule

Eiders ærfugl

Allseas pipelay vessel "Solitaire"

Acergy Petrel

Sunny with a fresh northerly breeze - perfect diver conditions.

An excellent day with a typical movement of divers - highlight being a total of nine White-billed Diver gulnebblom - the first migrant birds of the year. A total of 49 Red-throated Diver smålom also went north.

In an Øygarden perspective a Jackdaw kaie that headed west straight out of sea was a rarer sighting that the divers....

Not much else on the move, other than the usual southbound migration of Shags toppskarv. Other birds included small numbers of Common Scoter svartand and Velvet Scoter sjøorre and a few auks. A couple of probable Red-necked Grebe gråstrupedykker were the one that got away today...

The Allseas vessel "Solitaire" was laying the new pipeline into Kollsnes supported by Acergy Petrel and Acergy Viking. Nice to not be at work.....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Øygarden 26 April 2011 - Stock Dove

Stock Dove skogdue at Tjeldstø

The good birds keep on coming....

A fly-by Stock Dove skogdue at Tjeldstø was probably the same bird reported a couple of days ago. Surprising that it is still around as Stock Dove don't tend to be "stayers".

The first Sedge Warbler sivsanger of the year sang at the usual spot at Breivik.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hernar 25 April 2011 - Black Redstart

Above and below - male Black Redstart svartrødstjert

Obligatory Twite bergirisk picture

Great Northern Diver islom

Two Little Auk alkekonge

Part of a flock of Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås

A superb day by all accounts - very foggy at first but lifting later.

The island just got better and better as the morning continued. Plenty of Chiff-chaff gransanger, and a couple each of Willow Warbler løvsanger and Blackcap munk meant that there was always something to see.

At least two Ring Ousel ringtrost were the first in Øygarden this year as were a couple of Common Redstart rødsjert. Without a doubt the best bird was a cracking male Black Redstart svartrødstjert - a rare spring record for this species.

About 20 Twite bergirisk, loads of Wheatear steinskvett and small numbers of other migrants knocking about. There were also indications of a big movement of Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås with approximately 500 seen heading north - Hernar is not the best place for visible migration so actual numbers may well have been much greater.

The journey home produced a couple of Little Auk alkekonge and a Great Northern Diver islom on the sea.

Back home a Greenshank gluttsnipe beside Husvatnet seen from the living room was another new for the county this year.

Tjeldstø 23 April 2011

Black-tailed Godwit svarthalespove (probably islandica)
Golden Plover heilo

A stroll in the reserve produced a (the?) Black-tailed Godwit svarthalespove again.

A Sand Martin sandsvale flew over and at least 11 Golden Plover heilo and two Twite bergirisk out in the reserve. Otherwise very much business as usual - obviously more migrants in again with more singing Willow Warbler løvsanger etc.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tjeldstø 22 April 2011 - Green Sandpiper

Wheatears steinskvett at Tjeldstø

Wheatear steinskvett eating "hairy" caterpillar

Calm and sunny.

A brief stroll in the morning resulted in a fly over Green Sandpiper skogsnipe and what sounded like a singing Corncrake åkerrikse - one can't really get that one wrong. This, however, would be an incredible record if indeed this is what it was.

Missed a Crane trane flying over the reserve whilst driving to the airport...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Skogsøy 21 April 2011 - Iceland Gull

This Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke caught me totally unprepared....

Part of the Barnacle Goose hvitkinngås flock that passed

Canada Goose kanadagås - something of a rarity in Øygarden

Common Scoter svartand

Overcast and hazy with visibility reducing during the morning. Light SSE winds.

Not a bad seawatch at all. Few divers passing - not the right conditions at all but the first Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås of the year, a flock of 45, headed north and a second year Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke passed at close range just as we were leaving.

The mainstay of the migration today were over 200 Common Scoter svartand. Also small numbers of most of the usual suspects.

Back home at Tjeldstø a pair of Shoveler skjeand, a Black-tailed Godwit svarthalespove, a Sand Martin sandsvale and a Peregrine vandrefalk rounded the day off very nicely indeed. A Canada Goose kanadagås was reported from Kollsnes - had to go and check it out just in case it was one of the migrant forms....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tjeldstø 20 April 2011 - Pochard

Female Pochard taffeland
Calm and sunny.

First bird I saw from the living room window was a female Pochard taffeland on Husvatnet.

Needless to say this promted a walk around the reserve where a Chiff-chaff gransanger sang and there were obviously a lot more birds in today. Plenty of Wheatear steinskvett today, a few Tufted Duck toppand on Rotevatnet, a small flock of Golden Plover heilo and a Swallow låvesvale.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Skogsøy 19 April 2011 - Shoveler

Cool southerly wind meant it was chilly around dawn.
Finally made it out to Skogsøy where there was quite a bit of interest despite few birds passing.

Highlight were undoubtedly three Shoveler skjeand heading north with a couple of Wigeon brunnakke.

Other notable sightings were the county's first Great Skua storjo and Fulmar havhest for the year, a fly over Lapland Bunting lappspurv, several Tufted Duck toppand heading north (first I've seen in Øygarden this year) and 12 Red-throated Diver smålom.

Quite a few auk passing in the distance including several lateish Little Auk alkekonge and a few Puffin lunde; most had to go unidentified though.

Small numbers of Curlew storspove north, Common Scoter svartand and a southerly movement of Shags toppskarv were the mainstay of the days migration.

In the evening a Swallow låvesvale flew around Husvatnet, Tjeldstø

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tjeldstø 18 April 2011 - Willow warbler

Calm but dull. Plenty new in today despite minimal time out and about. A Woodcock rugde roding over the house during the night was the first new for the year. Snipe enkeltbakkasin also displaying simultaneously. The first Willow Warbler løvsanger for the county sang in the reserve where a few Lesser Redpoll brunsisik also showed up. A Golden Plover heilo (first seen yesterday) went up with everything else when a Peregrine vandrefalk flew over. Wheatear steinskvett singing along with several each of Song Thrush måltrost, Dunnock jernspurv and Redwing rødvingetrost.

In glorious sunny weather during the afternoon a Brambling bjørkefink dropped into the garden.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Øygarden 17 April 2011

Possible graellsi Lesser Black-backed Gull sildemåke at Breivik
One of the day's White wagtails linerle

Still overcast and wet.

A couple of Twite bergirisk were the best sighting at Solberg where 25 Long-tailed Duck havelle were on the sea.

A Jackdaw kaie at Herdlevær was the first in Øygarden this year but little else of note there.

A Merlin dvergfalk and a pair of Wigeon brunnakke were at Tjeldstø.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tjeldstø 16 April 2011

Another dull and wet day. A couple of Linnet tornirisk were new for the year, Snipe enkeltbekkasin, Dunnock jernspurv, Redwing rødvingetrost and more singing - making it at least sound a bit more spring-like. More Fieldfare gråtrost on the move again but nothing else new in.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Øygarden 15 April 2011

Meadow Pipit heipiplerke Lesser Black-backed Gulls sildmåke
Wheatear steinskvett

Still foggy and dull.

A quick check at a few localities produced a few more new for the year with a few Wheatear steinskvett here and there, singing Dunnocks jernspurv and the first Reed Bunting sivspurv of the year in Øygarden.

Some thrush obviously on the move, mostly Fieldfare gråtrost.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tjeldstø 14 April 2011

Having got a bit ahead of myself with the spring migration in the Straits of Gibraltar it was back to earth with a bang. Plenty of new stuff (for me anyway) in now with Lesser Black-backed Gull sildemåke, White Wagtail linerle, Meadow Pipit heipiplerke, Song thrush måltrost, Redwing rødvingetrost and Redshank rødstilk all being the first I've seen in Øygarden this year. Plenty of Greylag grågås and many of the gulls setting up territories.