Sunday, July 31, 2011

Skogsøy 31 July 2011 - Manx

Very overcast with light southerly.

Skogsøy back on form again with a typical late July seawatch - highlight was the first Manx Shearwater havlire for the county this year - a single heading north.

Other noteworthy sightings were a flock of 18 Shelduck gravand heading south and a pale phase Arctic Skua tyvjo flying north.

 Common Tern makrellterne at Tjeldstø
 Gannet havsule
 Oystercatcher tjeld
 Part of a flock of 18 Shelduck gravand
Skandi Arctic in action off Kollsnes

Also on the move were small numbers of Common Scoter svartand (38 S), a light passage of adult Common Gulls fiskemåke, a Great Skua storjo and over 200 southbound Oystercatcher tjeld.

Back at Tjeldstø four Ruff brushane were seen from the sitting room.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Øygarden 30 July 2011

Once again sunny with a northerly wind.

Predictably some birders went to Skogsøy but there was little passing at sea and the Two-barred Crossbills båndkorsnebb were not seen again.

 Coal tit svartmeis
Pied Flycatcher svarthvit fluesnapper

For my part I took things easy and saw rather little. Best sighting was a Pied Flycatcher svarthvit fluesnapper at Sture - the first of the year in Øygarden.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Skogsøy 29 July - Two-barred Crossbills

Fresh northerly with sun.

Once again a two hour seawatch produced virtually nothing, small numbers of Gannet havsule, a couple of Fulmar havhest and a lone Guillemot lomvi.

However, a flock of five Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb (an adult male and four females / immatures)made the trip worthwhile. This flock were no doubt a part of the recent influx into Norway. Records started on 22 July with a bird on Utsira and many more have been seen since - with up to 40 seen at various localities, mostly in the south west of the country around Lista. There have been isolated records from further north too.

 Male Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb

Female Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb

During the last two irruptions that reached Øygarden (2002 and 2008) the birds turned up in late July / August and continued to be seen until well into the following new year so it is quite likely the same pattern will be repeated this time too.....

A single Common Crossbill grankorsnebb was amazingly another new for Øygarden this year.

Willow Warbler løvsanger

Raven ravn

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tjeldstø 28 July 2011

Greylag grågås
Sunny with light northerly winds.

Given the conditions it was not surprising there was little in the way of waders out in the reserve. Best bird was a migrating Ringed Plover sandlo - my 100th species at Tjeldstø this year.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Skogsøy 27 July 2011

Crested Tit toppmeis
Overcast with light northerly.

A couple of hours around dawn produced virtually nothing. A single Great Skua storjo on the sea and small numbers of Gannet havsule heading north.

Best of what little there was to be seen was small flock of Twite bergirisk which flew up as a Merlin dvergfalk came over just as I returned to the car.

Just before midnight at least two Green Sandpiper skogsnipe headed south over the house - perhaps having spend the day in the reserve at Tjeldstø.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tjeldstø 25 July 2011

Dull and wet with southerly winds. In other words good wader weather.

Sure enough the Spotted Red sotsnipe and four Wood sands grønnstilk, presumeable the same birds from yesterday were still present along with a Greenshank gluttsnipe and a few Golden Plover heilo.

Tried my luck breifly at Herdlevær where the only migrants were three Whimbrel småspove.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tjeldstø 24 July 2011 - Tringa storm

Calm and warm for most of the day but only left the house to go swimming.

Best sightings during the first part of the day were limited to a couple of Swift tårnseiler passing ahead of rain and a couple of rather vocal adult White-tailed Eagle havørn over the garden.

 Spotted Reshank sotsnipe
 Wood Sandpiper grønnstilk

 Above and below Spotted Redshank sotsnipe
Thundery rain set in during the evening - so I went out. The reserve produced a cracking Spotted Redshank sotsnipe, a flock of four Wood Sandpiper grønstilk and a fly-over Green Sandpiper skogsnipe - a great way to round off the day.

Tjeldstø 23 July 2011

Above - young Swallows låvesvale being fed

Out in the middle of the day under far from ideal conditions - sunny with a brisk northerly.

However, some waders about including the first Ruff brushane of the autumn - an adult male by the look of things. A flock of five adult Golden Plover heilo also out in the reserve. A flock of at least 100 Starling stær were also migrants passing through.

Otherwise very much business as usual with the geese preparing for departure and White Wagtails linerle, Swallows låvesvale etc congregating around Husvatnet to feed on the abundance of insects.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Skogsøy 10 July 2011 - autumn migration

A short and rather wet seawatch around dawn produced some birds of interest including a few Øygarden year ticks. Two Swift tårnseiler flew south well offshore, a small party of Dunlin myrsnipe and a Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove headed the same way. Small numbers of other waders were the only other migrants - the autumn migration is underway...

Other stuff included a couple of Puffins lunde and a few Guillemots lomvi.

Øygarden 07-09 July 2011

Not out much at all and precious little to see. Only migrants at Tjeldstø were a Black-headed Gull hettemåke and an unseasonal male Wigeon brunnakke.

Lots of birds now feeding fledged young including Siskin grønnsisik, Lesser Redpoll brunsisik, Linnet tornirisk and Wheatear steinskvett.

Male Wheatear steinskvett warns its young at Breivik

The Greylags grågås at Tjeldstø seem to have produced in excess of 70 young this year. However, very few Herring Gull gråmåke chicks and almost no terns at all....

June - July 2011

 Avocets at Cresswell ponds, Northumberland
Offshore in the North Sea, no birding at all but had three Manx Shearwater flying past during a muster drill off Montrose and plenty of all the usual seabirds inshore off Aberdeenshire.

Fifteen minutes birding in Northumberland (without binoculars!) produced Avocets, Little Gull, Bar-headed Goose and plenty more besides.