Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Øygarden 17 January 2012

Southerly winds and overcast.

Moorehen sivhøne at Blomvåg

The Moorehen sivhøne was still present at Blomvåg.

At Tjeldstø good birds included a Goshawk hønsehauk, a single Greylag grågås and a Starling stær.

A walk in the woods beside Storevatnet produced little other than a Woodcock rugde.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Herdlevær 16 January 2012

Light southerly, calm and overcast.

A quick dash around Herdlevær produced nothing unexpected today. A couple of Black Guillemots teist, a Little Auk alkekonge and a Fieldfare gråtrost were the best of what was on offer.

Hjelme Vest 15 January 2012

Calm and mild

Excellent conditions again but once more little doing on the sea. Finally picked up a feeding Great Northern Diver islom. Otherwise just 60 Long-tailed Duck havelle and small numbers of Common Scoter svartand and even fewer Eiders ærfugl.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Øygarden 14 January 2012

Wonderfully calm and relatively mild.

 Above and below: record shots of the second year (first winter) Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke

Took things relatively easy today picking up a Kestrel tårnfalk at Ormhilleren, a Curlew storspove and a Puffin lunde at Solberg and a second year Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke at Tjeldstø.

A flock of 60 Common Crossbill grankorsnebb at S. Straumsundet was the biggest flock for some time.

Elsewhere an Eagle Owl hubro gave a single hoot during an hour or so of waiting.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Øygarden 13 January 2012 - Jackdaw

Strong north westerly gales, occasional wintery showers.

Spent the morning tramping through some pretty heavy terrain seeing very little indeed - but a male Black Grouse orrfugl made it all worthwhile.

A Jackdaw kaie near the "car park" at Skogsøy was the bird of the day and probably the first January record for Øygarden.

A couple of adult Iceland Gulls grønlandsmåke seen from the comfort of my living room provided some additional interest.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Skogsøy 12 January 2012

North westerly gale with occasional wintery showers

Herring Gull gråmåke at Skogsøy

With strong winds from the north some seawatching was called for. Unfortunately the winds were a bit too strong and there was very little passing. Luckily a Great Northern Diver islom came past struggling into the wind but gave up and turned south again. Otherwise just a few Gannet havsule and small numbers of gulls including a couple of Kittiwake krykkje.

Glaucous Gull polarmåke at Tjeldstø

Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke

Once again Tjeldstø produced the best sightings with the Glaucous Gull polarmåke still present and an adult Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke flew over as I tried to go to the shop.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Øygarden 11 January 2012 - White-winged duo!

Strong westerly with occasional short showers.

Once again work curtailed the birding but a brief dash out was most productive.

 Above and below: heavily cropped record shots of the Glaucous gull polarmåke

First bird I got onto when I lifted my bins at Tjeldstø was a 3rd year Glaucous Gull polarmåke resting with the other gulls at Husvatnet. Other birds at Tjeldstø included a flock of four Fieldfare gråtrost (first of the year), a Snipe enkeltbekkasin, a pipit piplerke, a few Kittiwake krykkje and the usual flock of 10 Tree Sparrows pilfink.

 Above and below: Adult Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke

Alvheim was just about dead but produced a nice adult Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke that flew past a couple of times. This is turning into a good winter for this species in Øygarden and the rest of Hordland too. Shetland is also getting more than its fair share of these....

Monday, January 09, 2012

Breivik 09 January 2012 - Iceland Gull

Southerly with heavy rain most of the day.

Work and familiy commitments meant there was virtually no time out and about today.

 Above and below: record shots of the adult Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke at Breivik

However, picked up the elusive Moorehen sivhøne at Blomvåg during some errands and later in the day a quick stroll at Breivik produced a cracking adult Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke feeding in the fields. Little else seen.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Skogsøy 07 January 2012

Fresh west north-west wind, couple of showers.

Conflicting weather forecasts yesterday evening meant it was a late snap decision to head to Skogsøy, something that paid off reasonably well.

The onshore winds produced some movement, but some species still not showing. Best bird was an unseasonal Fulmar havhest heading north, two Razorbill alke were also new for the year. Other stuff included 45 adult Kittiwake krykkje heading north, a Puffin lunde, small numbers of Little Auk alkekonge and a couple of Gannets havsule.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Øygarden 06 January 2012

Light northerly with occasional showers.

Rather little about considering the relatively good conditions.

Gannet havsule at Hjelme Vest

Hjelme Vest was again crushingly disappointing, just a few Gannets havsule and several Kittiwake krykkje of note. Very few duck and precious little else on the sea.

Much the same story pretty much everywhere I went today.

Things were somewhat better at Tjeldstø with a flock of three Greylags grågås the first of the year. Other birds inlcuded a Snipe enkeltbekkasin and a Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett.

Elsewhere in Øygarden the Moorehen sivhøne was seen again at Blomvåg.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Skogsøy 05 January 2012 - Iceland Gull

Light northerly with occasional short showers.

 Above and below: record shots of Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke

Fantastically long bill on this Curlew storspove - must be a female

Surprisingly pleasant conditions. Sat for a little over 1.5 hours and had a slow but steady trickle of stuff moving north. Most surprising bird was the very first - a Puffin lunde heading north. Not long after this a third year (or perhaps an adult) Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke flew past. An excellent start to the day!

Other stuff on the move were small numbers of Little Auk alkekonge, 14 Kittiwake krykkje, several Gannets havsule and the first Curlew storspove of the year. A Common Gull fiskemåke was a slightly unusual winter bird for Skogsøy.

Looked for the Lesser Scaup purpurhodeand but again it was not to be seen. Looks like it has probably moved on....

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Øygarden 04 January 2012 - Scaup

North westerly with wintery showers.

Covered a number of localities further south than I usually cover - something that paid off quite well. In the Toftøy area we picked up a Water Rail vannrikse and a female Scaup bergand at the first locality. Water Rail are rather uncommon in winter so this was a good find. A single Redwing rødvingetrost was the first for some time.

Part of a mixed flock of Scaup bergand and Tufted duck toppand at Nordlavatnet

The next stop, Nordlavatnet, produced four more Scaup bergand together with seven Tufted Duck toppand. A Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett was another new species for the year.

After that it was more of the usual fare at the usual spots with an obvious northbound movement of Kittiwake krykkje and a Gannet havsule at Solberg.

At Tjeldstø the nine Bean Geese sædgås were seen on Rotevatnet.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Øygarden 03 January 2012 - Bean Geese return

Chilly southerly wind with wintery showers.

Hjelme Vest was very quiet and it was a struggle to get even some of the usual suspects. A Black Guillemot teist was the best of the stuff on the sea. Crested Tit toppmeis and Wren gjerdesmett were also new for the year.

At Hjelme condtions were little better but I managed to pick up a couple of Woodcock rugde and a Goldcrest fuglekonge.

Alvheim produced a distant Peregrine vandrefalk and another small raptor that escaped identification. Also of interest was a flock of small finches on one of the islands - just like last time I was there. Would be nice to know what they were....

Tjeldstø was yet again best with the flock of nine Bean Geese sædgås together with one Pinkfoot kortnebbgås, also a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk, a Starling stær and the first Robin rødstrupe of the year.

White-tailed Eagle havørn "everywhere"

Monday, January 02, 2012

Herdlevær 02 January 2012

South westerly with occasional showers.

Work and family commitments put something of a brake on the birding today but still managed a few new birds for the brand new year-list. Highlights were a Goshawk hønsehauk and three Common Snipe enkeltbekkasin.

Other new species for the year included a few Rock Pipit skjæprpiplerke.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Øygarden 01 January 2012 - Bird Race Day 3

Light southerly, rain

Took things rather easier today and only saw a few good birds.

At Alvheim a Pergegrine vandrefalk was the best bird of the day, four Velvet Scoter sjøorre also seen here along with White-tailed Eagles havørn and a single Kittiwake krykkje.

Solberg produced just a few Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt and a Kittiwake krykkje along with most of the usual species.

Tjeldstø produced little for me - just a few each of Common Gull fiskemåke, Black-headed Gull hettemåke, Little Auks alkekonge and a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk. The nine Bean Geese sædgås and a Kestrel tårnfalk were also reported from Tjeldstø