Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tjeldstø 14 August 2012 - another garden tick

Sunny with light eastlerly winds.

Belated news from yesterday were two Rough-legged Buzzard fjellvåk seen at Knappen - an excellent find for Øygarden especially given that it is so early.

A flock of 12 Knot polarsnipe flying past my house were new for the house list - now at 163 and also a new species for Tjeldstø (amazingly not recorded here before despite being a common autumn migrant in Øygarden).

Today's stroll around the reserve produced the first Sparrowhawk spurvehauk I've seen this autumn and a Peregrine vandrefalk hunting Golden Plover heilo out in the reserve. A Tree pipit trepiplerke flying over the garden was the first I've had in Øygarden this year.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Skogsøy 13 August 2012 - Little Gull!

Calm and sunny, just the whiff of an easterly breeze.

Spent three hours seawatching from 06:00. Most routine fare (i.e. waders) but a first year Little Gull dvergmåke feeding offshore was far from expected. Unfortunately it kept out of photo range as it fed largely alone but sometimes in the company of Arctic Terns rødnebbterne.

A few mixed flocks of unidentified waders passed and other wader flocks passed without being seen (just heard). Small numbers of waders landed on the shore - these included a a couple of Sanderling sandløper, two Knot polarsnipe and several Turnstone steinvender.

At least 241 Oystercatcher tjeld headed south as did several Whimbrel småspove. Other stuff included eight Great Skua storjo, a flock of over 40 Greylags grågås, a flock of Grey Heron gråhegre and a Black Guillemot teist.

Once again a light northerly passage of Shags toppskarv.

Onshore the best of the sightings was a flock of 15 Twite bergirisk.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tjeldstø 12 August 2012

Overcast, light southerly breeze.

A stroll around the reserve produced the first Sand Martin sandsvale of the year for Øygarden. Other migrants included at least one Greenshank gluttsnipe, a few flocks of Snipe enkeltbekkasin and a small flock of Crossbills grankorsnebb - the first for ages.

A Whimbrel småspove flying over was another new species for year in the reserve.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tjeldstø 11 August 2012 - New species!

VERY calm indeed in the morning.

Little about in the reserve but a small flock of waders proved to be four Ringed Plover sandlo and a Sanderling sandløper - amazingly the first record of the latter species for the reserve! This brings the total number of species seen at Tjeldstø up to 202 (and the 100th species I've seen here this year).

Herdlevær 10 August 2012 - One less mink

Obviously lots of mink activity again today. This time one of them didn't get away despite making it into the sea - normally this means a clean getaway but today the dog leapt in after it and amazingly still managed to catch it.
The one that didn't get away....

Generally lots of birds about with highlight being a Whimbrel småspove flying south. Otherwise the usual Great Skua storjo, White-tailed Eagle havørn.

Onshore a flock of Redpolls brunsisik showed some amazing variation.....

Gannet havsule

This very pale bird had no streaks on the undertail coverts.....

This Redpoll  was about as red as they come....

Another Redpoll showing very little streaking

Young Wheatear steinskvett

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Hernar 09 August 2012

Light westerlies, mostly cloudy.

Very little in the way of migrants today - single Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper being the only one. And the first I've seen in Øygarden this year.

Plenty of birds about though with an absolute minimum of 60 Twite bergirisk present along with plenty of Meadow Pipit heipiplerke, a few Wheatear steinskvett and the usual Willow Warblers løvsanger and Whitethroats tornsanger.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Øygarden 08 August 2012 - new nest, new ring

Today I found a "new" Eagle Owl hubro nest site - though unfortunately it didn't look like it had been used this breeding season. This nest too contained an BTO (British) metal ring from a wader or duck!

Details of the ring have been sent to the BTO so hopefully I'll know more in a couple of months or so. The chances of it being quite as interesting as the previous ring I found in an Eagle Owl nest are slim but one can alway hope...

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Skogsøy 07 August 2012

Strong northerly winds meant no insects today. Unfortunately not much on the move either...

 Above three pictures: Gannets havsule

 Great Skua storjo
Shags toppskarv

What passed today generally came past a lot closer than a couple of days ago. Plenty of Gannet havsule, a couple of Great Skua storjo, White-tailed Eagle havørn and most of the usual.

Best sighting was a flock of around 25 Knot polarsnipe heading north - first I've seen in Øygarden this year.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Tjeldstø 06 August 2012

Calm and sunny again with a light northerly.

Not the best of conditions for grounded waders but good for migration. A flock of approximately 150 Greylags grågås flew south.

In the reserve a couple of Greenshank gluttsnipe and several Golden Plover heilo present.

Skogsøy 05 August 2012

VERY calm indeed and therefore plenty of biting insects. Nice.

Crested tit toppmeis

Shags toppskarv - already heading north

White-tailed Eagle havørn

Some typical early autumn passage today. In 2.5 hours the following were seen on the move:

Shelduck gravand south 4
Oystercatcher tjeld 80 south
Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove 1 south
Unidentified waders 5+ south
Red-throated Diver smålom 3 south
Common Gull fiskemåke 150 south
Arctic Skua tyvjo 1 north
Great Skua storjo south 9
Great Skua storjo north 1
Common Scoter svartand 9 south
Shag toppskarv 55 north
Black Guillemot teist 1 north
Greylag grågås 37 south

Best sighting was a pod of around 20 Pilot Whales feeding in the distance. Quite a few salmon jumping too - easy to pick up in the calm conditions.

White-tailed Eagle havørn and most of the usual suspects also noted.

A total of six Storm Petrels havsvale were caught and ringed at Herdlevær during the night. For a superb portrait of a bird caught last week see this link.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Herdlevær 04 August 2012

A couple of Golden Plover heilo and a Common Sandpiper strandsnipe were the only indications of autumn migration.

These Greylags grågås will soon be leaving...

Mink - too near the water for the dog to catch

Lots of Willow Warbler løvsanger about

At least two mink were seen, one of which only just escaped the dog. Better luck next time!

Tjeldstø 03 August 2012

Another calm day.

Best birds were two Swift tårnseiler feeding with good numbers of Swallows låvesvale.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Tjeldstø 02 August 2012

Calm and with light rain during the morning.

A stroll around the reserve produced some typical birds for the time of year - highlights being a couple of Green Sandpiper skogsnipe and at least two Greenshank gluttsnipe.

Good numbers of recently fledged Tree Sparrows pilfink and House Sparrows gråspurv around the farms.