Sunday, August 31, 2014

Nautnes 31 August 2014 - Day of the Wrynecks

Light southerly winds, warm and sunny.

I had pretty much written the day off after some late night work stuff. However, a walk at Tjeldstø produced a surprise Wryneck vendehals (despite having thought of exactly where I had today's bird whilst watching the bird at Herdlevær yesterday).

Back home a couple of hours on the terrace proved well worth it. First off another Wryneck vendehals sang close by - yet another new species for the house. After hearing about yesterday's raptor bonanza at Tjeldstø it was no surprise to see at least six Kestrel tårnfalk and five Sparrowhawk spurvehauk heading south. Several Swifts tårnseiler, a Sand Martin sandsvale, Greenshank gluttsnipe and a decent mix of other species meant that being stuck at home wasn't so bad after all......

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Herdlevær 30 August 2014 - Just what the doctor ordered.

Light easterlies after rain in the night couldn't really go wrong....

Quite a productive couple of hours early on at Herdlevær today. Finally got out and about and there was plenty of interest. Stuff obviously on the move with things passing overhead in addition to resting birds.

Little Stint dvergsnipe

Highlight was a cracking Little Stint dvergsnipe which gave the best views I've had of this species in Øygarden - they are often just fly-bys or seen on offshore islands. Today's bird feed on the shore and was also very vocal.

Dunnock jernspurv

Golden Plover heilo

Above and below first year Ringed Plover sandlo

Adult Ringed Plover sandlo

Plenty of other waders including a Knot polarsnipe, several flocks of Golden Plover heilo, Ringed Plovers sandlo, Snipe enkeltbekkasin and a Greenshank gluttsnipe.

A Peregrine vandrefalk put in an appearance a few times as did a Kestrel tårnfalk.

Plenty of passerines too with the best being a Wryneck vendehals.

Back at Nautnes another Kestrel tårnfalk and more waders flying over.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Hellesøy 29 August 2014 - Otter and Ice Cream

Light easterly breeze, warm and sunny

A stroll at Sæle revealed that there is stuff on the move. No real opportunity to check the place thoroughly but I did get a glimpse of a Garden Warbler hagesanger.

Adult Common Tern makrellterne

Otter with catch at Hellesøy

At Hellesøy the main goal was an ice cream but whilst eating this an Otter surfaced with a fish - always nice to see. Another encouraging sight was a flock of seven Common Tern makrellterne of which at most three were adults - so at least some pairs have fledged young. A couple of Twite bergirisk, the usual White-tailed Eagles havørn and most of the usual suspects also seen here.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Herdlevær 28 August 2014 - Woodland irruption?

Calm and mostly sunny.

A stroll at Herdlevær quickly produced some rarities in the form of at least two Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb. At least as interesting were a couple of Nuthatches spettmeis- obviously migrants at this locality.

Migrant Nuthatch spettmeis

Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb. Wrong camera settings - but wing-bars still obvious

Heavily censored picture of the same bird. Wing bars conveniently hidden by foliage....

The appearance of these woodland species, coupled with the apparent migration attempt of some Willow Tits granmeis a couple of days ago could be an indication that there will be an irruption of woodland species again this autumn.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Oslo 20 August 2014 - Twitching?

Most people who know me know I don't twitch. Ever.

So is this twitching or not?:
Whilst sitting at Bergen airport waiting for a plane to Oslo I heard about the first Pallas's Gull steppemåke for Norway turning up only a few hundred metres from where I was headed. There was never any real dilemma - I'm not daft enough to walk right past such a bird just to prove a point.

First year Pallas's Gull steppemåke, Oslo opera house

And as rarities in the east of Norway, especially slap bang in the middle of Oslo are not exactly thick on the ground I had no choice but to take a fifteen minute diversion to see this cracking bird - the first I've seen since I was off Israel a few years back.....

Accidentally picked up Caspian Gull kaspimåke at the same time. Makes leaving Øygarden a little easier.

Not twitching - honest!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Solberg 19 August - Golf anyone?

Strong northerly winds all day.

Curlew storspove at Solberg.

Not out in any sense of the word. A Greenshank gluttsnipe from the house and bog-all at Solberg.

Some random moments with the scope from the kitchen window showed there were lots of Gannets havsule passing.

I'll be taking up golf and / or ending it all in the immediate future,


Monday, August 18, 2014

At home 18 August 2014 - Lucky house

Northerly winds, heavy showers during the morning.

Still no prospect of ever getting out, thankfully I live where I do and not getting out doesn't necessarily mean no birds - just not knowing what has been missed.

Hanging out the washing after the worst of the morning's rain produced a nice Merlin dvergfalk chasing Redpolls brunsisik over the garden,

Later a trip to the shops meant that I caught up with a nice mixed flock of Ruff brushane and Snipe enkeltbekkasin at Tjeldstø. If I had got as far as actually getting out of the car who knows what might have turned up....

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Øygarden 17 August 2014 - If not in this life then the next

Southerly winds with rain at times.

At Nautnes a flock of three Green Sandpiper grønnstilk and a flock of nine Ruff brushane were both new for the house list. A flock of Greylags grågås heading south, a White-tailed Eagle havørn and most of the usual suspects were also seen from the trrace.

Ruff brushane at Tjeldstø

Tjeldstø produced another Green Sandpiper grønnstilk a small flock of Ruff brushane, five Snipe enkeltbekkasin, a couple of Common Sandpiper strandsnipe, a few Grennshank gluttsnipe and generally a lot of stuff on the ground in the flooded fields.

One of three flocks of Greylag grågås seen migrating today

A late walk at Herdlevær produced more of the same including a couple more flocks of Greylag grågås on the move, a few Golden Plovers heilo, Ringed Plovers sandlo, a Peregrine vandrefalk and a few Redshank rødstilk.

All in all obviously plenty on the move and somewhat frustrating to get out birding- One day soon I'll actually get out and about.....honest!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tjeldstø 14 August 2014 - Waders on the move

Calm and sunny

A couple of Ruff brushane at Tjeldstø

Back in Øygarden at last but with no prospect of getting out and about in the immediate future. A five minute pause at Husvatnet on the way to the shops produced at least nine Ruff brushane, two Bar-headed Geese stripegås, five Teal krikkand and a Sand Martin sandsvale of note.

Back home at Nautnes the best birds were a Tree pipit trepiplerke flying over (a predictable new for the house), a Greenshank gluttsnipe and a Green Sandpiper skogsnipe along with a variety of other waders.