Friday, June 27, 2014

Hernar 26 June 2014 - Summer

Calm and sunny.

In between migration seasons there was not much chance of anything special today but a rare chance to make it out to Hernar had to be taken. The highlight were a couple of flocks of Swifts tårnseiler.

Otherwise plenty of the usual Hernar stuff about with Sedge Warblers sivsanger, loads of Twite bergirisk, and Wheatear steinskvett.

Back home at Nautnes a Collared Dove tykerdue was the first I've seen in Øygarden this year and another new for the house list.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Skogsøy 24-25 June 2014 - Camping pays off....

Calm with light southerly winds.

Spent the night out at Skogsøy with the girls and no scope. The last bit was proved to not be a very sensible idea....

Not really birding on 24th but had a flock of four Whimbrel småspove heading north.

On the morning of 25th I woke early and spent a couple of hours seawatching between 0500-0700 with just binoculars. The results were well worth it - highlight was a Long-tailed Skua fjelljo drifting north just before 0600. This was followed by a couple of Arctic Skuas tyvjo which also passed within decent binocular range.

Other stuff included 14 Red-throated Diver smålom heading north, singles of Fulmar havhest and Kittiwake krykkje, a flock of six Guillemot lomvi and some movement of moulting Eiders ærfugl. Further evidence that autumn is upon us was a flock of eight Curlew storspove heading south.

Note to self: ALWAYS check ALL pictures have uploaded from camera to PC before deleting.

Skogsøy 23 June 2014 - Autumn!

Northerly breeze and sunny again.

A short and relatively late seawatch produced little movement but showed that autumn migration is underway with a flock of Oystercatcher tjeld and a lone Lapwing vipe heading south.

Peregrine vandrefalk

A Peregrine vandrefalk put in a brief appearance and there were small numbers of most of the usual suspects passing including a few Red-throated Diver smålom and a couple of flocks of Common Scoter svartand.

Frustratingly two small waders headed north just out of range - definitely felt like they could be phalaropes..... 

Tjeldstø 22 June - The Young Ones

Sunny with fresh northerly winds the last few days.

Work and family commitments have prevented any meaningful birding and certainly give a certain affinity to the many busy parent birds at the moment. Most species now have young to feed - families of Wheatear steinskvett are "everywhere" - very pleasing result this year.

Recently fledged Wheatear steinskvett

Herring gull gråmåke

A late afternoon walk at Tjeldstø produced a Golden Plover heilo as the only migrant - though it did do a display flight as well. Plenty of young Greylags grågås and Herring Gulls gråmåke and a single brood of Mallard stokkand seen.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Herdlevær 03 June 2014 - Yellow wag

Hot and sunny.

Still a struggle to get out and about in any meaningful way so hopes were not high for a quick midday walk at Herdlevær. Only bird of note was a Yellow Wagtail gulerle - I could have had good views and pinned a name on it but messed it up. I heard Yellow wag call but all I could see was a White Wagtail linerle. Thinking I'd made a mistake on the call I carried on walking and flushed the bird which was behind the rock the commoner wagtail was sitting on. Got to trust those instincts more....

Woodcock rugde still roding in the evenings over the house at Nautnes.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Solberg / Tjeldstø 02 June 2014 - the biggest Norwegian Garden list?

Not really out but a singing Sedge Warbler sivsanger and a Whimbrel småspove at Solberg were almost worth a mention.

At Tjeldstø I found two Eider ærfugl nests and several gull nests - including a Herring gull gråmåke nest where the eggs were hatching.

An almost forgotten web page on my website - the house list ranking page -  produced a very interesting result - the highest garden list in Norway that I have now heard of is 182 - Geir Mobakken on Utsira (where else?!!). I thought my old list at Tjeldstø which ended up on 167 was quite respectable but Geir's is quite possibly unbeatable in Norway......

I took a quick update on my current house list. Exactly 100 behind Mr Mobakken's.......but give it 14 years and I'll be a LOT closer!

Øygarden 01 June 2014 - Breeding Grey-headed Woodpeckers?

Sunny with light northerly winds.

Hjelme West produced little of interest - just a few Red-throated Diver smålom passing and a flock of at least 60 terns (probably Arctic Tern rødnebbterne) on one of the islands.

Elsewhere Cuckoos gjøk still being heard "everywhere" and a female Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett at a locality where a male was heard singing recently gave hope that this species is breeding in Øygarden again this year.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Skogsøy 31 May 2014 - Both geese!

Sunny with strong northerly winds.

Barnacle Goose hvitkinngås overhead

Part of the Barnacle Goose hvitkinngås flock

Pale-bellied Brents ringgås

A 40 minute seawatch at Skogsøy in the early afternoon gave some interesting results: first a flock of 60 pale-bellied Brent Geese ringgås headed north. This was only to be expected given both the date and the weather conditions.

Whilst hoping for more of the same a second flock of geese came over - this time Barnacles hvitkinngås.

Seeing both these species migrating on the same day is quite unusual - but perhaps becoming more and more likely as in recent years there has been a trend of a second later wave of Barnacles hvitkinngås.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Herdlevær 30 May 2014 - Northerly winds but no joy

Wind changed to the north but a couple of hours at Herdlevær produced little of interest, Small numbers of the usual suspects including several Red-throated Diver smålom but nothing out of the ordinary. Some Great Black-backed gulls svartbak plucked mackerel from sea with apparent ease - even leavng them on the shore whilst they went back for more,

Elsewhere a White-tailed Eagle havørn nest held one young.