Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hernar 19 October 2016 - The Ace of Spades!

Light SE, some clouds at first, hot and sunny later.

WHAT A DAY!!!!!!!

As usual when I do a full day on Hernar at this time of year knowing that ringing is going on a few km away I had Motorhead's classic "Ace of Spades" in my head - especially the line about "gamblings for losers". Even the text message I sent Nigel as I boarded the boat at Hellesøy - "who has the joker this time?" fitted well with this.

Too dark to bird on arrival....

The point of no return, All bets are off from here on in......

It turns out that Nigel had the joker, he didn't even need to say what he had caught when he called: "I've got it" were his first words. "It" was of course SIBERIAN ACCENTOR sibiirjernspurv. Being on Hernar there was no chance I was going to make this. An hour or two later, having "only" found an Arctic Redpoll polarsisik I got another call - this time about a GLOSSY IBIS bronseibis at Skjold. How could have I got things so wrong?!! 

Glossy Ibis bronseibis obviously finding enough food on a pool that , with the exception of the occasional Green Sandpiper, is largely ignored by birds.

Last time I did this it was me who had the best hand but today I started regretting being stuck on the island....However, it was a magic day with loads of photo opportunities and some decent birds. And I managed to connect with the ibis once back on the mainland - albeit in fading light.

The best bird(s) on Hernar was at least one exilipes Arctic Redpoll polarsisik. There could well have been more of them in a Redpoll gråsisik flock feeding on the island but I could only claim one for sure. At least four, probably five Water Rail vannrikse, a couple of Peregrine vandrefalk, a Waxwing sidensvans and a selection of the usual later autumn migrants made this a good day out.

Arctic Redpoll polarsisik

Arctic above, common below. Just to put any over exposure ideas to bed.....

On the deck this  bird shone

The bird on the right is the one I'm claiming - the unstreaked flanks and blindingly white rump being the main features. The bird on the left has a very white and unstreaked rumpt too but seemed to be in a different class to the one on the right. 

Small bill, loose looking plumage and unstreaked undertail coverts here


Flowering ivy and the hordes of insects it attracted proved the best spot to see most of the day's Blackcaps munk

Chiff-chaff gransanger. A "normal" one given the call.

Two juvenile Peregrines vandrefalk came over together as I headed for the boat home...

There was a life and death Raven ravn fight today. This fight club was eagerly cheered on by at least 15 Hooded Crow kråke

Early morning toad. It was still too dark to bird at this point....

One of the days several Water Rail vannriske running around in the open. And not in a swamp. Only on Hernar.....

A decent variety of interesting geese were also reported from Øygarden during the course of the day - hardly surprising given the number of birders heading out to see the all the goodies on show......

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