Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Skogsøy 28 Feb 2006

Not birding at all but couldn't help noticing a few strings of Northern Gannets havsule heading north along with a few Kittiwake krykkje. As usual a Rock pipit skjærpipilerke was present at the lookout.

The main purpose for the trip was to prepare a shelter for the forthcoming seawatching marathon; how long it will last is anyones guess. The prototype needs some modifications but in essence it will look something like the picture below, hopefully it will keep some rain off my telescope lens.

A trip out in failing light produced a White-tailed Eagle havørn, several Starling stær and the usual selection of duck.

Goldeneye kvinand

Monday, February 27, 2006

Tjeldstø 27 Feb 2006 - Winter strikes back

View towards Rotevatnet

Snipe tracks in the snow

The most snow I've seen all winter fell today. A quick stroll in the reserve produced a couple of Common Snipe enkeltbekkasin near the fox farm and a Velvet Scoter sjøorre on the sea. Three White-fronted Geese tundragås and two Greylags grågås still around.

A Sparrowhawk spurvehauk had a go at the Greenfinches in the garden

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Øygarden 26 Feb 2006

A 15 minute look at the sea near Herdlevær produced at least 40 Gannet havsule heading north. It would have been a good day at Skogsøy.

At Tjeldstø three White-fronts tundragås and two Greylags grågås flew over the garden.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Svellingen 25 Feb 2006 - Migrants on the move?

Starling stær - early arrival or overwinterer?

Eider ærfugl

A quick look at Svellingen produced an Oystercatcher tjeld which may have been a spring migrant but may have been one of the occasional overwintering birds. One Eurasian Curlew storspove was flushed by a White-tailed Eagle havørn and a Northern Gannet havsule was (amazingly!) the first one I've seen this year.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Tjeldstø 24 Feb 2006

All the geese from yesterday still present, now feeding in the fields. Other stuff included a couple of Common Scoter svartand, five Long-tailed Duck havelle, a Razorbill alke and the first Rock Pipit skjærepipilerke for some time. A flock of 19 Starling stær may have been new arrivals but it is hard to tell for sure.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Tjeldstø 23 Feb 2006 - More geese

Superb weather again, the rise in temperature thawed part of Husvatnet at Tjeldstø and attracted a mixed flock of geese that frantically washed and preened in the open water. Two Bean Geese sædgås, at least one of which showed characteristics of Tundra Bean Goose, three White-fronts tundragås and two Greylags grågås were present.

A White-tailed Eagle havørn was probably the cause of concern / panic among the gulls and crows.

Of little or no birding interest, but a curiosity for passers by, were two Muscovy duck near Alvheim. This is a species I have seen before in Øygarden, the last time being at Herdlevær.

Øygarden 22 Feb 2006

Fantastic calm and sunny weather.

Just a very quick check at Solberg produced a few Velvet Scoter sjøorre along with the Long-tailed Ducks havelle.

At Alvheim at leat three White-tailed Eagle havørn visible simultaneously.

Most of the freshwater is currently frozen, one of the four Whoopers sangsvane on Rotevatnet, Tjeldstø is pictured below. This one was by far the most active - it was actually standing up.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Tjeldstø 18 Feb 2006

Three White-fronted Geese tundragås and two Bean Geese sædgås reported from Tjeldstø today.

Reporter: Egil Frantzen

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Solberg 14 Feb 2006

SW and rain but far from birdless. Just a flying visit after work.
Highlights were 22 Purple Sandpipers fjæreplytt and two Black Guillemot teist. Otherwise just the usual including around 60 Long-tailed Duck havelle and 10 Common Scoter svartand.

Tjeldstø 13 Feb 2006

Just a very quick check of the reserve after work. Still five Greylags grågås around, five Starling stær and 18 Mallard stokkand.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Tjeldstø 11 Feb 2006 - Bus stop

Best bird today was a Peregrine Falcon vandrefalk over the garden. The five Greylag Geese grågås are still around as are small numbers of Starling stær and Redwing rødvingtrost. Now 11 Whooper Swans sangsvane on Rotevatnet.

The nearest bus stop to my house is fairly unique - it has been converted to a bird hide. Anyone know of any others?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Skogsøy 05 Feb 2006 - Great Northern Diver

The first visit of the year (!!) to Skogsøy was under somewhat unpleseant conditions: a couple of degrees, a strong SW and incessant rain made things uncomfortable; the associated poor visibility caused problems with auk identification.

In the course of an hour 490 auks ("guillebills" alke-lomvi), the vast majority probably Common Guillemots lomvi headed north in large flocks. Not much else passing, just a couple of Little Auks alkekonge, a Black Guillemot teist and three Black-legged Kittiwake krykkje heading south.

The best birds were a male Peregrine Falcon vandrefalk that came right past the lookout point and a superb Great Northern Diver islom feeding in the bay.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Tjeldstø 03 Feb 2006

Obligatory Redpoll shot to start with......

The problem Redpoll still showing in the garden, glimpsed a narrow dark stripe on the undertail coverts today. Still fairly inconclusive though...

A short trip out around the reserve at Tjeldstø in the afternoon produced the two Bean Geese sædgås still together with five Greylags grågås. Also five Whooper Swan sangsvane, 18 Mallard stokkand, a Common Snipe enkeltbekkasin and at least 30 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Tjeldstø 02 Feb 2006 Still stuck in the house....

Two White-tailed Eagle havørn
Some of 15 Starling stær outside the house
Another day of fantastic weather and being stuck inside with an ill child. Took a picture of a couple of distant White-tailed Eagle havørn from my terrace - just because I could. A Coal Tit svartmeis was an unusual garden bird - despite being very common in the woods only a few hundred metres away. Fifteen Starling stær preened frantically on the wires outside the house.
The two Bean Geese sædgås and five Greylags grågås also seen from the house again today
Todays best sighting was not birds at all - three pilot whales feeding in the fjord.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Tjeldstø 01 Feb 2006 - Repoll Headache continues

Todays batch of repoll pictures from my garden may help things along a little. There has been quite a good response to posts on various mailing lists - unfortunately only a little over half the replies are in favour of Arctic Redpoll polarsisik. Its time to start really checking the literature.

The undertail coverts remain resolutely invisible.....

I escaped the redpoll dilemma for an hour in the afternoon and went to look at the sea near Hjelme. Best birds here were two Oystercatcher tjeld and three Eurasian Curlew storspove - a massive number of waders for the middle of winter. Also a couple of Black Guillemots teist, one of which was in breeding plumage. White-tailed Eagle havørn, at least 150 Long-tailed Duck havelle and nine Common Crossbill grankorsnebb - the first for some time