Sunday, April 30, 2006

Skogsøy 30 April 2006

Barnacle Geese hvitkingås coming out of the sun...

Wind in the east and gradually increasing today. Few divers passing with "only" two adult White-billed Diver gulnebblom heading north. The most numerous bird today was Barnacle Goose hvitkingås with around 1150 seen - not a major day but perhaps the beginning of something.
Lesser Redpoll brunsisk in the woods was the first observation at Skogsøy this year.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Skogsøy 29 April 2006 - WOW!!!

A superb day on all counts, perfect weather and plenty of birds. Not only that but the local bird club from Bergen had a trip out to Skogsøy. They couldn't have picked a better day - highlights were 15 cracking adult White-billed Diver gulnebblom, over 130 Red-throated Diver smålom, a Red-necked Grebe gråstrupedykker and the year's first Arctic Skua tyvjo.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Skogsøy 28 April 2006

Female Linnet tornirisk at Herdlevær
One of the many Fieldfare gråtrost at Herdlevær today.

Strong northerly winds put the brakes on migration today - but didn't stop it. Two adult White-billed Divers gulnebblom flew north at close range - I could see the glint in the eye of one of them! Otherwise much the same as usual including Great Skua storjo and Velvet Scoter sjøorre.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Skogsøy 27 April 2006

The dog doesn't get too excited about White-bills....

Siskin grønnsisik in the garden

A superb day on all counts, with lovely weather and plenty of birds. Quality rather than quantity was the name of the game today with four fantastic summer plumaged White-billed Diver gulnebblom heading north at close range. Another large diver passed by close but due to a number of mitigating circumstances could not be clinched - frustrating.

A few small flocks of Barnacle Geese hvitkingås totalling over 120 may be the forerunner of things to come - perhaps they will pass in thier thoudands tomorrow....

Other stuff included 70 Red-throated Diver smålom, a couple of Great Skua storjo and the first Black Guillemot teist for a while.

Back home at Tjeldstø a couple of Siskin grønsisik were in the garden along with the chaffinches.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Øygarden 26 April 2006

Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove

Eurasian Jackdaw kaie

Eurasian Oystercatcher tjeld

More strong winds and even more rain meant that Skogsøy was something of a wash / blow out today, although eight Barnacle Geese hvitkingås flew over as I left.

A quick look at Tjeldstø produced two new species for this locality for 2006: a House Martin taksvale and a Eurasian Jackdaw kaie (a scarce migrant at Tjeldstø). Another noteworthy bird was a male Pied Wagtail svartryggerle, possibly the same bird that has been around for a while.

In the evening the sun came out - and so did the Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove that first showed on 23rd April.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Skogsøy 25 April 2006

Strong southerly winds and rain meant that today was never going to be good for migration. However, good numbers (for the time of year) of Northern Gannet havsule, a few Fulmar havhest, two Great Skua storjo and best birds of the day - a pair of Northern Pintail stjertand flying past at point blank range.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Tjeldstø 24 April 2006

Not a lot happening at Skogsøy today, or anywhere else for that matter it seems. A pair of Common Redshank rødstilk at Tjeldstø were the first I have seen there this year.

Barn Swallows låvsvale, two Sand Martin sandsvale and a Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove also reported from Tjeldstø.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Skogsøy 23 April 2006

Just a short (and late!) seawatch today. Decent numbers of Common Scoter svartand on the move and three Shelduck gravand heading north.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Skogsøy 21 April 2006

Rock Pipit skjærepiplerke
Cormorant storskarv

An excellent seawatch in superb weather. The first day that Red-throated Diver smålom numbers have reached three figures; a single Great Northern Diver islom and two White-billed Diver gulnebblom also headed north.

Great Cormorant storskarv and Common Scoter svartand numbers seem building up as Common Gull fiskemåke and Oystercatcher tjeld numbers drop.

Other birds included a late Little Auk alkekonge on the sea in front of the look out, a fly by Merlin dvergfalk and the first Purple Sandpipers fjæreplytt for a while.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Skogsøy 20 April 2006

Rock Pipit skjærepiplerke
Great Northern Diver islom

FANTASTIC weather today!! Glorious sunshine and actually WARM for the first time this year....

Migration went well, with Red-throated Diver smålom numbers continiuing to build slowly, a few Tufted Duck toppand on the move along with the usual Common Scoter svartand and so on.

A Great Northern Diver islom turned up on the sea again, a different bird from 12 April.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Skogsøy 19 April 2006

Oystercatcher tjeld

The first birds to pass today were the first two Barnacle Geese hvitkingås of the year. Generally a quiet start to the day, however, things picked up after some rain further south cleared up.

It seems that the peak migation for both the Oystercatcher tjeld and Common Gull fiskemåke passage is over.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Skogsøy 18 April 2006

The quietest day yet migration wise, although several Northern Fulmar havhest and a Great Skua storjo were seen.

A passing gull dropped this pipefish on me today - these fish are a very common prey item for the larger gulls at Skogsøy. When normal prey has been unavailable species such as terns have turned to pipefish for food and choked their young on them. Adult gulls obviously don't have this problem - though why the gull thought I was in need of a pipefish I can only imagine...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Øygarden 17 April 2006

Generally quiet day with best bird being a Great Skua storjo heading north. New for Skogsøy this year was a flock of 10 Linnet tornirisk as I left. Also worth a mention were two Kestrels tårnfalk.

A male Pied Wagtail svartryggerle at Tjeldstø

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Skogsøy 16 April 2006

A miserable start to the day with a few hours of rain and strong south westerlies. However, it cleared up nicely and plenty of birds were to be seen. New species for the spring were a Northern Fulmar havhest and a Northern Wheatear steinskvett.

Numbers of Red-throated Diver smålom picking up slowly with 41 heading north today. Two White-tailed Eagle havørn and a lone Little Auk alkekonge were also worth a mention.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Skogsøy 15 April 2006

Despite having to cut the seawatch short today there was still more to be seen than yesterday including the birds of the day: a pair of Northern Pintail stjertand heading north. Another new species for Skogsøy this spring was a pair of Tufted Duck toppand, also heading north.

A lone Whooper Swan sangsvane remains, most swans have already migrated.

There have now been over 22000 birds logged since 01 April and over 36000 since 15 March.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Skogsøy 14 April 2006

Meadow Pipit heipiplerke
Rock Pipit skjærepiplerke
Picture taken using binoculars as telephoto lens

A "normal" days migration with average numbers of most species and a total of over 1100 birds. Only new species today was a Hedge Accentor jernspurv singing on the way out to the look out.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Skogsøy 13 April 2006

Dismal weather today, strong south westerlies with rain - a worst case scenario at Skogsøy. However, all was not lost as an adult Glaucous Gull polarmåke drifted past at close range and a Peregrine vandrefalk, the first for several days, came past chasing a flock of Common Gulls fiskemåke.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Skogsøy 12 April 2006

Great Northern Diver islom

New species for the spring at Skogsøy were the year's first Great Skua storjo and a Golden Plover heilo both of which headed north. A Song Thrush måltrost joined the dawn chorus of Redwings rødvingtrost, Blackbirds svarttrost, Wrens gjerdesmett and Robins rødstrupe for the first time this year.

A moulting Great Northern Diver islom swam past the lookout, also heading north.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Skogsøy 10 April 2006

Collared Dove tyrkedue
Meadow Pipit heipiplerke

A quiet day migration wise, though a winter plumaged Great Northern Diver islom headed south at close range and a juvenile White-tailed Eagle havørn came past ridiculously close. A male Snow Bunting snøspurv almost collided with me as it sped north....

Bird of the day in an Øygarden context was a Collared Dove tyrkedue at Herdlevær - this species is barely annual here. A White Wagtail linerle also flew over.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Øygarden 09 April 2006

An eventful day for two reasons: the first White-billed Divers gulnebblom of the season were seen - a winter plumaged bird heading south and two birds well on their way into breeding plumage heading north. The other event was that there was actually ANOTHER BIRDER at Skogsøy today - for the first time in weeks.

Other birds included excellent views of a Snow Bunting snøspurv and a Woodcock rugde on the way out to the look-out.

At home a Brambling bjørkefink joined the Chaffinches bokfink at the bird feeder.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Skogsøy 08 April 2006 - Spring ?!

Spring migration?

The day started with rain, sleet and snow; in other words not very promising and not very springlike - despite singing Redwing rødvingstrost and roding Common Snipe enkeltbekkasin on the way out to the look-out. At times there was little or no visibility at all, however, between the snow storms and after things cleared up the day turned out quite well. Highlights were a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull polarmåke, once again at close range, and on the sea, a superb Great Northern Diver islom coming into summer plumage. Good numbers of other migrants heading north too.

Great Northern Diver islom

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Skogsøy 06 April 2006

South westerly and overcast with showers - however, over 4000 Common (Mew) Gulls fiskemåke heading north - with over 2000 per hour during the peak period. Normal numbers of everything else....

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Skogsøy 05 April 2006

Rock pipit skjærepiplerke
Rock Pipit skjærepiplerke

Fantastic weather and a correspondingly good migration. Highlights were a Glaucous Gull polarmåke heading north (not really a surprise after yesterday's blow) and a Merlin dvergfalk in off the sea right over my head.

The first Ringed Plover sandlo and Kestrel tårnfalk for the year at Skogsøy were also noted.

Bonus sighting were two Orcas, not as close in or as prolonged views as the other day - but nice to see all the same.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Skogsøy 04 April 2006

Red-throated Diver smålom on the sea off Skogsøy

Quietest day thus far birdwise - weatherwise it was another story with northerly winds well in excess of 30 knots (15 m/s) at times. Unbelievable that birds were passing at all. Best birds were a party of seven Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove heading north, one of which was well on the way into breeding plumage.

Other birds included a Red-throated Diver smålom on the sea - obviously not deeming it worthwhile to head north today.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Skogsøy 03 April 2006

A quiet day migration wise - probably due to the fog early on. Whilst waiting for the fog to clear I had small flocks of Chaffinches bokfink and a flock of 35 Blackbird svarttrost flying in off the sea.

Bird of the day was a Merlin dvergfalk flying over as I returned to the car.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Skogsøy 02 April 2006

A good days migration with over 2700 birds logged, mostly Common Gull fiskemåke and Eurasian Oystercatcher tjeld. Best bird was a lone Sandwich Tern splitterne heading north together with gulls - this is something of a rarity in Hordaland.

Passerines included Snow Bunting snøspurv, Skylark sanglerke, Meadow pipits heipiplerke and a flock of 25 Common Starling stær flying in off the sea.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Øygarden 01 April 2006

Migrating Cormorants storskarv

Technically, in a Norwegian context, bird of the day was a Carrion Crow svartkråke heading north up the coast. I much preferred the Red-necked Grebe gråstrupedykker that headed south, or the small numbers of Snow Bunting snøspurv for that matter.
Today was the first day with over 100 Cormorant, as is usual a number of flocks passed behind the lookout and would have been missed had I been sitting lower down as I do when it is windy...
Two Red-throated Diver smålom headed north up the fjord past Tjeldstø in the evening - they seem to be migrating up both sides of Øygarden today.