Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tjeldstø 27 February 2007 - Iceland Gull

Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke, Tjeldstø

A chance look out of the sitting room window on an otherwise birding free day produced a new species for my house list (and Tjeldstø for that matter) in the form of an Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke. Almost certainly the same bird that has been around in Øygarden since December.

Another species of note was a Red-throated Diver smålom heading south down Hjeltefjord.

A quick trip down to Solberg produced a single Oystercatcher tjeld and an Atlantic Puffin lunde but was otherwise uncharacteristically quiet.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Øygarden 26 February 2007 - Spring arrives

Pied Wagtail svartryggerle with caterpillar, a through-window-covered-with-rain shot

Finally out birding again!

Despite virtually no visible migration the day was quite productive with a couple of Oystercatcher tjeld and a Red-throated Diver smålom heading north both the first of the year at Skogsøy. One of the best birds in an Øygarden context was a female Goosander laksand at Herdlevær.

Other birds of interest included a flock of at least 20 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt, a Woodcock rugde, a Peregrine vandrefalk making repeated hunting sorties out over the sea, a couple of Little Auk alkekonge heading north, a Puffin lunde (a first for 2007) and at least one Black Guillemot teist on the sea.

Most of the resident species now singing - including Crested Tit toppmeis and Winter Wren gjerdesmett.

Back at Tjeldstø a surprise bird in the garden was a male Pied Wagtail svartryggerle - perhaps just as interesting was the fact that it managed to find a caterpillar despite there still being snow on the ground. Managed to squeeze off a few through the living room window record shots of this unusual occurrence. Pied Wagtail are an uncommon but regular early spring visitor to these parts.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Svellingen 25 February 2007 - Cleanup

Oil from the Server still very much in evidence at Svellingen

Bark used as an absorbent for the oil in the foreground, new oil in the centre of the picture

Not out birding yet again, just a quick look at Svellingen - it seems that despite obvious cleanup efforts some new oil is still being washed up.
Only birds of note here was a distant flock of approximately 40 Purple Sandpipers fjæreplytt and a few White-tailed Eagle havørn.

Rather frustratingly I noticed that at least one of the 11 or more Tree Sparrows pilfink in my garden is ringed - unfortunately the light was going and I managed to read only the last digit of the number in addition to confirming that the ring is Norwegian.....better luck tomorrow?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Tjeldstø 24 February 2007

Still not getting out and about but from the house managed to pick up the first Teal krikkand of the year for Tjeldstø with a pair present on Husvatnet. Other signs of spring included three Northern Lapwing vipe.

The Great Black-backed Gulls svartbak have started their courtships so there is plenty of noise at times. Other birds included 11 Common Scoter svartand on the sea in front of the house and a juvenile White-tailed Eagle havørn.

A VERY brief look at Solberg / Alvheim produced nothing other than a few eagles, 60+ Long-tailed Duck havelle and an oiled Guillemot lomvi - another "Server" vivtim?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tjeldstø 21 February 2007 - Blackbird eating Cuckoo Wrasse

Blackbird svarttrost feeding on Cuckoo Wrasse blåstål

Cuckoo Wrasse blåstål

Haven't managed to get out birding for what feels like an eternity but in reality "only" a little over a week. There have been some indications of migration with a few small flocks of Starling stær seen at Tjeldstø and other places in Øygarden.

Three Greylags grågås still present at Tjeldstø and a few Brambling bjørkefink dropped into the garden to join the ever growing flock of Chaffinch bokfink and the usual Tree Sparrows pilfink.

More unusually a Blackbird svarttrost fed on a freshly dead Cuckoo Wrasse blåstål I threw near one of my bird feeders.

Whooper Swans sangsvane feeding at night at Husvatnet, Tjeldstø

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Rong 14 February 2007

Raven ravn at Rong
This long dead sheep must have meant it was Raven heaven for a while....

Only bird of note was a distant Kestrel tårnfalk hunting over some islands. Spring in the air with a few pairs of Raven ravn displaying.

A minimum of four White-tailed Eagle havørn sitting around but other than that just good numbers of Red-breasted Merganser siland with around 50 present.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Øygarden 13 February 2007

Typical view of Woodcock rugde - despite this one getting up at my feet....

Just a quick check at a couple of localities. At Solberg there were two Eurasian Curlew storspove and a Woodcock rugde. A few White-tailed Eagle havørn, a Black Guillemot teist and the usual flocks of Long-tailed Duck havelle.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Skogsøy 12 February 2007

Cold and sunny but rather quiet birdwise. Best birds were a 3cy Glaucous Gull polarmåke heading south past the lookout. A 2cyIceland Gull grønlandsmåke at Herdlevær may have been the same bird that has been around since before the new year.

Other stuff included a Little Auk alkekonge, a Black Guillemot teist already in breeding plumage, a White-tailed Eagle havørn and most of the usual suspects.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Øygarden 09 February 2007

Whooper Swans sangsvane and Greylags grågås on Husvatnet, Tjeldstø
Blue tit blåmeis
Calm, sunny and very, very frozen.

A quick stroll at "Hjelme West" produced a Great Northern Diver islom heading south and a Woodcock rugde in the woods. A Black Guillemot teist and at least 160 Long-tailed Duck havelle proved that at least some seabirds have survived the oil spill.
Tjeldstø produced a couple of Common Snipe enkeltbekkasin, a few Greylags grågås with the Whoopers sangsvane and a few Redwing rødvingtrost.