Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Øygarden 15 May 2007

White Wagtail linerle, Hjelme
No chance to get to Skogsøy today, which was a pity. Good numbers of Red-throated Diver smålom along with other migrants including Tufted Duck toppand and Oystercatcher tjeld were seen during a short seawatch from Svellingen.

Adult Greylag grågås leading chicks to safety

Greylag grågås families are now to be seen everywhere in Øygarden - hopefully the recent expansion in numbers will continue such that the local White-tailed Eagle havørn, Eagle Owl hubro and Peregrines vandrefalk will have plenty to eat despite the reduction in the number of seabirds.

Greylag goslings grågås such as these are a common sight at present

The cleanup after the "Server" oil spill is nearing completion, however, oil booms, absorbents and bags of oiled debris are still be seen in a few locations in Øygarden.

Oil booms still deployed at Sæle.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Herdelvær 14 May 2007

White wagtail linerle
Lapwing vipe nest

Eider ærfugl nest
Went to see if the Wryneck vendehals reported at Herdlevær yesterday was still around, needless to say there was no sign of it.
Stumbled over an Eider Duck ærfugl nest and a Northern Lapwing vipe nest as some small compensation.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Øygarden 13 May 2007

A big day at Skogsøy - which I managed to miss - almost 300 Red-throated Diver smålom, White-billed Diver gulnebblom, small numbers of both Pomarine Skua polarjo and Arctic Skua tyvjo along with single Great Skua storjo and a small flock of Barnacles kept observers busy until around 13:00. A Carrion Crow svartkråke and a Common Whitethroat tornsanger were reported from Herdlevær.

A similar selection of species were seen from Svellingen where three Red-necked Grebe gråstrupedykker were also seen.

At Tjeldstø I heard the first Cuckoo gjøk of the year, the Sedge Warblers sivsanger were still singing and a few Common Terns makrellterne also arrived.

Skogsøy 11 May 2007

Great Black-backed Gull svartbak
Northern Gannet havsule

Over 150 Red-throated Diver smålom, a Great Northern Diver islom and a White-billed Diver gulnebblom all headed north, as did three Arctic Skua tyvjo. Two small flocks of Barncale Geese hvitkingås gave hope of a "big day" but this failed to develop. Little else moving over the sea, just some small flocks of distant terns.

Once again a White-billed Diver sat on the sea around dawn but soon disappeared.

Bird of the day was a Rook kornkråke that seemed to come in off the sea around dawn.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Øygarden 10 May 2007

Not out much but saw a female Merlin dvergfalk hunting over Breivik where the Sedge Warbler sivsanger was still singing.

At Tjeldstø a Peregrine vandrefalk took what was probably a Teal krikkand. Two Sand Martins sandsvale and a House Martin taksvale joined the abundant Swallows låvsvale feeding in the reserve.

Two pairs of Wigeon brunakke and the long staying Barnacle Goose hvitkingås still on Husvatnet.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Øygarden 08 May 2007 - First Pom

Sedge Warbler sivsanger, Tjeldstø
Not a hope of using autofocus on this typical view of this species!

Willow Warbler løvsanger, Herdlevær

Somewhat predicatably started the day off seawatching at Skogsøy. Generally fairly quiet with the highlight being virtually the first bird of the day - and my all time favourite - a splendid summer plumaged Pomarine Skua polarjo. Also seven Arctic Skua tyvjo and at least one Great Skua storjo.

Just 24 Red-throated Diver smålom and two White-billed Diver gulnebblom today along with most of the usual species including Velvet Scoter sjøorre, Whimbrel småspove and several Fulmar havhest.
At Breivik the second new species for Øygarden this year was a singing Sedge Warbler sivsanger. At least two, probably three more present at Tjeldstø where I also found a Curlew storspove nest containing three eggs.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Øygarden 07 May 2007 - big day missed?

Few opportunities for birding today but a flock of five Barnacle Geese hvitkingås resting at Solberg indicated that things were happening. On returning home a flock of around 70 flew over the house - proving that Barnacles regularly pass over land and up the east side of Øygarden. This is not the first time migrating Barnacle Geese have been observed at Tjeldstø.

Tjeldstø 06 May 2007

An abrupt change in the weather to strong southerlies with rain. Best bird was a Yellow Wagtail gulerle out in the reserve, there was also a pair of Wigeon brunakke and a Black-headed Gull hettemåke beside Husvatnet.

At least two families of recently fledged Greylag geese grågås also on Husvatnet will no doubt have problems with becoming dinner for the ever present White-tailed Eagles havørn. A few Northern Gannets havsule headed down the fjord.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Skogsøy 04 May 2007 Yet more divers...

Otter with wrasse at Skogsøy

Flock of resting Red-throated Diver smålom

With a brisk NNW wind blowing I was hoping for some skuas, instead there were five White-billed Diver gulnebblom, 212 Red-throated Diver smålom, a Great Northern Diver islom and an unidentified WB/GN Diver kjempelom. Unusually one of the White-billed Diver landed on the sea for a short while, a couple of Red-throated Diver flocks also landed briefly, actively feeding before moving on.

Nine Velvet Scoter sjøorre and 18 Atlantic Puffin lunde were among the other birds that passed.
Probably the best observation, however, was an Otter that came swimming past with a fish in its mouth - not exactly an everyday sight.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Skogsøy 02 May 2007 More White-billed Diver

Northern Gannet havsule
Flock of migrating Red-throated Diver smålom
Yet another great day at Skogsøy with plenty of sun, wind and divers. A total of 129 Red-throated Diver smålom, a massive 18 White-billed Diver gulnebblom and a single Black-throated Diver storlom were the highlights. An Arctic Tern rødnebbterne was the first of the year at Skogsøy and a pale phase Arctic Skua tyvjo had a go at a Common Gull fiskemåke before continuing northwards.
Amazingly there have now been more White-billed Diver gulnebblom seen between 29.04 and 02.05 than were seen during the entire 2006 season! This is more a reflection on what a poor spring 2006 was for this species. However, double figure counts three days in a row may well be a record.
Small numbers of other seabirds also noted including a Northern Fulmar havhest, 21 Black-legged Kittiwake krykkje, nine Atlantic Puffin lunde, two Black-headed Gull hettemåke and a Velvet Scoter sjøorre.