Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tjeldstø 30 January 2008

A rather pale Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke

Whooper Swan sangsvane
Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt

In rapidly fading light I went out to try and find an interesting pipit that has been frequenting the area. It has been extremely hard to see and is very shy and does not use the shore at all, preferring some boggy areas and manure heaps. However, I failed to find it with certainty today - although it just might have been a rather pale Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke which looks rather different to the other wintering birds. At least one "normal" Rock Pipit was present in addition to the one pictured above.
Didn't really have time to check much else but also had a couple of Little Auk alkekonge, a Great Spotted Woodpecker flaggspett and a Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt.
Amazingly I received a fairly detailed report of a Hoopoe hærfugl seen at Tjeldstø in early December!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tjeldstø 23 January 2008

Female Parrot Crossbill furukorsnebb

Its springtime!
Very much the same as of late, a WHite-tailed Eagle havørn, a Little Auk alkekonge, an overwintering Common Snipe enkeltbekkasin, a Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke and a small flock of Parrot Crossbills furukorsnebb.
A herd of 16 Whoopers sangsvane was the biggest thus far this winter and the first snowdrops of the year meant that is now springtime!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Øygarden 22 January 2008

Brambling bjørkefink
Tree Sparrow pilfink
2cy Whooper Swan sangsvane

Lovely weather but uncharacteristically quiet birdwise. At Hjelme Vest several White-tailed Eagles havørn, a Black Guillemot teist and yet again almost no Eider ærfugl at all. This may be due to the Server oilspill which happened just over a year ago.
In the garden 10 Tree Sparrow pilfink and a couple of Brambling bjørkefink.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Skogsøy 20 January 2008

Conditions far from pleasant with strong onshore winds and several heavy showers. Consequently birds were few and far between. The only things of note were a Gannet havsule, 10 Kittiwake krykkje and a few Little Auk alkekonge. A Curlew storpove fed in grassland near the "carpark".

At Breivik the flock of 36 Greylags grågås were still present and two Starling stær nearby were the first I've seen in Øygarden this year-

Friday, January 18, 2008

Hjelme Vest 18 January 2008

A Cormorant storskarv turned up whilst I was watching the otters
The Hooded Crow kråke actually managed to steal part of this fish! It pestered the otter constantly forcing it to move and expose the fish to the crow who used the opportunity to steal a beakful of fish.

A trip to Hjelme Vest was a wonderful experience, although nothing remarkable bird-wise. A Great Northern Diver islom, a Little Auk alkekonge and a Curlew storpsove were the best birds. Only 45 Long-tailed Duck havelle, a Velvet Scoter sjøorre and four Common Scoter svartand on the sea, along with at least four White-tailed Eagle havørn.

The highlight was a party of three otters fishing. A very bold crow seemed wary but not scared of the otters, in fact the otters tried to get away from the antagonistic bird. Things got worse when some gulls got in on the act, a Herring gull gråmåke also managed to steal a small fish from one of them and when a Great Black-backed Gull svartbak turned up I didn't see the otters again....

A small pod of pilot whales numbering three or four animals were seen in the same place.

Elsewhere I managed a surprise flock of five Bullfinch dompap - usually not easy to see this species in Øygarden.

Øygarden 17 January 2008

Terrible pictures of the Little Grebes dvergdykker at Rong

Checked up on a few sites today. The best sighting was two Little Grebes dvergdykker at Rong, at least one of these birds has been present since the New Year bird race and two were sighted there some days ago.

The Greylag grågås flock at Breivik remains in the same fields but only 23 counted today - although it is probable that a some of them were hidden from view.

Other stuff worth noting included a couple of Common Snipe enkeltbekkasin, 15+ Purple sandpipers fjæreplytt, a Red-throated Diver smålom and a Little Auk alkekonge at Tjeldstø. A flock of at least 45 Purple Sanpipers fjæreplytt was at Solberg.
Six Tree Sparrow pilfink in my garden is somewhat lower than in normal winters, hope they are not disappearing from Tjeldstø too.....

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Tjeldstø 04 January 2008

A brief foray out of the house in the afternoon produced a flock of six Goldfinch stillits and a Common Snipe enkeltbekkasin on one of the few unfrozen areas of marsh.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Øygarden 03 January 2008

Male Long-tailed Duck havelle

One of around 15 White-tailed Eagles havørn seen during the day

One of the Otters oter seen today

Long-tailed Ducks havelle

"Flock" of Curlew storspove at Lyngøy

Spent the day out in a boat checking gull flocks; unsurprisingly no new oiled birds were seen. The majority of the victims will of course be dead by now.

It was a fantastic experience with plenty to be seen including several each of Velvet Scoter sjøorre and Black Guillemot teist. Only a few Little Auk alkekonge and no other auks at all.

Highlight was a Glaucous Gull polarmåke at Tjeldstø, quite possibly the same bird seen on the other side of the fjord at Herdla a few days ago.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Tjeldstø 02 January

Red-throated Diver smålom

Decent Cod torsk - worth not getting good pictures of the diver?

Common Gull fiskemåke

Went fishing instead of birding and ended up in a real dilemma - take decent pictures of a Red-throated Diver smålom OR land a big fish. A diver swam past at reasonable range whilst I was struggling with a fair sized Cod but I was faced with the choice of running for the camera or losing the fish.

The diver looked very different at different angles, other photos show a much steeper forhead and a more prominent white flank patch (or none at all!) - shows how much variation there is with these sometimes difficult species

I went for the fish and had to settle for record shots of the diver at long range. A Common Gull fiskemåke, a Herring Gull gråmåke with a deformed bill and an unidentified small raptor were among other birds seen. No binoculars didn't help......

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Øygarden 01 Jaunuary 2008

Whooper Swan sangsvane near Alvheim
Black Redstart svartrødstjert at Sture
Purple Sandpipers fjæreplytt at Solberg

Kicked the year off very slowly, little more than a few "drive-bys", the Black Redstart svartrødstjert was still there but just a flighty and shy as previously.
A flock of 60 Purple Sandpipers fjæreplytt at Solberg was the biggest thus far this winter and there was a light passage of Little Auks alkekonge down Hjeltefjord (15 in about half an hour). The 34 Greylags grågås at Breivik are still there and have still not tempted anything "better" to join them....
Otherwise just the usual Tree Sparrow pilfink etc in the garden.