Friday, May 30, 2008

Breivik 30 May 2008 - Red-footed Falcon

Following a stressful evening yesterday I found my luck had held - after around an hour of searching I found the Red-footed Falcon aftenfalk that was found at Breivik on the evening of 29th May. With my youngest daughter tagging along getting close enough to photograph the seventh record for Hordaland and the first for Øygarden was not exactly easy....

Other birds in the area included singing Blackcap munk, Sedge Warblers sivsanger, Skylark sanglerke and a Whinchat buskskvett.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Øygarden 13 May 2008

"Northern" Golden Plover heilo
Heron hegre with eel
Sand Martin sandsvale
Heron hegre
Record shot of Black-tailed Godwit svarthalespove

Started the day off with nice views of some "northern" Golden Plover heilo feeding by the roadside at Kollsnes. One of these birds seemed to have rather a lot of black on its underparts extending onto (although not covering) the undertail coverts.

At Tjeldstø the best bird was an islandica Black-tailed Godwit svarthalespove, a regular visitor in small numbers at this time of year. A rarer bird at Tjeldstø, though not as exciting were three Jackdaw kaie flying over.
Other stuff inlcuded a couple of Sand Martin sandsvale, a Heron hegre catching an eel and a flock of 40 Common Scoter svartand heading north up the fjord. Two Whimbrel småspove rested beside Husvatnet in the afternoon - this is a species that is very common on migration up the west coast of Øygarden but rarely strays onto the east side for some reason.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Skogsøy 12 May 2008 - Divers!

White-billed Diver gulnebblom
Black-throated Diver storlom
Grey Heron hegre

A good day of diver migration was enjoyed by several birders today. Highlights were 214 Red-throated Diver smålom, two Great Northern Diver islom, two White-billed Diver gulnebblom and at least one Black-throated Diver storlom.
Other birds of note included three Arctic Skua tyvjo, a couple of Peregrines vandrefalk and a Carrion Crow svartkråke.

Small numbers of Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås also passed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Tjeldstø 11 May 2008

Common Tern makrellterne
White Wagtail linerle

The day started off foggy but cleared up mid-morning. A few good birds today including a second year Iceland Gull grønlandsmåke heading north up the fjord and a flock of 40 Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås also heading north. A Dunlin myrsnipe flew over together with a couple of Ringed Plover sandlo.
Otherwise 30+ "commic" terns out over the fjord. Small numbers of Arctic Tern rødnebbterne and a few Common Tern makrellterne also around.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Skogsøy 10 May 2008 Little Auks

Common Gull fiskemåke in the fog
Gannet havsule entangled in rope
Redpoll brunsisik - one of the commonest species in the woods at Skogsøy

There were high hopes today - but a combination of sea fog and southerly winds meant it was quieter than hoped for. However, it was not a total failure with a White-billed Diver gulnebblom, a Black-throated Diver storlom and (for the time of year) an exceptional 22 Little Auk alkekonge heading north.
Six Arctic Tern rødnebbterne and a single dark phase Arctic Skua tyvjo were both firsts for the year at Skogsøy. A very late date for the first skua....
Other stuff inlcued small numbers of the other auks, several Fulmar havhest, a few Kittiwake krykkje and over 20 Whimbrel småspove.

A paur of Twite bergirisk gathering nesting material and a hunting Peregrine vandrefalk were other highlights.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Skogsøy 09 May 2008

White-billed Diver gulnebblom
White-tailed Eagle havørn with Garfish hornhjel
Migrating Tufted Ducks toppand
Oystercatchers tjeld

Did a short and late seawatch - highlights were three White-billed Diver gulnebblom heading north, 79 Red-throated Diver smålom and a flock of 19 Whimbrel småspove.

A shoal of garfish hornhjel attracted a flock of gulls and an immature White-tailed Eagle havørn which managed to snatch one.

The only other birds of interest were a pair of Twite bergirisk - a species rapidly vanishing from the coast.

Tjeldstø 08 May - Arctic Terns arrived

Dotterel boltit in Gullfjell, unfortunately not in Øygarden - but just about visible from it...

Spent most of the day out of Øygarden but two Arctic Tern rødnebbterne over the house in the evening were the first of the year.

Took a hike on my old patch Gullfjell where highlight was a flock of four Dotterel boltit in addition to the usual Rough-legged Buzzards fjellvåk, Ring Ousel ringtrost etc.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tjeldstø 07 May 2008 - Peregrines

Peregrines vandrefalk hunting Common Gulls fiskemåke

Not birding much today, took advantage of heavy fog to get some domestic stuff out of the way. However, it cleared up nicely and the noise of terrified gulls over the garden had me rushing outside with the camera as it generally means only one thing - raptors. This time it was two Peregrine vandrefalk on the prowl. An adult and a juvenile by the looks of things....

Other highlights included the first singing Cuckoo gjøk of the year at Tjeldstø (the first for Øygarden was seen several days ago), the first Common Whitethroat tornsanger (the first for Øygarden was reported from Hellesøy on 4th May) and a singing Lesser Whitethroat møller back at its "usual" spot.

The first of the Lapwing vipe chicks hatched today.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Skogsøy 06 May 2008

Redwing rødvingtrost coughing up a pellet
Willow Warbler løvsanger
Male Stonechat svartstrupe
Porpoise nise
Two White-billed Diver gulnebblom

Female Linnet tornirisk

Virtually no wind and clear skies meant that it got to hot for the first time this year.....

Typically for the conditions there was not a lot passing, although there was some stuff of interest including two White-billed Divers gulnebblom together, 75 Red-throated Diver smålom, 45 Whimbrel småspove and, perhaps most unusually a small party of Little Auk alkekonge which flew in and landed on the sea.

LOADS of porpoises about today - easy to spot them with the mirror-like seas.

Finally got around to going to see the much photographed Stonechat svartsrupe pair....

Monday, May 05, 2008

Tjeldstø 05 May 2008

Heavily cropped record shots of a Spotted Redshank sotsnipe

Meadow Pipit heipiplerke

Barely even out of the house, just the briefest of strolls to Husvatnet. A fine summer plumaged Spotted Redshank sotsnipe was the star bird - a very unusual spring observation for these parts. Loads of Common Redshank rødstilk being very vocal.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Tjeldstø 04 May 2008

Turnstone steinvender beside Husvatnet
Lapwing vipe

A surprise find were three Ruddy Turnstone steinvender beside Husvatnet - a rare freshwater occurrence for this species in Øygarden.

Wheatear steinskvett everywhere now, a couple of Twite bergirisk, the first Oystercatcher tjeld egg and a Great Blacked Backed Gull svartbak nest with two eggs and all the usual species obviously well on the way to nesting - Redshanks rødstilk and Common Snipes enkeltbekkasin went up from nest sites both in and out of the reserve - including in an area earmarked for development....

Skogsøy 03 May 2008

Part of a flock of Barnacle Geese hvitkingås
Raven ravn
White-tailed Eagle havørn

It was positively crowded at the lookout today with a massive four birders hoping for some diver migration - something that failed to materialise for some reason. Fog further south and southerly winds meant that conditions were never going to be ideal...

A mere 20 Red-throated Diver smålom passed, along with small numbers of all five auk species (getting late for Little Auk alkekonge), over 30 Velvet Scoter sjørre, some Tufted Duck toppand and the usual southbound movement of Shags toppskarv.

The best bird of the day (and a new species at Skogsøy for me) was a male Gargany knekkand along with a probable female heading north with a small flock of Teal krikkand. Other highlights included a flock of 25 Barnacle Geese hvitkingås, a few Sand Martin sandsvale, a Peregrine vandrefalk and several Whimbrel småspove.

There was no sign of the recently reported Stonechat svartstrupe pair near Kollsnes.

The first House Martin taksvale for Tjeldstø this year turned up in the evening along with a few more Sand Martin sandsvale. Another new species to arrive was a Sedge Warbler sivsanger - singing at the usual spot near Breivik.

Tjeldstø 24 April 2008

Greylags grågås fleeing from the usual
Tree Sparrow pilfink fresh from a bath in Husvatnet

A short stroll in the evening produced a nice flock of 20 Golden Plover heilo in the reserve. Otherwise just the usual Tree Sparrows pilfink and more returning migrants.