Sunday, August 31, 2008

Skogsøy 31 August 2008 - wader migration

Mixed flock of Dunlin myrsnipe and Sanderling sandløper
Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper at Herdlevær

Pied Flycatcher svarthvitfluesnapper

An excellent day will well over 1200 birds heading south - largely waders. Oystercatcher tjeld were in the majority with Ringed Plover sandlo and Dunlin myrsnipe in second and third place. Other waders included at least 39 Sanderling sandløper and 14 Red Knot polarsnipe. Needless to say many waders went unidentified.

The first Velvet Scoter sjøorre for some time headed south and did a few small flocks of Common Scoter svartand.

For recent times there were quite a few terns (ca 90) heading south including several Common Tern makrellterne which have been more or less absent all year.

Raptors were very much in evidence too with a young White-tailed Eagle havørn (colour ringed), a Peregrine vandrefalk, a Merlin dvergfalk and a couple of Kestrel tårnfalk.

At Herdlevær there was eveidence of migration too with a couple of Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper, a Pied Flycatcher svarthvitfluesnapper and a Whinchat buskskvett of note.

A Spotted Redshank sotsnipe flew south over Tjeldstø in the evening

Tjeldstø 30 August 2008

Nothing to report other than a Spotted Redshank sotsnipe beside Husvatnet

Friday, August 29, 2008

Øygarden 29 August 2008

Ruff brushane at Kollsnes
Illustrating the variation in Ruff brushane plumage
Black Guillemot teist at Herdlevær
Black Guillemt teist (click for larger image)

Starling stær feeding on rowan berries
Ruff brushane at Kollsnes

A short check at Herdlevær produced a small flock of Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb and one or two Black Guillemot teist.
Also couple of Ruff brushane at Kollsnes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Skogsøy 26 August 2008

Peregrine vandrefalk
Cormorants storskarv
Part of a flock of Starling stær at Herdlevær
Leucistic Starling (cropped from image above)

Decided late last night to see what the gale force southerlies and accompanying rain produced. The results were far from disappointing - in light winds and sunshine I had the first Sooty Shearwater grålire of the autumn and a single Manx Shearwater havlire both heading south.

There were plenty of other interesting species including four southbound Great Skua storjo, a Peregrine vandrefalk or two hunting migrant waders far out to sea and a variety of waders, largely Oystercatcher tjeld but also Ruddy Turnstone steinvender and a Ruff brusfugl among others.
At Herdlevær a large flock of Starling stær included a leucistic bird and a Yellow wagtail gulerle was also present. The Starling were alernately foraging in the fields and feasting on the abundant rowan berries.

Not easy to go home and start working.....

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Øygarden 24 August 2008

Young Hedge Accentor jernspurv
Otter with fish
Southbound Oystercatcher tjeld

A walk at "Hjelme West" left me wishing I had taken the zoom lens. A few wader flocks out on the islands remained unidentified with the exception of ca 15 Ruddy Turnstone steinvender. Gannets havsule very much in evidence in the strong southerly winds.
In the woods a couple of Woodcock rugde were probably birds that have bred in the area.
An otter catching fish and later sleeping on a rock was probably the best sighting.
At Husvatnet, Tjeldstø a couple of Dunlin myrsnipe and a Ruff brusfugl fed whilst a Kestrel tårnfalk hunted further north in the reserve.

Øygarden 23 August 2008 - Alarm clock blunder

Goldcrest fuglekonge
The flare at Kollsnes....any effect on nocturnal migrants?

New tripod head.....Manfrotto 501HDV
Northbound Shags toppskarv - one of the few species on the move today

Finally a few hours birding.....and this time with my new tripod head, a Manfrotto 501HDV. A necessary purchase since my trusty old head well and truly gave up the ghost during a recent trip to Falsterbo.

Started the day off unwittingly early, having set my alarm clock to 00:30 and not the more conventional 04:30. Despite a number of not-so-subtle clues to this mistake I remarkably didn't notice this until after I had watched a hunting Eagle Owl hubro (seeminlgy at a Hooded Crow kråke roost) for several minutes at 01:30.....

I continued out to Skogsøy where nocturnal migrants heard passing included Ringed Plover sandlo, Common Sandpiper strandsnipe and Oystercatcher tjeld.

A couple of hours seawatching were generally quiet but a Peregrine vandrefalk flew past, at least one Red Knot polarsnipe fed on the rocks and a couple of Red-throated Diver smålom meant it wasn't a waste of time.

Few seabirds, just several Gannet havsule, a Fulmar havhest and at least 30 "guillebills" alke/lomvi in groups on the sea.

Migrants seen on the way home included a couple of Whinchat buskskvett at Herdlevær and a Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper at Breivik - the latter being the first I have seen in Øygarden this year.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tjeldstø 21 August 2008

STILL not getting out! However, not quite birdless as a Spotted Redshank sotsnipe flew over the garden in the evening.

Øygarden 19 August 2008

The boat to Hernar
Approaching Hernar
Some promising areas on Hernar....

Half an hour in the early morning beside Husvatnet, Tjeldstø proved productive. Highlight was a Wood Sandpiper grønnstilk actively feeding around the edge of the lake. A couple of Ruff brusfugl flew in and a Merlin dvergfalk buzzed the reserve - promptly scaring out some Dunlin myrsnipe.
Overhead migrants included Tree pipit trepiplerke, Golden Plover heilo and Ringed Plover sandlo. Roaming flocks of up to 20 Fieldfare gråtrost now seen daily.
A tourist trip to Hernar in the afternoon proved that this island is quite promising - during an absolutely not birding half an hour ashore I had a Great-spotted Woodpecker flagspett and a Garden Warbler hagesanger. Hopefully there will be time for some daytrips there during the autumn.

Tjeldstø 18 August 2008

Not getting out and about much at all. However, a few minutes out of the house today produced a flock of four Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb flying over and the first Wigeon brunnakke of the autumn - a flock of three on Husvatnet.

A Whimbrel småspove and a Grey Wagtail vintererle were seen a Hellesøy a couple of days back during a fishing trip.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A flock of Ruff brusfugl dropping into the reserve
A juvenile Blackbird svarttrost rests after feasting on berries....from my garden.
At least one Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb flying over the garden was the 151st species for the garden list.
A productive walk through the reserve today produced 10 Ruff brusfugl, several Common Snipe enkeltbekkasin, a Greenshank gluttsnipe, a Green Sandpiper skogsnipe and a Collared Dove tyrkedue as best birds. Other waders in the area included a couple each of Oystercatcher tjeld (most have now departed) and Common Sandpiper strandsnipe as well as migrating Ringed Plover sandlo and Golden Plover heilo.

Tjeldstø 12 August 2008 - Tall ships

Only the briefest of walks today resulted in a Merlin dvergfalk hunting over the reserve. Bird of the day was a Wood Sandpiper grønnstilk migrating over the house at 23:30 - first this year in Øygarden.

Other stuff seen from the house included a Greenshank gluttsnipe and a juvenile Black-headed Gull hettemåke.

The spectacle of the day must have been the Tall Ships race heading up to the start point of the next leg of the race.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Skogsøy 05 August 2008

Collared Dove tyrkedue, Skogsøy

Seawatching was a total disaster, a deluge stopped any passage there might have been from 06:00 onwards. A Shelduck gravand was the only bird of interest.
Soaked through I waited and although the rain eased off it didn't stop so I headed back. A Peregrine vandrefalk meant the walk wasn't a total waste of time.

A drive-by at Herdlevær produced quite a bit of actvity - the rain had obviously deposited migrants in the gardens there - among them a Pied Flycatcher svarthvitfluesnapper and a Sedge Warbler sivsanger. "Only" one confirmed Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb today - a male in the "bombehagen".

A couple of Collared Dove tyrkedue and a Tree Sparrow pilfink were also worth a mention.

Tjeldstø 04 August 2008 - not birding

Raven ravn
Muscovy duck at Toft

Green sandpiper skogsnipe

Didn't really get out but managed a hour on the terrace in the evening. A good flock of 130+ Greylags grågås headed south, bang on time. During the last week or so there has been much practise flying and some minor movements but this was the first big flock of the autumn.

Other stuff included a flock of three Greenshank gluttsnipe together with a ruff brusfugl heading south and a Green sandpiper skogsnipe flew over.

At Toft a Muscovy duck fed by the roadside.

Tjeldstø 03 August 2008 - the last Cuckoo?

Typically for the time of year the reserve held a Green sandpiper skogsnipe and a couple of Greenshank gluttsnipe. A Cuckoo gjøk was possibly the last of the year for the reserve - typically a few are seen around this time of year then none until the next spring.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Tjeldstø 02 August 2008 - yet more Two-barred Crossbill

Crested Tit toppmeis
Greenshank gluttsnipe
Lesser Redpoll brunsisik
Lesser Redpoll brunsisik

The Two-barred Crossbill bånkorsnebb influx / invasion continues with a flock of six flying over Tjeldstø - a patch first for me but not the first record for the reserve.
The southerly winds and rain during the night were no doubt responsible for two Greenshank gluttsnipe out in the reserve - first of the autumn at Tjeldstø. Migrating Golden Plover heilo and Ringed Plover sandlo were also in the area. Other birds of note included a flock of seven Twite bergirisk -typically they become more obvious at this time of year.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Toftøy 01 August 2008

Sinensis Cormorant mellomskarv
sinensis Cormorant mellomskarv
Goldeneye kvinand

Visiting the woods / lake / reedbeds at Toftøy was well worth the trip. Highlights today were at least 10 Two-barred Crossbills båndkorsnebb and about the same of Common Crossbill grankorsnebb. Many more must be waiting to be found in Øygarden alone. The area was full of activity with several each of Sedge Warbler sivsanger and Whitethroat tornsanger along with all the usual woodland stuff.
The lake held threee sinensis Cormorants mellomskarv - all positively identified birds I have seen on freshwater in Øygarden have been of this race. The first Goldeneye kvinand of the autumn also present.