Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hernar 30 September 2008 - Yellow-browed at last

Lapland Longspur lappspurv (click for larger picture)
Above and below record shots of Yellow-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger

Arctic Tern rødnebbterne - last one this year?

Spent another good day on Hernar - the highlight being a nice Yellow-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger. This is the second bird in Øygarden this autumn.
Other good birds included at least one Lapland Longspur lappspurv and a couple of fly over Grey Wagtails vintererle. Although migrants were thin on the ground there were still plenty of birds about with at least 90 Twite bergirisk, a fly over Grey Plover tundralo, an Arctic Tern rødnebbterne and 16 Swallows låvesvale.

A mystery bunting was the one that got away today....

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Skogsøy 27 September 2008

Finally some seawatching - albeit a rather late and lazy day. I did a few hours from 10:00 which were quite productive and it was a case of quality rather than quantity today with best birds being an adult Pomarine Skua polarjo, four Sooty Shearwaters grålire, an Arctic Skua tyvjo, 35 Brent Geese ringgås and 14 Red-throated Diver smålom all heading south.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Øygarden 25 September 2008

An easy morning looking around Herdlevær, Sæle and the briefest of looks at Tjeldstø.

Grey Wagtails vintererle at both Herdlevær and Sæle were the best birds along with a couple of Lapland buntings lappspurv at Tjeldstø.

Still plenty of migrants about with at least two Garden Warbler hagesanger, several Blackcap munk and a Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper.

Plenty of thrushes on the move with Redwing rødvingetrost, Song Thrush måltrost, Fieldfare gråtrost and Blackbirds svarttrost all over the place. Small flocks of Brambling bjørkefink also "everywhere".

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Øygarden 24 September 2008 - more uncertainty

Great Grey Shrike varsler (massively cropped image)
Interesting wagtail - probably eastern form of Yellow Wagtail gulerle

Chiff-chaff gransanger

Another good yet frustrating day. Things started well with a Great Grey Shrike varsler at Breivik. However, it was generally quieter than last time with no waders and few small birds.
A quick check at Herdlevær turned into something of a nightmare - faced with an interesting yet distant wagtail and without my 'scope I was in a dilemma - and ended up running back to the car. It showed some features of Citrine Wagtail sitronerle but was probably one of the strange eastern forms of Yellow wagtail gulerle.
Other stuff at Herdlevær included a Lesser Whitethroat møller, a couple of Blackcap munk and a Chiff-chaff gransanger.
A Red-throated Diver smålom headed south down Hjeltefjord in the evening.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hernar 23 September 2008 - catch that boat!

Pied Wagtail svartryggerle
Yellow Wagtail gulerle
Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett
Twite bergirisk
Fieldfare gråtrost

One would have thought approximately nine hours on the tiny island of Hernar would be enough. However, we were kept busy all day and frustratingly most of the good stuff turned up just as the boat was about to leave. An apparent Olive-backed Pipit sibirpiplerke gave brief views and a call whereas what seemed to be greyish hippolais warbler just left me blank.
Stuff that was actually identified included a Lapland Bunting lappspurv, a Yellow Wagtail gulerle, a Pied Wagtail svartryggerle and a Lesser Whitethroat møller. The pick of the other migrants were a Redstart rødstjert, several Blackcap munk, a Reed Bunting sivspurv and a Garden Warbler hagesanger.
White-tailed Eagle havørn, Merlin dvergfalk and a Black Grouse orrfugl were also seen.
Loads of Twite bergirisk present with at least 70 present. At least 45 species altogether.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tjeldstø 22 September 2008 - Two-barred Crossbill

Male Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb
Willow Warbler løvsanger

It seems the Two-barred Crossbills båndkorsnebb still haven't quite left the area with a small flock present at Tjeldstø today. At least two males were present but, as usual, frustratingly difficult to photograph high in the treetops against a pale sky....
Other migrants included a Common Redstart rødstjert, a couple of Pied Flycatcher svarthvit fluesnapper, a couple of Great spotted Woodpecker flaggspett and a male Blackcap munk.
At least one White-tailed Eagle havørn put up a large flock of gulls out in the fjord.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Øygarden 17 September 2008

Female Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb
A juvenile Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb (probably)
Plenty of Goldcrest fuglekonge about today...
Part of the Golden Plover heilo flock at Breivik

Started the day at Breivik where a flock of about 50 Golden Plover heilo fed with over 30 Ruff brushane and a Curlew storspove. The fields were also full of passerines including a couple of Common Redstart rødstjert, several Wheatear steinskvett, a Skylark sanglerke and a Reed Bunting sivspurv.
Herdlevær was full of stuff and it was impossible to identifiy everything. Best birds here were a small flock of Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb, a Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper, a Pied Flycatcher svarthvit fluesnapper, a female Blackcap munk and several Willow Warbler løvsanger. A couple of Great spotted Woodpecker flagspett and another Reed Bunting sivspurv also at Herdlevær.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tjeldstø 16 September - new species for Tjeldstø

Ruff brushane
Pied Flycatcher svarthvit fluesnapper

An eventful day for Tjeldstø despite no real rarities. A Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper was remarkably a new species for the reserve. Perhaps just as odd was that a Pied Flycatcher svarthvit fluesnapper that turned up in the garden was an addtion to the garden list which now moves on to 153 species.

The best birds were really a Yellow Wagtail gulerle and a fly over Grey Plover tundralo. A flock of 12 Tree Sparrow pilfink was the biggest for some time.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lyngøy & Hernar 13 September 2008

Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper
Curlew storspove
Whinchat buskskvett

Exploring these two islands properly for the first time gave some very promising results. These islands are rather different from each other but both have very good potential.

Plenty of migrants about with best birds being a Common Redstart rødstjert, a late Sand Martin sandsvale and a Lesser Whitethroat møller on Hernar. Other migrants included a Tree Pipit trepiplerke and several each of Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper and Whinchat buskskvett. A Great Spotted Woodpecker flaggspett, two Kestrel tårnfalk and a Merlin dvergfalk were also present on Hernar.
Plenty of Willow Warbler løvsanger, Twite bergirisk, Linnet tornirisk, small numbers of thrushes and plenty more besides....

Waders included Common Sandpiper strandsnipe, Curlew storspove and Knot polarsnipe.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tjeldstø 12 September 2008 - Osprey

Record shot of Osprey fiskeørn
Common Crossbill grankorsnebb
Golden Plover heilo and a Dunlin myrsnipe
Hooded Crow kråke chasing Kestrel tårnfalk

Plenty about gain today with the best bird being a fly over Osprey fiskeørn. Other birds of prey were at least one each of Sparrowhawk spurvehauk and Kestrel tårnfalk.
Eight species of waders in the reserve including a Grey Plover tundralo.
The only passerine of note was a Great Spotted Woodpecker flaggspett.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Øygarden 11 September 2008

Kestrel tårnfalk
White Wagtail linerle

Common Sandpiper strandsnipe

The warm weather continues. South easterly winds produced less migrants than hoped for but there was still stuff to see. At Herdlevær two Kestrels tårnfalk mobbed a Peregrine vandrefalk and there was an obvious passage of waders - albeit too far off to identify.

A Common Sandpiper strandsnipe fed around the "harbour" area but there were few passerines of interest, just some Song Thrush måltrost, Redwing rødvingtrost and Fieldfare gråtrost passing through.

At Sæle there were at least two Blackcap munk, a Garden Warbler hagesanger and a Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper in the hedgerows and a Great spotted Woodpecker flaggspett was also probably a "migrant".

Two Peregrines vandrefalk hunting migrating Common gulls fiskemåke were seen at Hellesøy along with an adult White-tailed Eagle havørn.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Skogsøy 10 September

A light SE with drizzle was not the best of conditions for seawatching but there was still some migration in progress. A couple of hours here produced 15 Red-throated Diver smålom, five Grey Plover tundralo, three Red Knot polarsnipe and a selection of the usual waders heading south. A couple of juvenile Arctic Terns rødnebbterne also headed south - at least some terns have succeeded raising some young this year.

A Peregrine vandrefalk hunted passing Dunlin myrsnipe and other waders. At least 40 Common Crossbill grankorsnebb in the woods.

At Herdelevær the best bird was a Yellow wagtail gulerle. A Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett there was probably a migrant and a young White-tailed Eagle havørn flew over.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Øygarden 09 September 2008

Guillemot lomvi on Hjeltefjord
(click for larger image)

Peregrine vandrefalk

Tug of war between two Great Black-backed gulls svartbak

(click for larger image)

Great Skua storjo on the attack

A fantastic day out in a boat (thanks Bjørnar!!) in superb weather. The above is just a small selection of the days photos....
Highlights included a couple of Peregrine vandrefalk, a Great Skua storjo, 1100 Eiders ærfugl, and few Black Guillemot teist.

One of the very many Eiders ærfugl seen today

There were plenty of other birds to see including a Wheatear steinskvett flying past the boat towards land and small numbers of waders heading south. A few small flocks of Twite bergirisk fed on the outermost islands.

In Hjeltefjord there were still quite a few Guillemot lomvi on the fjord - a lot more than on the "sea" side of Øygarden.

White wagtail linerle at Tjeldstø

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Tjeldstø 07 September 2008 - Little Gull

1cy Little Gull dvergmåke

1cy Little Gull dvergmåke

Arctic Tern rødnebbterne

Lesser Whitethroat møller

Star bird today was a first year Little Gull dvergmåke that turned up in front of the house - a new species for Tjeldstø and for my garden list. It remained resolutely out of range and all I managed were some heavily cropped record shots....

The Lesser Whitethroat møller also remains in my garden, although this too is frustratingly difficult to photograph.

Other news from the last few days included at least 40 Guillemots lomvi on the sea (fjord) yesterday which is something of an unusual occurrence and several still remained today.

A / the Spotted Redshank sotsnipe was last seen on 05 September together with several Ruff brushane.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Tjeldstø 04 September 2008

Spotted Redshank sotsnipe with Ruff brushane
Spotted Redshank sotsnipe

Black-tailed Godwit svarthalespove with Ruff brushane

Plenty to see in a stroll around the reserve today!

Peregrines vandrefalk were very much in evidence, repeatedly having a go at Hooded Crows kråke, Woodpigeon ringdue and anything else that moved.

Although wader numbers were large what they lacked in quantity they made up for in quality. Highlights were a Black-tailed Godwit svarthalespove and a Spotted Redshank sotsnipe.
Passerines included a Lesser Whitethroat møller in my garden and a Pied Flycatcher svarthvitfluesnapper in the reserve.

If not for the tree and the lack of focus this might have been a reasonable photograph of a Peregrine attacking a Crow.....