Friday, October 31, 2008

Øygarden 31 October 2008

Treecreeper trekryper
Lots of Blackcap munk about

A quick check of a few localities produced some more late autumn birds.

At Solberg a flock of 15 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt were the first of the autumn, a Curlew storspove was also on the shore. Two White-tailed Eagle havørn, a Black Guillemot teist and a Snow Bunting snøspurv were other birds of interest here.
Alvheim was quiet on the sea but more eagles, a Peregrine vandrefalk and an adult Great Northern Diver islom meant that it was worth the trip.

At Sæle the best bird was a Treecreeper trekryper. Otherwise the bushes were full of Blackcap munk.

A Goshawk hønsehauk flew over the reserve at Tjeldstø.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tjeldstø 30 October 2008 - Back at last!

Lapland Bunting lappspurv

Jackdaw kaie

Chiff chaff gransanger
Skylark sanglerke

Just took a stroll around the reserve and had plenty of late autumn specialities including a flock of six Long-tailed Tit stjertmeis, a couple of Jackdaw kaie, a Lapland Bunting lappspurv, several Skylark sanglerke, a couple of Goldfinch stillits and at least one Chiff chaff gransanger.

Other birds of interest included a White-tailed Eagle havørn, Sparrowhawk spurvehauk, a couple of Wigeon brunnakke, a Teal krikkand, four Greylagas grågås, a couple of Whooper Swans sangsvane and a Willow tit granmeis.

16-29 October 2008 - While I was away....

Waxwing sidensvans

Not surprisingly I missed out on plenty of stuff whilst at work.....huge numbers of thrushes on the move, some Waxwing sidensvans, another Yellow-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger and more besides. I did catch some Waxwings sidensvans in Kristiansand city centre but would rather have seen them at home...

Observations by visiting English birders that may not have been reported elsewhere included Gyr Falcon jaktfalk, more Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb, Glaucous Gull polarmåke, Short-eared Owl jordugle and much more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Øygarden 15 October 2008

Blackcap munk at Herdlevær
Great Spotted Woodpecker flaggspett

The best bird of the day was seen before I even left the house - the first Goldfinch stillits of the autumn.
Plenty of stuff on the move today with flocks of thrushes and finches pretty much everywhere. Herdlevær is something of a construction site at the moment but there were still plenty of birds around including a couple of Blackcap munk, Bramblings bjørkefink, 100+ Common Crossbill grankorsnebb and a several hundred thrushes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Øygarden 14 October 2008

Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper at Hjelme

By recent standards an average day, but in reality plenty to see. Technically the best bird was a Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb but this was pushed into second place by the first, and possibly only, two Jackdaw kaie of the autumn.

Two each of Lapland Bunting lappspurv and Snow Bunting snøspurv flying over the reserve.

Other stuff included a few Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett, a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk, plenty of Redwing rødvingetrost, a few Tree Sparrow pilfink and a female Goldeneye kvinand now back for the winter.

A Yellow-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger was reported from Sæle.

A late afternoon visit to Hjelme in failing light produced a Water Rail vannrikse and a late Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Skogsøy 12 October 2008

A couple of hours spent at Skogsøy were far from easy with strong onshore winds, heavy squalls and sea spray to contend with.

Not a lot on the move, the highlights were a Great Northern Diver islom heading north and a late Arctic Tern rødnebbterne heading south. A Northern Wheatear steinskvett was also out at the lookout point.

Otherwise just a few Long-tailed Ducks havelle, a Velvet Scoter sjøorre, a steady passage of Gannets havsule and several Kittiwake krykkje.

Hernar 11 October 2008

Great Grey Shrike varsler - as flighty as ever and impossible to get close to
Plenty of Twite bergirisk still about
Migranting Blue tit blåmeis in the heather

"Fjord Express" comes in to Hernar to take us home

Despite a rather windy forecast the day was spent on Hernar. Conditions were far from ideal for checking the gardens but there were quite a few birds about, some new and some probably "left over" from the previous visit a couple of days ago. Atleast two, probably three Water Rails vannriske and the Great Grey Shrike varsler were probably the best birds.

Other species of interest inlcuded a late Swallow låvesvale, a female Peregrine vandrefalk, a Merlin dvergfalk and a Snow Bunting snøspurv.

Twite bergirisk still very obvious, though numbers continue to decrease, various duck species flying down the fjord and the usual White-tailed Eagle havørn.

The real species of the day, however, must have been the Blue Tits blåmeis. Huge flock(s) roamed the island, alighting anywhere and everywhere and feeding on whatever was available. At least one of the birds seen was ringed....wonder where that came from.

Before going to Hernar we checked Breivik breifly where the best bird was a lone Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb together with Common Crossbills grankorsnebb.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tjeldstø 10 October 2008

Strong southerlies and rain today but nevertheless some birds of interest including the first Black Grouse orrfugl I have seen at Tjeldstø. This species should really be seen here a good deal more regularly considering its status elsewhere in Øygarden.

A HUGE Peregrine vandrefalk came very close as it hunted thrushes through the reserve.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Hernar 09 October 2008 - A Great day out!

A picture worth crawling in the mud for - Jack Snipe kvartbekkasin
Garden Warbler hagesanger
Great Grey Shrike varsler
Goldcrest fuglekonge

A most enjoyable day out with plenty to see without any major rarities. Highlights were superb views of a Jack Snipe kvartbekkasin, a Great Grey Shrike varsler and an up close and personal experience with one of two Water Rails vannrikse present on the island. The latter find provoked an unlikely sounding conversation:
"Where is the Water Rail?"
"Behind the fridge"
Where else would a Water Rail have been...? Perhaps one had to be there.

The supporting cast included at least one Lapland Bunting lappspurv, a flock of six Snow Bunting snøspurv, a Garden Warbler hagesanger, at least a couple of Chiff-chaff gransanger and two Blackcap munk. A Nuthatch spettmies may well have been the most unusual bird of the day on Hernar.

Chiff-chaff gransanger

Nuthatch spettmeis

Twite bergirisk numbers were somewhat reduced from the previous visit with "only" around 60 present, a couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn and plenty more besides meant that there was barely a dull moment. Plenty of thrushes and large numbers of Blue tit blåmeis on the move.

Typically shortly before the boat home arrived a series of unidentified birds including at least three different warblers decided to show themselves......
And with such and enjoyable day it didn't seem to matter that we dipped on the Rosy Starling rosenstær seen at Herdlevær today.....

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Breivik 07 October 2008

Golden Plover heilo
Loads of Great Spotted Woodpecker flaggspett about in Øygarden this autumn.

Barely out and about today, just the briefest of walks at Breivik. Little to see, just a small flock of Golden Plover heilo, several Snipe enkeltbekkasin, a couple of Great Spotted Woodpecker flaggspett and most of the usual suspects.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Skogsøy 06 October 2008

Snow Bunting snøspurv
Snow Bunting snøspurv
Northern Gannet havsule
Common Crossbill grankorsnebb

Very little passage during a late and short seawatch. Just small numbers of Gannets havsule and a few Kittiwake krykkje. The first Long-tailed Duck havelle of the season put in an appearance and a single Red-throated Diver smålom headed south.

A party of several Snow Bunting snøspurv feeding out near the lookout point were birds of the day.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Øygarden 02 October 2008

Above and below Northern Wheatear steinskvett at Breivik

Whooper Swan sangsvane at Kollsnes

Yet another excellent days birding in superb weather - despite only a short time in the field.

At Breivik the star bird was a fly-over Red throated Pipit lappiplerke. A Grey Wagtail vintererle also flew over and a lateish Wheatear steinskvett were also seen here. A Whooper Swan sangsvane (present since 30.09) was the first of the autumn and there were plenty of commoner migrants about.

At Tjeldstø a couple of Pinkfeet kortnebbgås put in a brief appearance and a first year Kittiwake krykkje headed north up Hjeltefjord (both observations of more interest than an adult White-tailed Eagle havørn which buzzed the gulls).
A Goshawk hønsehauk was seen at Hjelme.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Øygarden 01 October 2008

Robin rødstrupe
Golden Plover heilo
Red Admiral

Just did a short stroll at Tjeldstø today. Plenty of birds but nothing very special - a Goshawk hønsehauk being the best bird. Hundreds of Redwing rødvingetrost on the move and several Great Spotted Woodpecker flaggspett.

Two Yellow-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger reported from Hernar and Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett from Breivik....