Friday, February 27, 2009

Øygarden 27 February 2009

Whoopers sangsvane at Solberg
Colour ringed White-tailed Eagle havørn (the blue ring indicates it is norwegian)

Apparent sinensis Cormorant mellomskarv (and I'm not going by the white head - a feature considered indicative of sinensis by some)

Nothing particularly special today although 35 Purple Sandpipers fjæreplytt were joined by a couple of Oystercatcher tjeld at Solberg. At least 50 more Purple Sandpipers fjæreplytt and another Oystercatcher tjeld were at Hjelme Vest where approximately 160 Long-tailed Duck havelle were also present.
An apparent sinensis Cormorant mellomskarv headed north past Hjelme Vest.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Skogsøy 26 February 2009 - more spring!

Greenland Whitefront tundragås at Breivik
Oiled Herring Gull gråmåke

Oiled Gannet havsule (at least 1km away!)

The first day with any movement worth mentioning this year. A total of nine Oystercatcher tjeld headed north as did at least 20 Gannets havsule. Both were typical late February numbers.
Disturbingly an oiled Herring Gull gråmåke and an oiled Gannet havsule were among the birds seen. Obvious that there has been some kind of oil spill during the last few days...

The Whitefront tundragås remoans at Breivik and is now starting to aquire its "white front".

Øygarden 23 February 2009

A quick look at a few different places produced a few good sightings - a Peregrine vandrefalk and the Greenlanf Whitefront tundragås at Breivik and at least 60 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt at Solberg being the most interesting.

Some indication of new arrivals with several Starling stær with Fieldfare gråtrost at Breivik and four Greylags grågås at Tjeldstø (where several more Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt were also seen)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Øygarden 22 February 2009 - Spring!

The first true spring migrant was seen today - an Oystercatcher tjeld at Hjelme Vest. Another good bird at the same locality was a Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb - proving that some stragglers from last year's invasion still remain in the area.

A minimum of 280 Long-tailed duck havelle was the biggest count of the winter thus far and a Gannet havsule heading north was no surprise.

At Tjeldstø at least 19 Whoopers sangsvane fed on Rotevatnet, Tjeldstø where the male Teal krikkand was also seen again.

Elsewhere there were a few good flocks of Fieldfare gråtrost, at least two of these flocks had Starling stær with them - more than likely these were also new arrivals.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Øygarden 20 February 2009

Frode Falkenburg counts seaduck
Cormorants storskarv and Shags toppskarv

Goshawk hønsehauk at Tjeldstø

Heron gråhegre

Canada Goose kanadagås - possible vagrant from America?

The boat we spent the day on...

Spent the day counting seabirds from a boat. Very much the usual species with one notable exception - a Canada Goose kanadagås on the sea west of Blomvåg. It was a very small looking individual - barely larger than a Cormorant storskarv

Whatever the origins of this particular bird the species is something of a rarity in Øygarden - it is barely recorded annually in the area.
The only other bird of note was a Kestrel tårnfalk hunting over one of the islands west of Rong.
At Tjeldstø one of the first birds of the day was a female Goshawk hønsehauk and one of the last ones a male Teal krikkand.

Tjeldstø 19 February 2009

Whoopers sangsvane
Greylags grågås

Merganser siland

Heron gråhegre

A flock of five Greylags grågås out on the ice on Husvatnet may conceivably have been arriving migrants. Six Whoopers sangsvane were with them - no doubt relocating from Skogsøy now that the thaw is well underway.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hernar 18 February 2009

Spent the morning on Hernar. A decidely spring like feel to the island which was almost totally snow free compared to the snow covered "mainland" Øygarden.

Generally fairly quiet but a Song Thrush måltrost was an unusal winter find. Other birds of interest included several Woodcock rugde, a Snipe enkeltbekkasin, a Curlew storspove, a Redwing rødvingetrost and five Starling stær.

At Tjeldstø a Skylark sanglerke was the highlight along with two Starling stær and a Woodcock rugde.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Øygarden 17 February 2009

White-tailed Eagle havørn at Alvheim
White-tailed Eagle havørn at Alvheim

Grey heron gråhegre

Windy and snowing so not exactly ideal conditions.
A female Scaup bergand at Heggøy (first seen yesterday evening) may well have been the best sighting of the day - either that or a superp Peregrine vandrefalk flying over Husvatnet, Tjeldstø .
Otherwise still plenty of Woodcock rugde to be seen with birds at both Alvheim and Tjeldstø.
The only other bird of interest was a lone Starling stær at Tjeldstø.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Herdlevær 16 February 2009

Little Grebe dvergdykker with three Mergansers siland
Just a drive-by really but quite productive - a Little Grebe dvergdykker fed with Mergansers siland and the Greenland Whitefront tundragås was out on the sea together with three Greylags grågås.

Tjeldstø 15 February 2009

White-tailed Eagles havørn on Rotevatnet

Little about during a brief trip out, just a male Teal krikkand, a couple of Woodcock rugde and two rather ragged looking White-tailed Eagles havørn out on the ice on Rotevatnet.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Skogsøy 14 February 2009

Female Pochard taffeland - a local rarity
Whoopers sangsvane on the shoreline

White-tailed Eagles havørn

Another day, another rarity - this time a female Pochard taffeland - and only the second I have seen in Øygarden. No doubt forced out to the coast due to the cold. Over 20 Whoopers sangsvane present too. A couple of Waxwing sidensvans flew south.
Skogsøy was otherwise very quiet indeed with just a few showy White-tailed Eagles havørn and a Woodcock rugde of any interest.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Solberg 13 February 2009 - Anything but unlucky!

Male Hen Harrier myrhauk
Male Hen Harrier myrhauk

Male Hen Harrier myrhauk

Fieldfare gråtrost

Friday 13th turned out pretty well - a short trip to Solberg really produced the goods in the form of a cracking male Hen Harrier myrhauk. Very much a rarity in Øygarden - and only the second one I've seen locally. For me this is clearly the best bird in Øygarden thus far this year...

The sea was VERY quiet and other birds of interest thin on the ground. Just a Curlew storspove, six Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt and a couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dåvøy 12 February 2009

Female Scaup bergand
Male Goldeneyes kvinand

Goldenye kvinand

A drive-by at Dåvøy produced a female Scaup bergand on the sea with the usual Goldeneye kvinand and Mergansers siland.

Tjeldstø 11 February 2009

Wren gjerdesmett - one of the many species that must be really struggling in the current cold spell.

Much the same birds as yesterday - highlights were a male Kestrel tårnfalk, a Woodcock rugde and a Snipe enkeltbekkasin. Also at least one Rock pipit skjærpiplerke, Fieldfare gråtrost and most of the usual fare.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Herdlevær 10 February 2009

Woodcock rugde
White-tailed Eagle havørn

The wonderful weather continues. A male Kestrel tårnfalk hunting over one of the islands was the best bird but other birds of interest included a Woodcock rugde stuck in a fence (but otherwise seemingly in good condition, a Starling stær and a Redwing rødvingetrost.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Øygarden 08 February 2009

Greenland Whitefront tundragås (left) at Breivik

First winter Glaucous Gull polarmåke

Finally managed to get some birding in - a superb day to be out with sunshine and little wind.

Highlights included the long-staying Greenland Whitefront tundragås still hanging in there at Breivik together with a couple of Greylags grågås.

The second year Glaucous Gull polarmåke was still showing well at Tjeldstø where Teal, krikkand, Snipe enkeltbekkasin and Woodcock rugde were also observed.

At Hjelme Vest the highlight were AT LEAST 14 White-tailed Eagle havørn! Other stuff here included a minimum of two Great Northern Diver islom, 280+ Long-tailed Duck havelle and a flock of around 50 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt.

Elswhere in Øygarden the Eagle Owls hubro have started singing....

Tjeldstø 07 February Tjeldstø

Not out at all - somewhat frustrating in the good weather. The only birds of note were a Teal krikkand, a Tree Sparrow pilfink and a Common Snipe enkeltbekkasin.

Tjeldstø 06 February 2009

Barely out and about but managed to see the first Skylark sanglerke of the year at Tjeldstø during the shortest of walks. A trip to the shops produced a second year Glaucous Gull polarmåke - no doubt the same bird that turned up a few weeks ago.