Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Øygarden 27 October 2009 - Siberian Chiff-chaff

Plenty to eat in the garden today for this tristis-type Chiff-chaff
Note the clean underparts with no yellow tones and the faint wing-bar.

Here showing yellow "armpits" - the only place a tristis is meant to show any yellow.

Siberian (tristis) Chiff-chaff gransanger

This picture almost made us late for school...

Early morning record shot with ridiculous ISO settings...

Not a common bird at this time of year - Common Redshank rødstilk at Sæle

The afternoon was so warm that this Red Admiral butterfly put on a show

The first noise I heard outside this morning as I ventured out with my morning coffee had me dashing back inside for camera and binoculars immediately. Thinking that there was some eastern form Bullfinch dompap in the garden the coffee was soon cold. However, the bird was in fact what seemed to be a tristis (Siberian) Chiff-chaff gransanger. No yellow tones on the underparts, a wing bar and a piping call note nothing like normal Chiff-chaff at all all pointed in the right direction.
Normally I wouldn't have claimed such a bird based on the plumage alone but the piping call was really something else. Record shots were taken before doing the usual dropping off at school etc but the bird had vanished on my return.
Other passing the garden during the photo shoot included a Hedge Accentor jernspurv, a Yellowhammer gulspurv and a Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett.

Having completed a round of work etc I checked Sæle where there was another "piping" Chiff-chaff gransanger that I didn't see well, a few Blackcaps munk and most of the usual suspects. Best bird here was a rather unseasonal Redshank rødstilk - possibly an Icelandic bird?

Back home in the garden the Chiff-chaff put on another performance, this time enabling pictures of somewhat better quality to be taken.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Blomvåg 26 October 2009 - Dusky Warbler

Dusky Warbler brunsanger at Blomvåg

Being only around the fifth county record and the second for Øygarden yesterday's Dusky Warbler brunsanger predicatably caused quite a twitch by local standards - several birders making a trip out around dawn. Equally predictably I was back again in order to try and take some better pictures.

Although the light was somewhat better the bird remained incredibly active and for the most part giving just fleeting glimpses. After a couple of hours trying I gave up and had to make do with a few record shots. Just like yesterday the bird was very vocal at times - enabling observers to relocate it as it moved from tree to tree.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Øygarden 25 October - Gyr falcon and Dusky Warbler!

Record shots (1/100 at 1200 ISO!) of the Dusky Warbler brunsanger at Blomvåg

Juvenile Gyrfalcon jaktfalk at Herdlevær

Having been tied up with a run of birthday partys and various other domestic stuff I'd pretty much given the weekend up as "lost". However, an opportunity to get out presented itself late in the afternoon and needless to say I wasted little time getting out and about.

First stop was Herdlevær which initially seemed very quiet indeed. Just as I was turning for home some Hooded Crows kråke alerted me to the presecence of a raptor which, after some searching, I found on a distant hilltop. I almost wrote it of as just another Goshawk hønsehauk but walked a kilometre or two to get nearer it, all the while the Gyr Falcon jaktfalk possibility grew stronger and stronger until there was no doubt at all.

Towards the end of this chase I received a message about a Dusky Warbler brunsanger which was playing hard to get at Blomvåg which put me in something of a dilemma - try and clinch the Gyr Falcon or go for the sibe which might be a no show anyway. Not easy but I settled for the Gyr in the end.

Not having heard anything further regarding the warbler I chanced it anyway - and saw this amazingly active and very vocal vagrant in rapidly fading light.

Other stuff reported from Øygarden today included the first Little Grebe dvergdykker of the autumn near Toftøy.

What a day!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tjeldstø 24 October 2009 - another first for the year

Just the breifest of strolls today; for the most part rather quiet with generally fewer birds about than of late. A small flock of Lapwing vipe flew over and there was little else of interest until I got home to find a Willow Tit granmeis in the garden - this bird is undoubtedly a migrant and the first sighting in Øygarden this year.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hernar 23 October 2009 - Grey-headed Woodpecker and Ling

Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett

Kittiwake krykkje

14kg Ling lange

A short stroll around Hernar whilst waiting for a long-line to fish showed the island to be much quieter than on my previous visit. Highlights were a migrant Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett, a Water Rail vannriske and a Woodcock rugde. Still some migrants knocking about including a Skylark sanglerke and a Blackcap munk but all the Goldcrests fuglekonge seen on Tuesday seemed to have moved on.
Other stuff seen today included the first few Long-tailed Duck havelle of the autumn and a Kittiwake krykkje that turned up just too late to get its share of fish guts....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Øygarden 22 October 2009

Turtle Dove turteldue at Breivik
Whooper Swan sangsvane

Chiff-chaff gransanger

Started the day off with a first for the house list - a migrating Dipper fossekall, taking the total to 157. This can be a tricky species to see in Øygarden. The first Whooper Swan sangsvane of the autumn also flew in, although I later learnt it had been present for a couple of days.
Plenty of other migrants passing, thrushes, finches, a few Skylark sanglerke and a couple of Sparrowhawk spurvehauk. A lone Lapwing vipe fed beside Husvatnet - the first for ages.
At Breivik the best bird was a, or perhaps I should say "the" Turtle Dove turteldue. According to some residents the bird has been present for "months". Also at Breivik a Chiff-chaff gransanger and a flock of nine Greylags grågås.
A Jack Snipe kvartbekkasin was also reported from Breivk and at least four Grey Wagtails vintererle from Herdlevær.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Herdlevær 21 October 2009

Redwing rødvingetrost
Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett

Goshawk hønsehauk

Blackbird svarttrost

Quite a good day in fantastic conditions. A number of half-decent birds, though again without anything terribly special.

Woodpeckers were a them again with at least two Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett and a "singing" Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett. Other sightings worth a mention were a Goldfinch stillits, a Goshawk hønsehauk, a Lapland Bunting lappspurv flying over and a Yellowhammer gulspurv. Two Blackcap munk also present. A Rook kornkråke turned up near the parking lot.

Small numbers of Common Redpoll gråsisik, Siskin grønnsisik, Brambling bjørkefink, Crossbills granskorsnebb and thrushes passing over.

At Sæle it was more of the same with a minimum of five Blackcap munk, a Goshawk hønsehauk and most the usual.

Hernar 20 October 2009

New camera working well even at high ISO settings - Wren gjerdesmett
Reed Bunting sivspurv

Black Grouse orrfugl

Goldcrest fuglekonge

No rarities today but plenty of birds about - largely thrushes on the move. A rather late Willow Warbler løvsanger was probably the best bird. Also singles of Blackcap munk and Chiff-chaff gransanger.

A Magpie skjære was the first I've had on the island this year, as was a Black Grouse orrfugl. Both species have been recorded on Hernar earlier in the year.

A Goshawk hønsehauk put in an appearance alongside the usual White-tailed Eagles havørn and there were various finches, numerous Goldcrest fuglekonge, a Reed Bunting sivspurv etc around.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tjeldstø 19 October 2009

Barely out of the house but in the brief time I was outside a Waxwing sidensvans flew over - first of the autumn and pretty much bang on time.

Herdlevær 18 October 2009

Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke

More birders than birds at Herdlevær today (almost!).

Best bird was a tristis-type Chiff-chaff gransanger which was quite vocal at one point. For the most part more of the same as of late - Bramblings bjørkefink, Siskin grønnsisik, Common Crossbills grankorsnebb and thrushes on the move

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tjeldstø 17 October 2009

A stroll around the reserve produced a late Lesser Whitethroat møller and a Carrion Crow svartkråke as the best birds.

The female Common Scoter svartand on Rotevatnet was joined by the the first Goldeneye kvinand of the autumn.

Light movement of Redwing rødvingetrost, Fieldfare gråtrost, Brambling bjørkefink and Siskin grønnsisik also observed.

Only birds of note yesterday were a Kittiwake krykkje flying up th fjord past the house and an Eagle Owl hubro at a regular site.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Herdlevær 15 October 2009

Once again plenty of birds about without anything terribly special. Best bird for me was the first Nuthatch spettmeis I've seen in Øygarden this year. Other stuff of interest included a late Willow Warbler løvsanger, a Grey Wagtail vintererle and a Yellowhammer gulspurv.

At least two Great Spotted Woodpecker flaggspett and a Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett also present.

Quite a few finches including Siskin grønnsisik, Brambling bjørkefink and Twite bergirisk.

At Sæle a breif stroll produced at least four Blackcap munk feeding on the abundant elderberries there.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Herdlevær 11 October 2009 - the day my camera died

Loads of Redwing rødvingetrost on the move the last couple of days
Otter oter at Herdlevær

Migrant Great spotted Woodpecker flaggspett

The last picture my camera took before it gave up the ghost....
Arrived late and covered the area quite well without seeing anything mega. A Goldfinch stillits was probably the best sighting and a Great Spotted Woodpecker flaggspett was the first there for some time.

Plenty of thrushes about along with Kestrel tårnfalk, Sparrowhawk spurvehauk and White-tailed Eagle havørn. Small numbers of Brambling bjørkefink and Siskin grønnsisik knocking about too.
Unfortunately the day ended badly. My much abused camera stopped working for no apparent reason......this is going to be expensive.

Øygarden 10 October 2009

Goldcrest fuglekonge
First year Great Northern Diver islom

Cormorant storskarv

Started the day off on Hernar which was buzzing when we arrived with birds all over the place. Didn't manage to see anything very special but a few Coal Tits svartmeis were new for the autumn. A Snow Bunting snøspurv, a late Willow Warbler løvsanger and an Arctic Tern rødnebbterne all put in an appeareance alongside Blackcap munk, Chiff-chaff gransanger and plenty of Song Thrush måltrost and Goldcrests fuglekonge.

A quick tramp around Lyngøy produced a Water Rail vannriskse, plenty of Snipe enkeltbekkasin, more Reed Bunting sivspurv and Skylark sanglerke.
The way home produced an Oystercatcher tjeld, a 1cy Great Northern Diver islom which called repeatedly and, in an Øygarden context, a massive flock of 110 Woodpigeon ringdue heading south. Another flock of 40 or so headed south past Tjeldstø later in the day.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Tjeldstø 09 October 2009

Female Common Scoter svartand on Rotevatnet

Only had time for a quick stroll out today. A Common Scoter svartand on Rotevatnet was an unusual freshwater record for Øygarden. Other noteworthy birds were a Lapland Longspur lappspurv and a Carrion Crow svartkråke.

Obviously some migration going on with thrushes, pipits and Sparrowhawks spurvehauk passing over.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Hernar 02 September 2009 - Barred Warbler

Raven ravn
Hernar Stakeout - how birding should be...

View over Hernar

Above and below - record shots of 1cy Barred Warbler hauksanger

Yet another good day on Hernar - and this time there were three birders covering the island.

Highlight was undoubtedly a first year Barred Warbler hauksanger with Richard's Pipit tartarpiplerke as a close runner up. Other noteworthy sightings included a Jack Snipe kvartbekkasin, 14 Snow Bunting snøspurv, a Lapland Bunting lappspurv and two Lesser Whitethroats møller.

Quite a few other migrants about including a few Chiff-chaff gransanger, a Willow Warbler løvsanger, a few Reed Bunting sivspurv and the first Brambling bjørkefink of the autumn.