Monday, November 16, 2009

Tjeldstø 16 November 2009 - More crossbills

Goshawk hønsehauk
Probable Parrot Crossbill furukorsnebb

Male Common Crossbill grankorsnebb

Female Common Crossbill grankorsnebb

Highlight today was a Goshawk hønsehauk which ambushed me whilst I was trying to photograph some Common Crossbills grankorsnebb.

A couple of Little Auk alkekonge, Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke and three Whooper Swans sangsvane were among the other sightings.

¨Tjeldstø 14 November 2009 - Parrot Crossbills

Above and below Male Parrot Crossbill furukorsnebb

Female Parrot Crossbill furukorsnebb

Teal krikkand with two Mallard stokkand

A very dull day indeed. Took a walk around the reserve and picked up a new for the year - a flock of seven Parrot Crossbills furukorsnebb. There is no doubt I miss more than I see of this species - one has to be very careful as there are often heavy billed Common Crossbills grankorsnebb about in Øygarden.
A few Teal krikkand and a Wigeon brunnakke remain with the Mallards stokkand.
Other than that just a few White-tailed Eagles havørn squabbling over something or other out in the reserve.

Øygarden 13 November 2009

Redwing rødvingetrost at Alvheim
Mergansers siland at Heggøy. Even for non-birders the female is easy to spot...

Cod torsk foraging in the shallows at Dåvøy

Not out at all today but took some pictures from the car as I ran some errands.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tjeldstø 12 November 2009 - Grey Wagtail

Record shots of Grey Wagtail vintererle

Redwings rødvingetrost

White-tailed Eagle havørn being mobbed by Hooded Crow kråke

A search for yesterday's finch flock proved fruitless. However, a Grey Wagtail vinterle was a surprise find.
Otherwise very much the same as usual apart from a late Meadow Pipit heipiplerke.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Øygarden 11 November 2009

Snow Bunting snøspurv flying over Hernar
Part of a mixed flock of Goldfinch stillits and Common (Mealy) Redpoll gråsisik

View from Hernar taken whilst waiting for it to get light enough to bird...

Spent the morning on Hernar. Rather quiet for the most part but nice views of a Water Rail vannrikse, a Snow Bunting snøspurv or two, a Woodcock rugde and most of the usual species were seen.

At least three Blackcap munk feeding on elderberries at Sæle, although I did not spend much time looking.
Back home at Tjeldstø there was plenty of interest but unfortunately no time to investigate further. A flock of at least 80 Common Redpoll gråsisik fed in some conifers. A few of these looked very pale indeed with white rumps. Too far away to tell for sure though...
With them at least nine Goldfinch stillits and other stuff flying over included a Snow Bunting snøspurv and the first Bullfinch dompap of the year in Øygarden.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Øygarden 10 November 2009

Above and below Little Grebe dvergdykker near Skogsøy

Magpie skjære

Carrion Crow svartkråke

Yet another day of fantastic weather.
Highlights included two Little Grebes dvergdykker near Skogsøy and a Carrion Crow svartkråke at Harkestad, Tjeldstø. Goldfinches stillits were heard flying over at Breivik.
Otherwise much the same as of late with small flocks of thrushes and Common Crossbills grankorsnebb "everywhere".

Monday, November 09, 2009

Øygarden 09 November 2009

Dipper fossekall at Hjelme Vest
Scaup bergand at Tjeldstø

Spent most of the day working but managed to see a few bits and bobs during the course of the day. The female Scaup bergand was still on Husvatnet (school drop off drive-by) and a very late White Wagtail linerle landed on the neighbours roof (picking up post).
A quick trip to Hjelme Vest produced a Dipper fossekall feeding in rock pools, a Great Northern Diver islom that flew in and landed on the sea, a Little Auk alkekonge and 35 Purple Sandpipers fjæreplytt.

Øygarden 08 November 2009

Sand extraction in progress - thankfully this activity is only permitted in a few small areas in Øygarden
Fieldfare gråtrost

A morning trip to Solberg produced a Curlew storspove, a Woodcock rugde and a White-tailed Eagle havørn. A vessel was busy extracting sand - one of the few small areas where this extraction is permitted in Øygarden is just off Solberg. So that particular area won't be much use for seaduck this winter....

In the afternoon a trip to Hjelme Vest was rather more productive with a flock of 75 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt and a Turnstone steinvender being the best sightings. Also Black Guillemot teist, a couple of White-tailed Eagles havørn and the usual suspects.

In the garden a Yellowhammer gulspurv and a Siskin grønnsisik joined the ever-growing flock of birds at the feeder. The female Scaup bergand remains on Husvatnet.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Skogsøy 07 November 2009 - Gyrfalcon again

Super-cropped Gyrfalcon jaktfalk sitting on top of prey.
The dot on top of the island in the middle of this picture is the Gyrfalcon jaktfalk....

The only northbound Little Auk alkekonge today.

It seems like an eternity since I last did some seawatching at Skogsøy and a couple of hours spent at the lookput point paid off big time. Early November is often a productive time for seawatching and today was no exception - albeit quality rather than quantity.

A Gyrfalcon jaktfalk, possibly the same bird seen in late October, came in off the sea with prey it could barely carry. Utterly exhausted it spent 15 minutes or so recovering before starting to eat.

An adult White-billed Diver gulnebblom beginning to moult into winter plumage was the next best sighting - in contrast to the spring this species is quite scarce in autumn. Other good stuff included a Black-throated Diver storlom, a Great Northern Diver islom and several Red-throated Diver smålom. Seeing all four diver species in the space of a couple of hours is most unusual in the autumn.

Small numbers of Little Auk alkekonge on the move, several Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt, a Curlew storspove and a late Meadow Pipit heipiplerke were among the other sightings.

Long-tailed Duck havelle numbers building up now with over 30 present.
Other stuff included a small pod of whales and a couple of porpoises.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Øygarden 06 November 2009 - Winter arrives

Little Auk alkekonge

Snow Bunting snøspurv at Heggøy

Song Thrush måltrost
Ice on much of the freshwater and an altogether more wintery feel today.

Spent most of the day at home so most stuff seen from the house today. However, managed a quick trip out as the light was going in the afternoon.

A female Blackcap munk, 12 Tree Sparrow pilfink, two Sparrowhawks spurvehauk, a White-tailed Eagle havørn, the female Scaup bergand from yesterday and three female Teal krikkand were some of the species seen from the sitting room.

At Heggøy a roadside Snow Bunting snøspurv was the best bird. The Breivik Greylag goose grågås flock has now increased to 11 birds - worth keeping an eye on this flock as it may well attract more intersting stuff.

At Herdlevær a Little Auk alkekonge on the sea was the best sighting.

Late Song Thrushes måltrost seen at a few locations.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Tjeldstø 05 November 2009

Female Scaup bergand on Husvatnet
Tree Sparrow pilfink

White-tailed Eagle havørn

Best bird was a female Scaup bergand on Husvatnet. Little else of interest other than at least five Skylark sanglerke feeding in one of the fields.

Otherwise it was business as usual with White-tailed Eagle havørn, Tree Sparrows pilfink and most of the usual species.

Thrush numbers greatly reduced compared to last week.