Friday, April 30, 2010

Tjeldstø 30 April 2010 - Lesser Whitethroat

Green-winged Teal amerikrikkand
Male Green-winged Teal amerikrikkand
Female Eurasian Teal krikkand
Male Eurasian Teal krikkand

Stuck inside most of the day but had singing Lesser Whitethroat møller (first in the county this year) in the garden, Willow Warblers løvsanger and Common Sandpiper strandsnipe all seen or heard from the garden too.....

A very brief trip out around 12:30 gave better views of the Green-winged Teal amerikakrikkand but it (and the other Teal krikkand it was accompanying remained shy and flighty).

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tjeldstø 29 April 2010 - GREEN-WINGED TEAL!

Male Green-winged Teal amerikakrikkand

Male Green-winged Teal amerikakrikkand (left hand bird) with an Eurasian Teal krikkand

A dull, wet and windy day weatherwise - anything but dull birdwise!

At this time of year I try to check the Teal krikkand for more interesting species - and today it paid off big time with a Green-winged Teal amerikakrikkand which kept together with several Eurasian Teal krikkand. Views were rather distant and the birds seemed restless. I kept my distance in order to not scare it off but it went into hiding.....
This will be the 10th county record and the first for Øygarden if accepted.

Other stuff included at least 15 Common Snipe enkeltbekkasin, three Tufted Duck toppand and most of the usual stuff.
Off back out now to see if it still there - this time with the scope.
19:00 update: I tried unsuccessfully to relocate the bird (but found a Tree Pipit trepiplerke instead!). However, others were more lucky and the bird has just been reported again.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Skogsøy 22 April 2010 - Barnacle Geese

Barnacle geese hvitkinngås heading north
Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås

Great Black-backed Gull svartbak going after a Gannet havsule

Raven ravn

The day threatened for a long time to be a dismal failure with just a single Great Northern Diver islom of note heading south just after dawn. However, after 0900 things picked up - over 160 Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås flew north - the first of the year in Hordaland.
This is a relatively early date in recent times and not surprisingly the migration didn't develop the way it sometimes does with many thousand passing. Any day soon though....
Otherwise just several Red-throated Diver smålom and small numbers of the usual suspects.

Tjeldstø 21 April 2010

Chiff-chaff gransanger in the garden

Manic day and didn't get out at all.

Best I could do was snap a few pictures of a Chiff-chaff gransanger in the garden with one hand whilst talking on the phone....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Herdlevær 20 April 2010 - More lap buntings

Highlights were a couple of Lapland Longspur lappspurv that dropped in - something I've always suspected should happen as the vegetation out in the heaths to the north of the island resemble the Hardangervidda quite a bit.

All the other sightings of any note came as we were leaving - a Kestrel tårnfalk hunting over Skogsøy, a Shelduck gravand landing on the sea near Breivik and a Swallow låvesvale flying over.

Back at Tjeldstø a pair of Wigeon brunnakke were new in

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tjeldstø 19 April 2010 - Lapland Longspur

Lapland Longspur lappspurv

Rather springlike after some shock snowfall early in the morning.

Best bird was a Lapland Longspur lappspurv well on the way to acquiring breeding plumage.

Otherwise very much business as usual with geese congregating after eagle flyovers, Reed Bunting sivpsurv, Linnets tornirisk etc.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Herdlevær 18 April 2010

Jackdaw kaie at Herdlevær / Skogsøy

A short stroll out that started in a snowstorm and ended sunny....

The three Pinkfeet kortnebbgås were still about in the Kollsnes / Breivik area.

At Herdlevær a 40 minute seawatch without a scope produced the first Great Skua storjo of the year, 18 Gannets havsule, 190 Common Gull fiskemåke and 12 Red-throated Diver smålom heading north.

A Jackdaw kaie fed near the Skogsøy car park - possibly one of the birds first seen a few days ago.

Tjeldstø 17 April 2010 - Black-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwit svarthalespove
Pinkfoot kortnebbgås

An early morning tip-off resulted in three Pinkfeet kortnebbgås at Kollsnes.
A walk around the reserve in the morning produced little other than two male Tufted Duck toppand - first for Tjeldstø this year.
After a day spent shopping a Black-tailed Godwit svarthalespove picked up from the sitting room window was a welcome bonus. The bird was extremely restless and flighty - possibly the same one recently seen at Herdla?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tjeldstø 16 April 2010 - Lap bunting

One of a few male Black Grouse orrfugl seen during a trip out in the afternoon rain.
Lapwing vipe beside Husvatnet, Tjeldstø

View of Rotevatnet, showing some of the recently burned heath - something vital to the management of the reserve but left rather later than usual this year.

A Lapland Longspur lappspurv was the best bird out in the reserve today. First of the year in Øygarden.

Seemed like there has been an influx of Lesser Black-backed Gulls sildemåke - now several pairs in the area.

Otherwise business as usual with the White-tailed Eagle havørn putting the geese up regularly and some of the geese and waders now sitting on eggs and so on.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Skogsøy 15 April 2010 - Orcas

Orcas spekkhoggere feeding off Skogsøy today

Gannets havsule were passing quite close at times

Two Red-throated Diver smålom

White-tailed Eagle havørn mobbed by Herring Gull gråmåke
Bird activity was overshadowed by a pod of at least six Orcas spekkhoggere today.
Almost 30 Red-throated Diver smålom, small numbers of Kittiwake krykkje, some Common Scoter svartand and a single Velvet Scoter sjøorre were among the birds heading north.

A couple of Jackdaw kaie by the car park were the first in Øygarden this year.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hernar 14 April - Tree Sparrow

Tree Sparrow pilfink - a new species for Hernar
A pair of Merganser siland at Tjeldstø

Herring Gulls gråmåke

Chiff-chaff gransanger

Calm and sunny so conditions were way too good to ground much in the way of migrants.

Generally much quieter than previous visit but still managed a new species for the island in the form of at least two Tree Sparrow pilfink. Other birds of interest included a Merlin dvergfalk, a flock of 10 Golden Plover heilo and several Wheatear steinskvett.

A few Chiff-chaff gransanger even sang briefly and the White Wagtails linerle were busy building nests.

A quick look at Husvatnet, Tjeldstø before leaving for Hernar produced a Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove - possibly the same bird seen flying over Kollsnes yesterday evening.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Skogsøy 13 April 2010

Obligatory Gannet havsule shot
Another of the usual Skogsøy suspects - Crested Tit toppmeis

Brisk northerly wind and a late and lazy start meant that this was never going to be a big day.

Several Kittiwake heading north along with the usual suspects such as Common Scoter svartand and Velvet Scoter sjøorre. Main interest today was the obvious increase in the passage of Red-throated Diver smålom - some 33 passed in the couple of hours spent seawatching. A single Black-throated Diver storlom was the best sighting.

A male Black Grouse orrfugl was an unusual sighting at Skogsøy -normally this species is seen at other localities. A singing Chiff-chaff gransanger was the first at Skogsøy this year.

Øygarden 12 April 2010

Singing Wheatear steinskvett
White Wagtail linerle

Two of the Golden Plover heilo at Tjeldstø

Only out very briefly a couple of times.

At Solberg a total of 20 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt were still around along with 14 Long-tailed Duck havelle.

A couple of Golden Plover heilo and two pairs of Wheatear steinskvett were at Breivik.

At Tjeldstø a flock of four Golden Plover heilo rested in the reserve and a few Redshank rødstilk were new in - the lone individual present for some time now has some company.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Skogsøy 11 April 2010 - Canada Geese

Canada geese kanadagås - great to live in a place where these are a rarity
Cormorants storskarv heading north

Migrating Curlews storspove

Gannet havsule

A calm and sunny day - good migration conditions.

A fairly steady passage of stuff today but the not the hoped for big day. Usual mid April species - a few hundred Common Gulls fiskemåke and smaller numbers of Cormorants storskarv, Common Scoter svartand and Velvet Scoter sjøorre heading north and Shags toppskarv heading south.
Highlight was a pair of Canada geese kanadagås heading north - the species is barely annual in Øygarden. Its even tempting to think these might be the "real thing" given the timing and the location.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Øygarden 10 April 2010 - Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl jordugle and White-tailed Eagle havørn at Herdlevær

Greylag grågås landing on Husvatnet, Tjeldstø (click on picture for larger image)

Lesser Redpoll brunsisik - a through the window shot which has distorted the colours and made the bird look a LOT colder than it actually was - wing bars were buff.

Presumed Mealy Redpoll gråsisik (due to lack of streaking). Another through the window shot

Record shot of a male Blackcap munk in the garden - first I've seen this year

Yet another picture taken through the sitting room window - a male Brambling bjørkefink

Barely out at all with the day being spent doing various things with the family.

Just before 1800 a male Blackcap munk turned up in the garden allong with the first Brambling bjørkefink for a while. This was the last straw and I left for a lightning evening visit to Herdlevær.

Just about the first bird I saw at Herdlevær was a migrating Short-eared Owl jordugle - amazingly it changed course in order to "attack" one of the local eagles who completely ignored the attentions of the owl.