Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tjeldstø 30 August 2010 - Shoveler

A Shoveler skjeand turned up on Husvatnet before I left for work.

Still plenty of waders passing - Greenshank gluttsnipe, Golden Plover heilo and Ringed Plover sandlo were all seen / heard during the few minutes it took me to take the above photograph

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Herdlevær 29 August 2010 - Wryneck

Poor shot but the above picture shows some dark smudging on the underside of the bill

This bird would appear to be the same one first seen over a week ago. A real long stayer...

Light northerly and sunny.

Plenty of action at Herdlevær today with highlight being an acro warbler - probably the Blyth's Reed Warbler busksanger first seen over a week ago but still frustratingly difficult to see and photograph. Next best was a Wryneck vendehals which gave very brief views and a Common Redstart rødstjert was another first for the year in Øygarden.

A couple of Spotted Flycatchers gråfluesnapper were also present along with most of the usual suspects.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tjeldstø 28 August 2010

Golden Plover heilo and Curlew Sandpiper tundrasnipe overhead
Golden Plover heilo

Curlew Sandpiper tundrasnipe (right), two Ruff brushane (centre) and a Golden Plover heilo (left)

A short stroll in the afternoon produced a Wood Sandpiper grønnstilk and a Curlew Sandpiper tundrasnipe as the best birds. Also well over 40 Golden Plover heilo and around 15 Ruff brushane.

A Whinchat buskskvett was the only passerine of note.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bad News

Bad news - didn't get out at all today.
But things are worse for Zino's Petrel:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hernar 26 August 2010

Turnstone steinvender feeding on the shore
Willow Warbler løvsanger

Light northerly and rain after the gale yesterday meant that there was never going to be much happening today - no surprises things were quiet. Just singles of Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper, Whinchat buskskvett, a Whitethroat tornsanger and a scattering of Willow Warlbers løvsanger were present.

However, all was not quite lost as a couple of Turnstone steinvender were amazingly the first recorded on the island - proof of how under-watched it is.

An adult White-tailed Eagle havørn and at least 50 Twite bergirisk about.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Skogsøy 25 August 2010

Lesser Black-backed Gull sildemåke
Great Skua storjo
Gannet havsule

Rather strong Northwesterly winds meant there wasn't much on the move during a short and rather late seawatch. However, singles of Sooty shearwater grålire, Great Skua storjo and Arctic Skua tyvjo passed and a Peregrine vandrefalk hunted in the area.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Herdlevær 23 August 2010 - Frustration!

Documentation picture of Barred Warbler hauksanger - manual focus, 1000 ISO and very slow shutter speeds were the only option here.

First year Red Knot polarsnipe

Knot polarsnipe coming in to land

Knot polarsnipe
First year Dunlin myrsnipe
Cormorant storskarv

Calm and sunny.
The day started off well enough with waders showing well in the sunshine. Knot polarsnipe, Dunlin myrsnipe and others landed on the rocks in front of where I was eating my breakfast.
On the way back to the car a couple of Reed Bunting sivspurv, a male Blackcap munk and a Goshawk hønsehauk were obvious signs that things were happening.

Stupidly I returned in the evening in fading light. A / the Barred Warbler hauksanger gave very difficult views and a / the acro warbler also gave glimses as it lurked in the vegetation. Despite spending a couple of hours at it no decent views or pictures were obtained.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Skogsøy 22 August 2010

Part of a flock of migrating Oystercatcher tjeld
Survey / ROV vessel Geosund - a vessel I spend a lot of my working life on operating close to home on one of the lines going into Kollsnes.

Obligatory Gannet havsule image

Did the seawatcher's Pavlovian response to onshore winds as a low pressure system passed. And for once things worked out reasonably well with highlights being a Manx Shearwater havlire, three Sooty Shearwater grålire, four Great Skua storjo and a couple of dark phase Arctic Skua tyvjo all heading south in the space of a few hours.

Given the conditions only small numbers of other seabirds such as Fulmar havhest, Gannet havsule and Kittiwake krykkje. Other stuff passing included a small numbers of Common Scoter svartand, a Red-throated Diver smålom, 28 Turnstone steinvender, 12 Red Knot polarsnipe and small numbers of other waders.

Both Peregrine vandrefalk and White-tailed Eagle havørn put in an appearance too.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tjeldstø 21 August 2010 - Great Snipe

Curlew Sandpipers tundrasnipe - not a common bird at Tjeldstø
This White-tailed Eagle havørn prevented any wader photography by flying right overhead...

Strong southerly winds but sunny with it.

Took things very easy today after yesterday's excitement. Late in the day a quick stroll in the reserve produced two good Øygarden birds - first at least two first year Curlew Sandpiper tundrasnipe which were scared off by a White-tailed Eagle havørn as I tried to take some pictures.
Satisfied with this I turned for home and put up a Great Snipe dobbeltbekkasin - only the second time I've had this species at Tjeldstø.
Apart from this things were fairly quiet with just a Greenshank gluttsnipe and a party of four Golden Plover heilo.
A few birders tried for the Blyth's Reed Warbler busksanger today without success.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Herdlevær 20 August 2010 - Mayhem!

Blyth's Reed Warbler busksanger - this picture shows the supercillium going behind the eye.
The above shot shows the short primary projection
Above picture illustrates the plain tertials

Record shot of an extremely skulking Barred Warbler hauksanger - this was as good as views got even after waiting well over an hour.....

Record shot of Barred Warbler hauksanger - normally a great find but relegated to also-ran if the Blyth's turns out to be "good".

Under normal circumstances this Stonechat svartstrupe would have made the day....

A Stonechat svartstrupe at Breivik was a promising start to the day and a brief look at Herdlevær turned into an hour of patient waiting after finding an Acro which, after listening to some sounds, consulting some books and getting opinions from other birders was finally identified as a Blyth's Reed Warbler busksanger. The bird called repeatedly - exactly as per the call on the "Calls of Eastern Vagrants CD". With such a bird requiring good documentation I returned later in order to try and obtain some better images but there was no sign of it. However, a first year Barred Warbler hauksanger was ample compensation!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hernar 18 August 2010 - migrants

The bird of Hernar - Twite bergirisk. Numbers continue to build
Above and below Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper

One of several Greenshank gluttsnipe seen

The first obvious passerine migration of the autumn. Highlights were at least three Garden Warbler hagesanger, two Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper and a Pied Flycatcher svarthvitfluesnapper - all being the first I've seen in Øygarden this year. A couple of Whinchat buskskvett and at least 60 Twite bergirisk also seen.

Wader migration continued most of the day with several Greenshank gluttsnipe, small numbers of Ruff brushane, a couple of Whimbrel småspove and over 40 Golden Plover heilo among others.

At least one interesting large greyish warbler "got away" - typically turning up just before the boat home.....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Skogsøy 17 August 2010

Adult Peregrine vandrefalk
Northbound Shags toppskarv

Wheatear steinskvett

Windless and overcast conditions but at least the gnats didn't turn out in force.
Reltatively quiet - seawatching highlights included a hunting Peregrine vandrefalk, a Great Skua storjo and an Arctic Skua tyvjo heading south.
Small numbers of waders (including Sanderling sandløper, Turnstone steinvender, Greenshanks gluttsnipe and Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt) on the move as well as several flocks of Greylags grågås. Shags toppskarv obviously moving north on their autumn migration.
Some passerine migration going on too with several Song thrush måltrost, five Wheatear steinskvett and the bird of the day in an Øygarden context - a Tree Pipit trepiplerke.

Herdlevær 16 August 2010

A short evening stroll produced little other than a couple of Whinchat buskskvett. Two more were beside the road at Breivik.

Tjeldstø 12 August 2010

Adult White-tailed Eagle havørn over the garden
Curlew storspove

Not really out today so nothing much to report.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tjeldstø 11 August 2010

Greenshank gluttsnipe
Part of the Golden Plover heilo flock

A stroll in the reserve in the heat of the midday sun produced little. A flock of three Green Sandpiper skogsnipe flew in. Other waders included a Greenshank gluttsnipe and a party of seven Golden Plover heilo.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Øygarden 10 August 2010 - Pom Skua

Above and below Turnstone steinvender

First year Shelduck gravand
Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke joining in the seawatching at Skogsøy

First year Knot polarsnipe

First year Kittiwake krykkje

Two Dunlin myrsnipe

Fairly quiet with passage dominated once again by waders, gulls and Greylags grågås. A southbound Pomarine Skua polarjo was rather unseasoAdd Imagenal.

Oystercatcher tjeld and Ringed Plover sandlo were the most numerous waders migrating although quite a few species passed included several Greenshank gluttsnipe. Several Common Sandpiper strandsnipe fed on the shore.
At Herdlevær a drive-by produced the first Whinchats buskskvett of the year.
A boat trip around the islands in the late afternoon provided plenty of action without anything really special turning up. Plenty of various wader species including at least 55 Knot polarsnipe and 10 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt fed on the islands. Best sighting was a party of three first year Shelduck gravand.