Thursday, September 29, 2011

Herdlevær 29 September 2011 - Pinkfeet

Very strong southerlies, almost sunny.

Generally pretty quiet. Highlights were a flock of four Pinkfeet kortnebbgås flying south and a hunting Peregrine vandrefalk.

Waders were limited to a few Dunlin myrsnipe and a couple of Golden Plover heilo.

 Peregrine vandrefalk
 Above and below: Pinkfeet kortnebbgås

 Raven ravn
 Gannet havsule
 Cormorants storskarv
Common Gull fiskemåke

Migrant passerines included a Willow warbler løvsanger, a Wheatear steinskvett and a few flocks of Blue tit blåmeis.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hernar 28 September 2011 - Nuthtach

Strong SW and very dull with occasional light showers.

Not exactly ideal conditions for Hernar but took the chance anyway. Plenty of birds about including a few potentially interesting things that got away....

Highlight was a migrant Nuthatch spettmeis - the first I have seen in Øygarden this year. Migrants included a couple of Blackcap munk, two Willow warbler løvsanger, a Chiff-chaff gransanger and three Siskin grønnsisik.

 Nuthatch spettmeis on Hernar -  perhaps there will be an irruption this year
 Sparrowhawk spurvehauk
Goldcrest fuglekonge at Hellesøy

Other sightings were around 40 Twite bergirisk, a couple of Red-throated Diver smålom and a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Herdlevær 27 September 2011

Strong south westerly, sunny at times.

A rather better day than yesterday on all counts.

Highlights were a Peregrine vandrefalk going after Common Gulls fiskemåke and a Common Sandpiper strandsnipe (starting to get quite late for this species).

 First year Peregrine vandrefalk and Common Gull fiskemåke
 Common Gull fiskemåke
 Dunlin myrsnipe and Ringed Plover sandlo
 Dunlin myrsnipe
 Golden Plover heilo
 Kestrel tårnfalk
intermedius Lesser Black-backed Gull sildemåke

Other stuff included a Kestrel tårnfalk, a couple of Red-throated Diver smålom, several Dunlin myrsnipe, a Ringed Plover sandlo, a couple of fly over Common Crossbill grankorsnebb and a male Blackcap munk.

Øygarden 26 September 2011 - wet and windy

Gale force southerly winds and rain - torrential at times. Conditions difficult to say the least.

At Solberg a few very dark looking Lesser Black-backed Gulls sildemåke sheltered with other gulls on the islands.

Sæle produced a Grey Plover tundralo but otherwise just the usual White-tailed Eagle havørn, Sparrowhawk spurvehauk etc.

A few Red-throated Diver smålom flew past the house later in the day - amazingly the first for Tjeldstø this year.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Øygarden 25 September 2011

Strong southerlies and overcast once again.

At Herdlevær star bird was a nice Yellow-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger but generally few migrants about.

A couple of Lapwing vipe at Breivik were the first I have seen for some time.

Other birds reported included a fly over Richard's Pipit tartarpiplerke at Hellesøy and a Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett at Sæle.

Herdlevær 24 September 2011

Southerly and overcast.

Waders included a Common Sandpiper strandsnipe, a Dunlin myrsnipe and some small flocks of Golden Plover heilo. A Common Tern makrellterne flew past - no doubt one of the last we will see this year.

A heavily oiled Gannet havsule dived into the sea after fish but did not manage to take off again - seemingly waterlogged.

A couple of Wheatear steinskvett, Rock Pipits skjærpiplerke and most of the usual suspects also seen.

 Above and below: Dunlin myrsnipe on the shore

 Oiled Gannet havsule looking rather worse for wear
Shag toppskarv shwoing off a fine "beer belly".

Later in the day a Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper and a Common Redstart rødstjert were seen.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Skogsøy 23 September 2011 - Onshore winds

With the wind firmly onshore since yesterday the only choise for a seawatcher was Skogsøy. However, as usual, onshore winds in autumn failed to produce the hoped for seabirds.

 Gannets havsule

For the first couple of hours there was at least plenty to see:

Gannet havsule S 166
Red-throated Diver smålom S 4
Great Skua storjo N 2
Kittiwake krykkje S 1
Guillemot lomvi S 3
Black Guillemot teist S 1
Arctic Tern rødnebbterne S 4

Other stuff included small numbers of the usual waders, some distant auks, a couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn and a Peregrine vandrefalk giving chase to a Curlew storspove.

Migrant passerine included a feeding flock of Fieldfare gråtrost and a lone Wheatear steinskvett.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tjeldstø 22 September 2011

Strong SW with a few short but heavy showers.

Little at Solberg, just the usual White-tailed Eagle havørn etc.

At Tjeldstø the highlight was the Grey Plover tundralo still in the reserve with around 20 Golden Plover heilo.
A flock of 30-40 Meadow Pipit heipiplerke also present together with a couple of Wheatear steinskvett.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tjeldstø 21 September 2011

Strong southerly, mostly dry.

Checked Breivik breifly without anything much of interest.

 Part of a Golden Plover heilo flock
 Grey Plover tundralo
Raven ravn

At Tjeldstø around 60 Golden Plover heilo, a Grey Plover tundralo and four Ruff brushane were present. Other birds of note included a Peregrine vandrefalk and a Kestrel tårnfalk.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Øygarden 20 September 2011 - Richard's Pipit

Southwesterly wind, sunny after a wet start.

A late start to seawatching showed that I managed to catch the tail-end of some movement. Around 15 Red-throated Diver smålom, a flock of eight Pale-bellied Brents ringgås and a couple of Arctic Terns rødnebbterne all headed south along with a selection of waders and a small flock of Common Scoter svartand.
 View at Skogsøy
 Gannet havsule
 Herring Gull gråmåke
Ruff brushane at Tjeldstø

Whilst thinking about giving up and heading elsewhere a report of a Richard's Pipit tartarpiplerke at Breivik meant there wasn't much to think about anymore. After a thorough search I gave up - only to hear (and see) it flying over.

Migrants at Herdlevær included a Pied Flycatcher svarthvit fluesnapper and a couple of Chiff-chaff gransanger.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Øygarden 19 September 2011

Calm and wet.

Little new to be seen at the few localities I checked. Obvious increase in the numbers of thrushes on the ground - many feeding on the abundant rowan berries.

Small flocks of Snpe enkeltbekkasin, Golden Plover heilo and Twite bergirisk.

Herdlevær 18 September - frustration

Calm conditions continue.

A very vocal Yellow-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger proved all but impossible to see. Even a rather skulking Garden Warbler hagesanger proved easier to see.

Quite a bit about but a little quieter than yesterday - largely thrushes but most of the usual suspects too.

Overhead migrating Swallows låvesvale were very obvious and a flock of 50+ Greylags grågås headed south - around 40 more were seen later in the day over Tjeldstø.

The Hen Harrier myrhauk was seen again at Breivik and a Common Redstart rødstjert was reported from Solberg.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Herdlevær 17 September 2011 - YB Warbler and Hen Harrier

Easterly winds, sunny and calm.

Herdlevær came good again today. Highlights were a ringtail Hen Harrier myrhauk and at least one Yellow-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger - probably at least two. Lots of activity with several phylloscopus warblers that "got away".

 Hen Harrier myrhauk
Peregrine vandrefalk

Hen Harrier myrhauk

Other birds included a Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper (same from yesterday?), a Peregrine vandrefalk, a Kestrel tårnfalk, several Goldcrest fuglekonge and another Wren gjerdesmett showing that some of these are heading to the coast or perhaps even further afield.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Øygarden 16 September 2011 Rosefinch and Red-backed Shrike

Calm and sunny. Plenty of migrants about without anything really mega.

Spent the morning on Hernar. Highlights here were a Rosefinch rosenfink and a fly over Pinkfoot kortnebbgås. Other stuff included a couple each of Lesser Whitethroat møller and Blackcap munk, Willow Warbler løvsanger, Common Whitethroat tornsanger and a Chiff-chaff gransanger. Two Wrens gjerdesmett were the first for ages - hopefully the coming winter will not finish the species off completely.

A couple of hundred Starling stær and a Peregrine vandrefalk were at Hellesøy

A quick look at some other places produced Brambling bjørkefink, Blackcap munk and Chiff-chaff gransanger at Sæle and a Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper and a Garden Warbler hagesanger at Herdlevær.

 Record shot of Common Rosefinch rosenfink at Hernar
 Adult Peregrine vandrefalk at Hellesøy
Willow Warbler løvsanger

To finish the day off a distant Red-backed Shrike tornskate at Tjeldstø was a new species to the garden list.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Skogsøy 15 September 2011

Strong NW, showers

Don't really like to use the words "waste of time" but there really was nothing much to see today during a short mid-morning seawatch. Several Gannets havsule, an Arctic Tern rødnebbterne and a few Common Scoter svartand. That's pretty much it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tjeldstø 12 September 2011 - Lap Bunting

Strong southerly winds and heavy rain.

Highlights today were a Black-throated diver storlom flying over the reserve and at least one Lapland Longspur lappspurv - the first of the autumn.

At least 45 Golden Plover heilo, 12+ Snipe enkeltbekkasin, some small flocks of Wigeon brunnakke and Teal krikkand and a White-tailed Eagle havørn were among the other birds seen.

Tjeldstø 11 September 2011

Small numbers of the usual waders including Ruff brushane and Golden Plover heilo were out in the reserve.

A flock of 18 Tree Sparrow pilfink was the largest for some time - not sure if these are migrants arriving for the winter or local breeders that have now flocked together.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Herdlevær 10 September 2011 - Barred Warbler

Light SE and sunny.

Plenty of birds about today - the fields full of White Wagtails linerle and Meadow Pipits heipiplerke and an obvious passage overhead. At least a dozen Wheatear steinskvett and plenty of migrating thrushes also present.

Small numbers of the usual waders on the shore and / or passing overhead.

 Dunlin myrsnipe
Meadow Pipit heipiplerke

Highlight was a Barred Warbler hauksanger which gave brief views before disappearing into a bush and not coming out again during the time I had left. A female Blackcap munk was the only other warbler seen.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Tjeldstø 09 September 2011

First bird of the day was a Grey Plover tundralo flying over the house - a new for the year in Øygarden.

Later on a stroll in the reserve produced a Spotted Redshank sotsnipe, a Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove or two and around 30 Golden Plover heilo. Small numbers of other common waders, a Kestrel tårnfalk and a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk also noted.

At least 12 Teal krikkand and well over 100 Meadow Pipits heipiplerke were others signs of migration.

 Above and below: Golden Plover heilo
Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove with Golden Plover heilo

A small calidrid - a stint of some description was the one that got away today - if pushed I would have said Temminck's Stint temminksnipe.

West of Shetlands, 30.08-07.09

Not that much in the way of birds but up to four Sooty Shearwater grålire daily, Storm Petrels havsvale and all the usual suspects at sea. Only a few common passerines seen offshore.

Best bird was seen south of Shetlands on the way south to Peterhead - a Citrine Wagtail sitronerle which gave brief flight views as it attempted to land on the deck. The bird also called a few times.

This find highlights once again that vessels are like islands in that they attract a much higher percentage of rarities than mainland locations.....

Citrine Wagtail sitronerle

Location of vessel when the Citrine Wag turned up

Intriguingly a Citrine Wagtail was observed on North Ronaldsay earlier the same day - tempting to think this may have been the same bird...?

Solberg 30 August 2011

A couple of Great Skua storjo and an Arctic Skua tyvjo were the best sightings. Also a White-tailed Eagle havørn and several waders including Common Sandpiper strandsnipe and a few Turnstone steinvender.

Two Jays nøtteskrike flying over Tjeldstø later in the day were the first of the year for that locality.