Friday, May 31, 2013

Herdlevær 31 May 2013

Light northerlies, warm and mostly sunny.

Above and below: Cuckoo gjøk

Goldfinch stillits

Little in the way of migrants - just a Goldfinch stillits and a House Martin taksvale of interest.

No scope today but obviously still some activity over the sea with small numbers of Red-throated Diver smålom and Common Scoter svartand seen.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Herdlevær 29 May 2013

Easterly winds, warm and sunny

A stroll at Herdlevær produced nothing much in the way of migrants - weather too good to force anything down?

A pair of Common Terns makrellterne were obviously getting settled in....

Common Terns makrellterne - cropped from picture below

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hernar 28 May 2013 - Gamble pays off!

Light easterlies and sunny in the morning, turning to northerly in the afternoon.

Just about record short of the Marsh Harrier sivhauk

 Took a major gamble and spent the whole day on Hernar - something I don't think I have done in the spring before. The day started very well with a male Marsh Harrier sivhauk heading north. Not much to look at in the just about record shot below but seen well in the scope. This was a new species for Hernar and the first of the year in Hordaland. Normally Marsh Harrier turn up in Øygarden in late April and early May so this bird was rather later than previous records.

A few flocks of Brent Geese ringgås headed also north but there was little in the way of migrant passerines other than two Spotted Flycatchers gråfluesnapper during the rest of the morning. Things died off around 1200 when the wind turned and I began to regret the gamble.

Female Rosefinch rosenfink

Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper

Female Pied Flycatcher svarthvit fluesnapper

Around 1500 a flurry of activity (re)saved the day - a female Pied Flycatcher svarthvit fluesnapper was closely followed by a female Redstart rødstjert and a nice female Rosefinch rosenfink.

Generally plenty to see - Twite bergirisk, Wheatears steinskvett etc but some species notably missing still for example Sedge Warbler sivsanger which are normally present at this time of year.

An interesting phylloscopus warbler looked rather like a Chiff-chaff gransanger but sang very oddly indeed. I attempted a sound recording with my mobile but haven't had time to check it out.

Above: normal Chiff-chaff gransanger singing with a normal voice at the other end of the island

Relatively short primary projection = Chiff-chaff gransanger

On most photos the legs looked rather dark....

No pale cheek patch, indistinct supercillium, obvious eye ring
Above three shots - a very strange sounding phylloscopus that looks  (but did not sound) like a Chiff-chaff gransanger

Linnet tornirisk

Above and below: Twite bergirisk

Blackbird svarttrost

Monday, May 27, 2013

Herdlevær 27 May 2013 - Bang on time

Light winds, some high cloud.

Above and below: migrating Brent Geese ringgås 

A late and lazy seawatch from Herdlevær dave surprisingly good results - obviously a fair bit on the move today too.

Between 09:20 and 11:00:
Brent Goose ringgås 110N - Bang on time. The next few days will see more of these passing
White-billed Diver gulnebblom 1N
Red-throated Diver smålom 24N
Velvet Scoter sjøorre 3N, 2S
Common Scoter svartand 69N
Long-tailed Duck havelle 1N
Guillemot lomvi 4N
Puffin lunde 2N
Arctic Skua tyvjo 2N (both dark phase)

An adult Great Norther Diver islom sat on the sea a fair way out most of this time.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Tjeldstø 26 May 2013 - Big Barnacle day

Wind more or less from the north again. Sunny.

Golden Plovers heilo 

A short walk in the reserve produced largely the usual suspects including a couple of Golden Plover heilo.

During the course of the day some large flocks of Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås were seen heading north in the distance.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Skogsøy 25 May 2013 - Manx at last

Northerly winds and more or less overcast.

Another good day at Skogsøy. Seawatched from 06:15-11:30 and had the following:

If you look very hard there are two Manx Shearwater havlire in this picture - honest!

Manx shearwater havlire 2N - the third day of occurrence this spring - well above average
Long-tailed Skua fjelljo 2N
Arctic Skua tyvjo 2N
Great Skua storjo 1N
White-billed Diver gulnebblom 1N
Great Northern Diver islom 1S
Red-throated Diver smålom 53N
Velvet Scoter sjøorre 2N
Common Scoter svartand 18N,35S
Long-tailed Duck havelle 11N
Puffin lunde 4N
Razorbill alke 4N
Guillemot lomvi 6N
Arctic Tern rødnebbterne 30+N (probably at least double this number)
Kittiwake krykkje 15N
Gannet havsule 42N

White-billed Diver gulnebblom with diagnostic bill visible

Great Northerns rarely, if ever, throw their heads like this

Beer-belly and no-billed diver look

Two pale phase Arctic Skua tyvjo

Above and below: Red-throated Divers smålom. Quite a number not in breeding plumage now

Part of a flock of Arctic Terns rødnebbterne

The first of the autumn mingrants? A southbound Lapwing vipe

Friday, May 24, 2013

Øygarden 24 May 2013 - Sea fog

Light northerly breeze, sunny and generally glorious weather down the east side of Øygarden. Sea fret down the west...

In the short time available today I took a quick stroll to Herdlevær in the hope that the fog would clear. It didn't.

Back home the first Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett I've seen this year sang a couple of times - not a common sound at all.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Skogsøy 23 May 2013 - Skuas forever!

Strong northerly winds and largely overcast.

A late start today didn't appear to matter as most of the interest started late in the morning. Unfortunately I had to leave just as things were picking up nicely....the last thing I saw was a flock of 17 Long-tailed Skua fjelljo heading north.

Highlights between 07:30 and 12:30 were:

Dark phase Arctic Skua tyvjo


Above three: Long-tailed Skuas fjelljo

Long-tailed Skua fjelljo  26 N (largest flock 17)
Pomarine Skua polarjo 4 N
Arctic Skua tyvjo 6 N
Great Skua storjo 3N, 1S
Barnacle Goose hvitkinngås ca 350N
Red-throated Diver smålom  16 N
Whimbrel småspove 3N

Above four pictures: flocks of Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås

Gannet havsule

Red-throated Diver smålom

Other odds and ends included:
Arctic Tern rødnebbterne ca 80N (all those identified were this species)
Puffin lunde 1N
Guillemot lomvi 2N
Razorbill alke 2N
Common Scoter svartand 3N
Kittiwake krykkje 5 N
Gannet havsule ca 60N

Similar numbers of most things also passed Herdlevær but at that location there were 76 Long-tails reported,  a couple of White-billed Diver gulnebblom, a Black-throated Diver storlom as well as 3 Manx Shearwater havlire. Think I'll give my lenses a clean before I go out next time....

Heavily cropped record shot of the White-front tundragås

An albifrons Whitefront tundragås turned up beside Husvatnet, Tjeldstø in the evening.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Solberg 22 May 2013 - Long-tailed Skua galore!

Fresh NW breeze and sunny.

The frustration started with the weather forecast yesterday evening. Today was always going to be good. Work and family commitments conspired against any meaningful seawatching but an hour at Solberg (far from the best place for this kind of thing) between 09:00 and 10:00 produced 10 Long-tailed Skua fjelljo (in two flocks), a pale phase Arctic Skua tyvjo, a Great Skua storjo and a Great Northern Diver islom.

Excellent numbers of terns (presumed Arctic), Kittiwakes krykkje, about 20 Red-throated Diver smålom, a Fulmar havhest and plenty of distant unidentified birds streamed north.

Herdlevær produced excellent numbers of skuas.

This was a day that should have been spent at Skogøy. Tomorrow may be too late already.....

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Øygarden 21 May 2013

Southerly and misty to start with, southerly with rain later.

No time to be out much today. A very quick look at Breivik produced 10 Golden Plover heilo as the only migrants.

The only other sighting of any note was the first Nuthatch spettmeis I've seen in Øygarden this year. They've been around most of the year but just not in the places I generally go.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Skogsøy 20 May 2013 - first Brents

Light northerly breeze, warm and sunny.

A few hours seawatching around dawn proved reasonably productive with highlights being a White-billed Diver gulnebblom, the first three Brent Geese ringgås of the year and a southbound Barnacle Goose hvitkinngås.

Early Brent Geese ringgås heading north

Male (right) and female (left) Gannets havsule :)

Other stuff heading north between 05:50 and 09:30 included:
Red-throated Diver smålom 52
Arctic Tern rødnebbterne 25
Long-tailed Duck havelle 25
Guillemot lomvi 5
Razorbill alke 2
Puffin lunde 1
Gannet havsule 34
Kittiwake krykkje 11

Over 50 Common Scoter svartand headed south

Porpoises nise were very obvious today

Porpoises nise were very obviousl today - even their breathing was easily heard in the calm conditions.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tjeldstø 19 May 2013 - taking it easy

Calm, hot and sunny.

Singing Redstarts rødstjert are few and far between in Øygarden

One of two female Ruffs brusfugl

Not just people are feeling the heat....

Took things easy today with just a walk through the reserve. Two rather unseasonal Ruff brusfugl and a singing male Redstart rødstjert were the highlights.

The long-staying Rook kornkråke was seen again and at least one singing Lesser Whitethroat møller. Also small numbers of Common Crossbill grankorsnebb.

Other good birds reported from Øygarden today included a singing Bluethroat blåstrupe (only second record for Øygarden?), singing Icterine Warbler gulsanger and a Water Rail vannriske (unusual time of year for this species to show up here!).