Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Skogsøy+ 31 December 2014 - New Year's Bird Race Day 1 - for real this time

Fresh southerly winds, no rain.

It turned out that the dates for the New Year's bird race had changed since I last checked them so today was in fact the first day.

Once again something of a late start so only managed a trip to Skogsøy and a brief check at a few other localities.

At Skogsøy the best birds were a hunting Peregrine vandrefalk, a couple of Woodcock rugde and a single Gannet havsule. Very little on or over the sea.

Breivik held a flock of thrushes and Starlings stær.

At Tjeldstø a stop at the shops produced the Greylag grågås flock that has been around for the last few days.

Bird of the day was an Eagle Owl hubro that gave cracking views at a regular roosting site.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Øygarden 30 December 2014 - New Year Bird Race Day 1

Very dull, low cloud and constant light rain.

Got off to a rather late start and checked a number of localities.

At Dåvøy the best bird was a Snipe enkeltbekkasin, small numbers of Fieldfare gråtrost and Redwing rødvingetrost in the fields.

Solberg was rather dismal with just a White-tailed Eagle havørn of any note. Poor visibility hampered things here - as everywhere else.

Next up was Tjeldstø which was MUCH better - here we managed to see a number of species which can be relatively difficult - a female Teal krikkand, a Woodcock rugde, three Snipe enkeltbekkasin, 20+ Starling stær and more thrushes.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Tjeldstø 29 December 2014 - The thaw continues

NW breeze, light showers.

Various errands produced a Peregrine vandrefalk over Blomvåg, a couple of Whoopers sangsvane and three White-tailed Eagle havørn together over Oen / Breivik.

Part of the Greylag grågås flock at Harkestad

Woodcock rugde in a patch of thawed ground

A short walk with the dog at Tjeldstø gave rare views of a Woodcock rugde on the ground, a couple of Redwing rødvingetrost and a Starling stær. A flock of 12 Greylags grågås divided their time between Tjeldstø and Harkestad during the course of the day - hopefully they may attract something more interesting in the days to come.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Nautnes / Hjelme Vest 28 December 2014 - pre New Years bird race reccy

Calm, overcast and "mild" triggering something of a thaw.

At Nautnes the best birds were a couple of Oystercatcher tjeld on the rocks in front of the house. This can be a hard species to find here in the middle of winter - hope they are still arouind in a couple of day's time. A Nuthatch spettmeis, a Redwing rødvingetrost and a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk also put in an appearance in the garden.

A stroll at Hjelme Vest showed the sea to be surprisingly quiet - perhaps stuff had been scared off by the Peregrine vandrefalk and three White-tailed Eagles havørn that were present. At least two sets of Woodcock rugde tracks seen in the woods here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Herdlevær 23 December - Christmas

Onshore winds with occasional showers.

With Christmas looming fast there was only time for a short stroll at Herdlevær - this produced a hunting Peregrine vandrefalk, a Gannet havsule, a Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke and not a lot else.

White-tailed Eagle havørn

Back home at Nautnes a White-tailed Eagle havørn came ridiculously close over the terrace - no way to get the whole bird in the frame.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hjelme Vest 22 December 2014 -The one that got away (again!)

Westerly winds, largely sunny but with some short and heavy showers.

A trip to the denstists and some last minute Christmas shopping put paid to most of the daylight. Managed a quick trip to Hjelme Vest where, whilst sheltering under some trees during a hail shower I got onto a pale wader heading inshore together with an auk. Pale and with a wingbar I got the impression that this was quite probably a Grey Phalarope polarsvømmesnipe. Unfortunately it passed very quickly into the fjords.....

Other than that just a Great Northern Diver islom heading south and a couple of Gannets havsule offshore.

The usual White-tailed Eagles havørn from the house and right overhead at Hjelme Vest along with Sparrowhawk spurvehauk both from the house and at Hellesøy (had to go here in case the wader had landed....)

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Northern Øygarden 03 December 2014 . Wasted Wigeon

SW winds, rather murky at first, clearing nicely later.

Kicked off at Hellesøy with very little indeed. A Curlew storspove, a Little Auk alkekonge, a Snipe enkeltbekkassin and a few White-tailed Eagle havørn were all of even minor interest here.

The unusual timing and location of this bird meant that it had to be looked at closely. Initial impression was cold coloured head/neck contrasting with the warmer underparts

Oddly this bird flew up and landed on the road

Patterned axilliaries meant that this was just a normal Wigeon - despite the relatively broad white wing band and "masked" look.

Next stop was Sæle where a Wigeon brunnakke was an unusual find at an unusual time of year and therefore warranted a bit of extra attention. Despite not being completely straightforward we ended up on this bird being a female Wigeon and nothing more exciting than that. A couple of Woodpigeon ringdue were the best of the rest here.

Pale-headed, long winged and "masked" this bird looks to be just a Herring Gull gråmåke. (Harkestad)

At Tjeldstø Whooper sangsvane numbers had risen to five birds including the first young bird of the autumn. Some 13 Mallards stokkand were again feeding around the swans - taking advantage of whatever it was the swans were disturbing with their feet.

Dåvøy and Sæle 02 December 2014 - Leaving it too late

Work and Christmas really putting a stop to getting out! Light rain at first, clearing up nicely later.

Views from my "office"

During the day occasional glimses out of the window at home gave nice views of an Otter and a lone Little Auk alkekonge fed in front of the house for a while.

omissus Herring Gull gråmåke

A lightening check at Dåvøy produced little other than what was probably the same omissus-type Herring Gull gråmåke. Clean white head, very yellow legs - definitely worth checking out. Other stuff here was limited to the usual winter fare - including a few Velvet Scoter sjøorre, a Black Guillemot teist, a flock of 20 Starling stær and a Fieldfare gråtrost.

Nice view, shame about the birds....

By the time I got to Sæle the sun was going down in the sea. Barely the usual here and the best sighting was a late Woodpigeon ringdue.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Tjeldstø 01 December - Autumn migration continues

Fresh southerly winds and chilly with it.

Mistle Thrush duetrost at Tjeldstø

Not out in any meaningful way today but a quick check at Tjeldstø produced a late Mistle Thrush duetrost - indicating that stuff is still on the move. Also of interest here was a late Wigeon brunnakke feeding with Whoopers sangsvane and Mallard stokkand.

At Solberg a first year Kittiwake krykkje was of minor interest.

Back home at Nautnes a Black-headed Gull hettemåke flew over and a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk had a go at the birds at the feeder.