Sunday, November 13, 2016

Nautnes 12 November 2016 - Wet and wild

Very strong southerly winds with rain all day. Not that it made much difference, too busy to get out today.

Grey Heron gråhegre

Long-tailed Duck havelle - to be honest I actually left the house to take this pictures

A Long-tailed Duck havelle from the terrace provided the best photographic opportunities today despite the dull and wet conditions.

Initial view of a very dark duck with the Mallards stokkand on Husvatnet

White tail sides coming into view.....

...,.and the excitement fades

A normal coloured female Mallard stokkand for comparison.....

A driive-by at Tjeldstø on the way to the shopping centre at Sartot (!! - at least my youngest was happy) got the pulse racing for a little while - a very dark looking Mallard stokkand just had to be checked out closely - we don't see much of those daft ones with domestic duck influences like they do in the parks in town. The very dark plumage and yellowish green colour on the bill looked promising but in the end the pale tail sides showed and the pulse returned to normal. Maybe it was just a bit melanistic, maybe be had some genes from the other side of the Atlantic.....

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Hjelme Vest 11 November - Another day in paradise

Strong southerly winds and not feeling as mild as it was!

I took a late and lazy stroll at Hjelme Vest, a locality best suited to calm conditions.

One of the best birds was a Peregrine vandrefalk that came past at close range but I was so caught up in the bird that I failed to reach for my camera. Nice, Other stuff included a flock of 20 Purple Sandpipers fjæreplytt and small numbers of the usual seaduck.

Migrating Whooper Swan sangsvane

White-tailed Eagle havørn

A Whooper sangsvane headed south and a couple of obviously well fed White-tailed Eagles havørn put on a show (this was in addition to at least three more more distant birds).

Common Scoter svartand are quite easy to photograph at the moment

The afternoon trip to the shops showed that yesterday's Scaups bergand were still present at both Alvheim and Tjeldstø. And still quite a lot of Common Scoter svartand close inshore.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Herdlevær 10 November 2016 - Dead interesting

Although only a degree or two up from the last few days it felt a lot warmer.

Dead deer hjort - obviously someone has had a successful hunting season....

Remains of Snipe enkeltbekkasin

...and Woodcock rugde

The cold weather has obviously made some things easier for predators to catch, there was quite a bit of dead stuff about today including a Snipe enkeltbekkasin and a Woodcock rugde. These, along with other recently killed birds makes it looks like there is a raptor living the dream at Herdlevær....

Still quite a few Common Gull fiskemåke present - won't be long before these disappear and the species becomes hard to find in Øygarden. Crazy as large numbers overwinter in Bergen.

Small numbers of Common Scoter svartand around but no real movement

Linnet tornirisk

Redwing rødvingetrost

Shag toppskarv - so common it tends to get a bit neglected from the photo side of things

One of a couple of Snipe enkeltbekkasin that were still alive

What would have been a nice shot of Wren gjerdesmett had it not been for the fence

However, there were quite a few birds still very much alive. The most unusual sighting was the first November record of Linnet tornirisk for Øygarden. Otherwise is was very much the usual November fare with Red-throated Diver smålom, Long-tailed Duck havelle, a couple of Snipe enkeltbekkasin and so on.

Two male Scaup bergand

Scaup bergand (front right), Tufted Duck toppand (front left) and Wigeon brunnakke (back)

Two Scaup bergand and two Tufted Duck toppand

Two Tufted Duck toppand in the middle with Scaup bergand on either side

Drive-bys at Tjeldstø and Alvheim produced a few Scaup bergand and five other species of duck.

Early morning Razorbill alke at Nautnes

A Razorbill alke swam past the terrace early in the morning.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Øygarden 09 November 2016 - Another new for the house list.

SE winds, sunny and cold.

I decided that I needed to go to the "big shops" today to stock up on various things - including sunflower seeds as I am going through around 1.5kg per day at the moment. I thought I would avoid rush traffic and therefore lost much of the rapidly shortening daylight. And got stuck in traffic anyway. Needless to say not much time left for birding.

Bullfinch dompap at Nautnes

Here grabbing something small in the grass - it seemed to be doing well despite the frost.

Chiff-chaff gransanger feeding in long grass

Scaup bergand on Blomvatnet. Another was on Husvatnet, Tjeldstø

Velvet Scoter sjøorre with crab at Svellingen

Migrating Whoopers sangsvane from the terrace. Species #126 from the house

Most of the interest today was from the house / in the garden. A flock of Whoopers sangsvane came in early on and were remarkably a new species for the house list - now #126. Other stuff included a Little Auk alkekonge on the sea, a couple of Bullfinch dompap (not a common species in Øygarden and the first half of November is absolutely the best time for them) and a Chiff-chaff gransanger frantically (and seemingly successfully) feeding in grass.

Single Scaup bergand were seen om Husvatnet, Tjeldstø and on Blomvatnet.

A late Meadow Pipit heipiplerke also at Husvatnet and a relatively large flock of duck on Steinsvatnet comprised of at least 21 Mallard stokkand and two Wigeon brunnakke.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Skogsøy 08 November 2016 - Winter!

SE winds and sunny but rather cold - a degree or two below freezing and a seemingly disproportionate amount of ice forming - even on the shores.

Part of a flock of Common Scoter svartand

Goldcrest fuglekonge

Redwings rødvingetrost

Today I actually went birding but the results were rather less than I hoped for. I started off at Skogsøy early on where there was not a lot passing. Small numbers of Common Scoter svartand, auks (though I only managed to identify a few of them due to the "heat haze" out to sea), a Whooper Swan sangsvane that came in from the sea - from the direction this could well have been a bird arriving from Iceland. White-.tailed Eagle havørn, Black Guillemot teist and Little Auk alkekonge were among the other species seen here. Redpolls gråsisik and Common Crossbill grankorsnebb still very much on the move.

I did a drive-by at Herdlevær where a flock of Redwing rødvingetrost foraged under leaves and were spooked by a Woodcock rugde that flew in.

At Solberg a late Oystercatcher tjeld and several Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt were the best sightings.

Tjeldstø was slightly better with a Red-throated Diver smålom on the sea, a Dipper fossekall on Husvatnet, Wigeon brunnakke, Teal krikkand and Goldfinch stillits among the species seen.