Friday, December 23, 2016

Tjeldstsø 21 December 2016 - Much better than expected

The weather forecast predicted a storm but I got lucky with the timing of today's trip out - the wind dropped and the sun came out for the duration of my walk with the dog. I took things easy and just did a short walk through the reserve.

First year male Scaup bergand

Two of the Whoopers sangsvane present on Rotevatnet

Obligatory White-tailed Eagle havørn shot before it got too close to fit in the frame

Highlight was a first year male Scaup bergand. Singles of Redwing rødvingetrost and Fieldfare gråtrost were present and I saw the first flock of Chaffinches bokfink I've seen for a while. Other stuff included 11 adult Whoopers sangsvane, a few White-tailed Eagle havørn and the usual Crested Tits toppmeis.

Three more White-tailed Eagle havørn patrolled in front of the house at Nautnes.

Øygarden 12.12 - 20.12 - Hanging in there

Short hours of daylight, several days at the office and Christmas getting in the way of any meaningful birding.

Tufted Duck toppand pair at Blomvatnet, 20.12

Velvet Scoter sjøorre at Heggøy, 20.12

However, some species still hanging in there for an attempt at overwintering. These included a Woodpigeon ringdue and a Woodcock rugde at Nautnes, at least one flock of Greylags grågås seen at various locations, a couple of Snipe enkeltbekkasin at Herdlevær, singles of Redwing rødvingetrost, Curlew storspove etc.

Other than this fairly quiet with only small numbers of Long-tailed Duck havelle, up to three White-tailed Eagles havørn at various sites, Whoopers sangsvane, Velvet Scoters sjøorre and a flock of 42 Herons gråhegre at the Dåvøy roost.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Herdlevær 11 December 2016 - These are better days

A fantastic day weatherwise - no wind at all, mostly sunny and mild.

Little Grebe
Massively cropped record shot of the Little Grebe dvergdykker

Not too bad for birds either - highlight was my first local Little Grebe dvergdykker for the year. A Slavonian Grebe horndykker also put in an appearance.

Raven ravn

White-tailed Eagle
Adult White-tailed Eagle havørn overhead

Small numbers of the usual suspects also showed including a couple of adult White-tailed Eagle havørn, two Velvet Scoter sjøorre, several Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt and a few Starling stær.

Common Crossbill

Common Crossbill

Common Crossbill

Common Crossbill
Random Common Crossbill grankorsnebb shots from the car park

A flock of Common Crossbills grankorsnebb with larger than normal bills foraged in trees beside the car park. Nice.

Earlier in the day a very vocal Water Rail vannrikse made itself very noticeable from my garden at Nautnes.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Hjelme Vest 10 December 2016 - Where have all the birds gone?

Calm. mild and almost sunny.

It was relatively late before we got out for a walk. The sea was very quiet with just a few each of Common Scoter svartand and Long-tailed Duck havelle. Best bird was a Curlew storspove feeding on one of the islands.

This reduction in the number of birds, especially seaduck, reinforces the impression I have had in the few days since my return.

White-tailed Eagle

Only one White-tailed Eagle havørn put in an appearance.

Still flocks of Common Crossbill grankorsnebb pretty much everywhere.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Skogsøy 09 December 2016 - Not seawatching

Calm, mild and not raining!

Five of the Whoopers sangsvane present today

An unexpected sighting were six adult Whoopers sangsvane feeding in the lagoons - this is a regular wintering area for them but normally is only used when freshwater is frozen.

Great Northern DIver
Great Northern Diver islom

I did no real seawatching, just looked out over the sea whilst I ate my sandwiches and had a cup of coffee. Virtually the only bird that passed was a single Great Northern Diver islom heading south. It was quite close in though.


Sparrowhawk spurvehauk

Otherwise it was just the usual White-tailed Eagles havørn and a few Crested Tit toppmeis. A Sparrowhawk spurvehauk posed nicely beside the parking area as I left.

A few random shots from yesterday:

Male Merganser siland with a problematic fish....

Whoopers sangsvane at Kollsnes.

It seems Whoopers sangsvane with young are nearly always forced off onto the less optimal areas with adult only groups being dominant,

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Nautnes 07 December 2016 -. Welcome home

A dull and wet day.

Spent most of the day catching up on stuff that has built up whilst I have been away and didn't really get out.

First bird I saw from my terrace this morning was a White-tailed Eagle havørn keeping a very close eye on a hunting Otter - in fact I suspect the eagle had already stolen the otter's catch by the time I got onto it. This was closely followed by a Little Auk alkekonge feeding in front of the house.

The Grey Heron gråhegre roost at Dåvøy has now increased to at least 38 birds - showing that Øygarden is a popular wintering location for this species.

Velvet Scoter sjøorre at Heggøy

Other birds seen today included a few Velvet Scoter sjøorre at Heggøy and three adult Whoopers sangsvane at Tjeldstø.

Hopefully there will be more time to get out and about tomorrow......