Thursday, September 20, 2018

Øygarden 19-20 September 2018 - The weather is here, wish I was out

Near gale force winds with only occasional short showers. In other words very nice weather to be out and about - but I have, as usual, been inside most of the time instead.

Common Scoter svartand

Juvenile Common Tern makrellterne

Dunlin myrsnipe

Migrating Oystercatcher tjeld

Ringed Plover sandlo

Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke

A quick coffee break at Herdlevær on 19th produced seven species of waders including Knot polarsnipe, a juvenile Common Tern makrellterne and enough action over the sea to make me want to stay a lot longer. Wheatears steinskvett and Rock Pipits skjærpiplerke were among the passerines seen.

A Kestrel tårnfalk put in an appearance over the house in the afternoon.

On 20th there was a steady passage of Gannets havsule seen from the terrace and a variety of waders were sheltering in the lee of the islands, including a Knot polarsnipe and a flock of Ringed Plover sandlo.

Great Skua storjo with Herring Gull gråmåke and Gannet havsule

Great Skua storjo chasing White-tailed Eagle havørn

Ten minutes at Tjeldstø in the evening provided a fantastic experience with first one, then three Great Skuas storjo beating up on the gulls and Gannets havsule feeding there and one of them even gave one of the two White-tailed Eagles havørn present there a pretty hard time. A bonus bird here was at least one dark phase Arctic Skua tyvjo. Fantastic!

This is only the second time I have seen Great Skua at Tjeldstø - the first time being 19.09.2018

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Nautnes 17-18 September - Home office birding

Windy and warm with some rain and some sunshine.

Being a birder it is not easy to be stuck inside working in mid September. Having missed most of the spring it feels like autumn is also speeding past with nothing like enough time in the field.

However, at least I get to work from home a fair bit - where I can actually get things done AND occasionally look out of my window.

Meadow Pipit heipiplerke photographed close to my mailbox

Robin rødstrupe - not a bird I bother taking photos of much

Pre-breakfast White-tailed Eagles havørn photographed from my terrace.

White-tailed Eagle havørn have been making the most of the wind to hang around outside the house with three present before breakfast on 17th.

Rather heavily cropped and distant shots of an adult Rose-coloured Starling rosenstær

White Wagtail linerle

On 18th I went outside onto my terrace after dinner to see an adult Rose-coloured Starling rosenstær feeding with a large flock of Starling stær. This is the second time I have seen this species from my house but is the first adult.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Skogsøy and Herdelvær 14-15 September - Late and lazy

Strong winds from the west prompted a late morning / early afternoon seawatch at Skogsøy. We got hit by a few hail showers whilst sitting out there but the weather and scenery were spectacular.

Birds were somewhat thin on the ground, though a flock of 20 Brent Geese ringgås heading south made the walk worthwhile. Several Red-throated Diver smålom, plenty of Gannet havsule, a single adult Kittiwake krykkje and a steady passage of southbound Common Gulls fiskemåke were also seen.

Above and below - migrating Common Gull fiskemåke

Dunlin myrsnipe

Raven ravn

On Sunday I was equally late out and took a stroll around Herdlevær which gave some photo opportunities as it so often does in this kind of weather. Best bird sightings were a single Ruff brushane feeding beside one of the pools and a lone Velvet Scoter sjøorre heading south. Common Gulls fiskemåke still moving south despite the conditions.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Øygarden 11-12 September - A seawatch at last

Windy and showery!

A quick walk at Breivik on 11th turned up five Ruff brushane as the best sighting - not as many around this year compared to previous years and incredibly these were the first I've seen in Øygarden this autumn.

White-tailed Eagle havørn from the terrace

White-tailed Eagles havørn have been hanging in the wind outside the house a lot during the last few days.

Gannet havsule

On 12th I made an afternoon dash to Skogsøy and was rewarded with distant views of a Sooty Shearwater grålire, a Fulmar havhest and an Arctic Skua tyvjo chasing a tern. Plenty of Gannets havsule, a single Red-throated Diver smålom and not much else passed.

On the way home I popped in at Tjeldstø where I caught up with a Rosy Starling rosenstær that had been reported there earlier in the day. Judging by the moult pattern it could well have been the same bird that I saw at Breivik a couple of days ago.

A couple of Knot polarsnipe fed on the shore in front of the house earlier in the day.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Breivik & Herdlevær 10 September 2018 - Blue Monday turns pink(ish)

Strong SW winds, mostly sunny with some heavy showers.

Not the best start to the day - spent at the office. After I got home I dashed out for a quick evening trip to Herdlevær thinking I would spend half an hour seawatching. However, I didn't even make it to Herdlevær before a rarity turned up and I spent most of my time on this.

First year Rosy Starling rosenstær

The Sparrowhawk spurvehauk that kept things nervous

Having missed all the previous local Rosy Starlings rosenstær this year I managed to find a new one. After the adults in May and a few days ago this was "just" a first year bird. Nevertheless I was happy with this find. Starlings stær are pretty active at the best of times and a hunting Sparrowhawk spurvehauk didn't make them less flighty.

Dunlin myrsnipe

Ringed Plover sandlo

With even less time left to do Herdlevær I dashed round, thoroughly enjoying the strong winds and a heavy shower. Just the usual suspects though with several species of wader noted.

In the last few days I did a day of guiding on Herdla on Saturday which resulted in Curlew Sandpipers tundrasnipe, Grey Plover tundralo and most of the usual waders as well as a couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn and a lone Velvet Scoter sjøorre.

Yesterday I managed a massive hour or so out and managed to catch a southbound Osprey fiskeørn heading south over Tjeldstø - presumably the same bird reported from Herdlevær shortly afterwards.