Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Tjeldstø 15 January 2019 - Another new year tick for the county

Brisk North westerly winds, mostly sunny

Awoke to a thin covering of snow which quickly melted.

Spent the day working from home and only made a brief foray out. From the house during telephone calls etc I picked up Curlew storspove, White-tailed Eagle havørn etc.

One of four Collared Dove tykerdue at Tjeldstø today

The first Song Thrush måltrost of the year

At Tjeldstø the highlight was the first Song Thrush måltrost for Øygarden (and the county of Hordaland) this year. This is a regular but scarce winter visitor which I see most winters.

Other stuff here included four Collared Dove tyrkerdue and three White-tailed Eagles havørn. Judging by the way the local Hoodies kråke were behaving there was probably a more interesting raptor about too (Goshawk or Peregrine).

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Skogsøy 13 January 2019 - Seawatching again

North westerly gale increasing to strong gale.

The winds increased during the hour I spent seawatching making it difficult to walk on the way home - goodness knows how the birds manage to fly into that kind of wind.

Gannet havsule

Kittiwake krykkje

It was more or less typical for mid January with just single Gannets havsule heading north and south, an adult Kittiwake krykkje heading north, the first Guillemot lomvi this year for Øygarden (and the county for that matter), a couple of Razorbill alke and small numbers of the usual gulls.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Øygarden 12 January 2019 - Øygarden medley

Light south easterly winds. Rather dull with rain after around 1300.

A Woodcock rugde flying over my house around dawn was a good start to the day.

Next up was a trip to Hjelme West where a small flock of Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt were new for the year, as was a first year Kittiwake krykkje. Many of the usual suspects were also present with a Great Northern Diver islom, a Black Guillemot teist, a Curlew storpsove, four White-tailed Eagles havørn and the usual ducks.

Dåvøy produced nothing much other than a couple of White-tailed Eagles havørn.

Tjeldstø was almost equally unproductive with a singles of Sparrowhawk spurvehauk and White-tailed Eagle havørn and six Whoopers sangsvane among the birds seen.

Very good views of Otters at Hjelme West (2 +1), Dåvøy (2) and in front of my house.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Skogsøy 11 January 2019 - Only slightly better than the kitchen window....

Brisk north westerly winds.

Once again looking out of the kitchen window during a telephone call paid dividends. This time in the form of the the first Oystercatcher tjeld of the year in Hordaland (and species #100 for the county this year).

Spurred on by this I took a quick trip to Skogsøy. It was almost painfully quiet but there were some birds about including four guillebills alke/lomvi that landed on the sea and three Razorbill alke heading north, another new for the Øygarden year list was a Gannet havsule heading south. The most interesting sighting, however, was a Peregrine vandrefalk aktively hunting over the sea for long periods at a time. Normally they sit on a suitable look-out and make relatively brief forays out to sea. Today it hung almost kestrel-like high over the waves scanning for prey.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Hjelme 09 January 2019 - Calm before (and after) the storm

A beautiful day weather-wise so I was typically bogged down with work most of the day. I have barely been out birding the last several days, but today I tried to make up for it.

During a lengthy telephone call to the office I picked up a number of new for the year from the kitchen window in the form of Peregrine vandrefalk, Black Guillemot teist, Velvet Scoter sjøorre and Long-tailed Duck havelle. Other species included a couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn and Common Scoter svartand.

Inspired by this I took my lunch break at Hjelme Vest where I predictably managed to clock up a few more new for the year. Best birds were two Great Northern Diver islom and a Woodcock rugde. Equally predictable but less exciting were a few Crested Tit toppmeis. Other birds seen here included several Common Scoter svartand, around 40 Long-tailed Duck havelle, a Curlew storspove, a few White-tailed Eagle havørn and a Rock Pipit skjærepiplerke.

A drive-by at Sæle on the way home produced the first Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett of the year flying over the road.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Nautnes 03 January 2019 - Garden birding

No birding as such today.

At home in the garden a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk was a first for the year and turned up even before the Blackbirds svarttrost and Robin rødstrupe - at around 08:50! A Starling stær also put in an appearance on the feeders.

Other stuff picked up during drive-bys / errands included Chaffinches bokfink, House Sparrow gråspurv and Whooper Swan sangsvane.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Skogsøy 02 January 2019 - A day too late.....

Strong northerly winds gradually dropping during the day.

The first new species for the year was a Curlew storspove flying over my house whilst I was outside repairing my storm damaged bird feeder. Blue tits blåmeis could now also fly and reach my other feeders....

A late trip to Skogsøy produced the goods before I even started seawatching and was a species I looked for specifically yesterday as the weather conditions dictated that they must be around - a first winter Glaucous Gull polarmåke headed north with other gulls as part of a return movement of birds displaced by yesterday's storm. Among other new for the year were a Starling stær and several Common Crossbill grankorsnebb.

Mammals seen were the predictable Otter oter in front of the house and a nice (but lonely) Orca spekkhogger heading north at Skogsøy.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Nautnes and Dåvøy 01 January 2019 - Stormy!!

North westerly storm easing to strong gale with hail showers later.

Mildly put difficult conditions due to the wind - it wasn't really possible to stand up (or at least stand still) in the wind. My bird feeder and an outside light were destroyed and I lost a roof tile too.

First bird photograph of the year - Common Scoter svartand

Barely even the usual species from the house - with a Cormorant storskarv being the first species of  2019 for me. There was a nice Common Scoter svartand on the sea  in the relatively calm waters there.

At Dåvøy I picked up a Slavonian Grebe horndykker and an adult White-tailed Eagle havørn had a good go at a Herring Gull gråmåke.

The most surprising bird was a Collared Dove tyrkerdue at Tjeldstø - an unusual time of year to see this species here.

Øygarden 31 December 2018 - New Year Bird Race Day 2

Rather wet from 1300 onwards.....

Today I gambled and lost, hoping to nail a bunch of possible species, none of which materialised. So best bird ended up being a Woodcock rugde - normally a straightforward species to see in Øygarden during the winter.