Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Nautnes / Tjeldstø 22 - 27 April 2019 - Back to incidental birding

The cracking weather continues but work took its toll this week and there were no trips out at all, just the usual stop beside Husvatnet on the way to shops / bus stop and whatever happened to pass the terrace.

On 23 April a flock of 19 Sand Martin sandsvale was a huge number in a local context.

Otter from the terrace

From the terrace displaying Curlew storspove, Woodcock rugde, Snipe enkeltbekkasin were pretty much daily along with Swallows låvesvale, Wheatear steinskvett, Willow Warbler løvsanger, Chiff-chaff gransanger etc. On 26 April House Martin taksvale and Common Sandpiper strandsnipe were new for the year. Otter was, as usual, pretty much daily along with White-tailed Eagle havørn.

Fieldfare gråtrost

Male Ruff brushane

Twite bergirisk at Tjeldstø

White Wagtail linerle

On 27 April misty conditions brought down a variety of migrants at Tjeldstø including a nice male Ruff brushane, a flock of 200 Fieldfare gråtrost, several Golden Plover heilo and a 2cy Peregrine vandrefalk were among the birds noted.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Herdlevær 21 April 2019 - Fall conditions

Finally a dull and very slightly wet start to a day.

Jackdaw kaie

Pied Wagtail svartryggerle

I opted for a short walk at Herdlevær which produced the first Jackdaw kaie of the year, my first local Goshawk hønsehauk of the year, a Pied Wagtail svartryggerle and a selection of the usual migrants.

On my way to Herdlevær I stopped at Husvatnet where a flock of seven Sand Martin sandsvale were the first of the year as was a lone Whimbrel småspove.

Greylag grågås VJ3 is still in the area.....

Monday, April 22, 2019

Hernar 19 April 2019 - Game on!

Another cracking day weather wise and therefore expectations were not too high for grounded migrants. However, the island was full of birds including some good ones which made for a magic morning out with a real feel of spring / summer.

Just about the first bird seen - a male Blackcap munk - all three Blackcaps seen today were males

Probably the best bird of the day - a Hawfinch kjernebiter

Plenty of very restless Lesser Redpolls brunsisik about - this one sat still for a few seconds

Meadow Pipit heipiplerke

The first Willow Warbler løvsanger of the year for me

There was an obvious arrival of a number of species on the island with the best bird being a Hawfinch kjernebiter. A few Willow Warbler løvsanger were also present and even sang - lying back in the grass in the sunshine and listening to the first Willow Warbler song made the trip worthwhile in itself. At least three male Blackcap munk, several Swallows låvesvale, a singing Skylark sanglerke, a migrating Woodcock rugde, at least 8 Chiff-chaffs gransanger and several Goldcrests fuglekonge were among the other migrants seen.

Good numbers of migrating Curlew storspove were seen throughout the morning with a flock of 27 over my house before I left, a flock of 55 over Hernar and more flocks passing and resting on the islands.

Curlew storspove and Teal krikkand

Four Shoveler skjeand (right hand birds) and five Teal krikkand
The Shoveler were no doubt the same birds also reported at Herdlevær

One of several flocks of Teal krikkand seen

Wigeon brunnakke

The journey to and from the island was also productive - largely in the form of dabbling ducks. These included four Shoveler skjeand, several Wigeon brunnakke and around 25 Teal krikkand.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Skogsøy 18 April 2019 -

SE3, sunny. It felt quite cold today despite there being no overnight frost.

Migration wise today was something of a non-starter with fewer birds passing than the last couple of visits. SE winds in spring are not renowned for numbers but can produce unexpected birds - today was not one of those days. With the exception of the usual suspects the only birds of any note at all were a flock of 10 Teal krikkand which are not normally associated with such nice weather at this time of year. A Brambling bjørkefink also passed overhead.

Once again southbound Common Scoter svartand were largely 2 cy birds and all northbound birds were adults.

2 cy White-tailed Eagle havørn fly-by

A White-tailed Eagle havørn did a relatively close fly-by with another bird present at longer range.

On the way home I stopped at Husvatnet where a pair of mating Redshanks rødstilk were almost comical - a rather noisy affair and something of a balancing act. Let us hope they have plenty of young and manage to raise them successfully.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Herdlevær 17 April 2019 - Hoping for a fall

Calm and sunny BUT with a heavy rain shower around dawn I hoped for some grounded migrants - thus I opted for Herdlevær this morning.

On the way there I picked up the first two Swallows låvesvale of the year at Husvatnet, Tjeldstø.

Chiff-chaff gransanger

Herdlevær held the usual stuff but in some increased numbers. A couple of Chiff-chaff gransanger, a few Wheatear steinskvett and a Brambling bjørkefink were among the birds seen here.

A short seawatch during breakfast produced small numbers of Common Scoter svartand, Red-throated Diver smålom and the usual.

Pinkfeet kortnebbgås (with a Greylag grågås to the left)

Common Gulls fiskemåke feeding on newly fertilized fields at Breivik

Synchronised flying display by Sparrowhawk spurvehauk and Hooded Crow kråke

Birds seen on the way home included the seven Pinkfeet kortnebbgås at Kollsnes, Sparrowhawk spurvehauk and Tree Sparrows pilfink at Breivik.

Mistle Thrush duetrost at Nautnes

Aside from the Swallows the best find of the day were two Mistle Thrush duetrost feeding in the field beside my postbox at Nautnes.

In the evening a roding Woodcock rugde was very active at Hatten.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Hernar 16 April 2019 - A productive day on the sea

Calm and sunny again.

Although the conditions were far from ideal for grounded migrants it was time to visit the island of Hernar again today. Although there was not much in the way of migrants, there were a number of new arrivals since my last visit in the form of Twite bergrisik, Linnet tornirisk, Lesser Redpoll brunsisik and Woodpigeon ringdue. A big increase in the number of Wheatear steinskvett and some of the other species. A single Lapland Bunting lappspurv and a Chiff-chaff gransanger or two were the only migrants.

Linnet tornirisk

Raven ravn

Rather odd looking Greylag grågås - much white and for a second I thought I had something more interesting...

Porpoises nise

A large pod of Porpoise nise fed close in to the island.

Long-tailed Ducks havelle

A couple of the several Black Guillemot teist seen today.

Great Northern Diver islom in almost full summer plumage  (massively cropped!)

Long-tailed Ducks havelle are one of the most photogenic species ever

Part of a flock of Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt

Red-necked Grebe gråstrupedykker 

The boat trip there and back produced the best birding of the day with a Red-necked Grebe gråstrupedykker, an adult Great Northern Diver islom, 30+ Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt and some nice flocks of Long-tailed Duck havelle. The latter are getting in the mood for spring, displaying and flying around - in the calm weather they can be heard a long way off.

The first shot I took at very long range as I attempted to approach a little closer.
The birds were then scared up by a passing car and flew towards me giving the opportunity for a few flight shots....

Male Ring Ouzel ringtrost

In the afternoon a few diversions on a trip to the shop produced the Pinkfoot kortnebbgås flock at Kollsness and three cracking Ring Ouzel ringtrost at Breivik in part of a larger flock of mixed thrushes. Reed Bunting sivspurv also put in an appearance here.