Thursday, August 29, 2019

Hernar 29 August 2019 - Rain = migrants

I decided to take the risk of heavy rain and with southerly winds and light rain as I set off things looked promising....

Common Redstart rødstjert - looks like a first year male

Wryneck vendehals

The rain was not too bad, though I did hunker down for about an hour through the worst of it. Before the rain set in a Whinchat buskvett was one of the few grounded migrants I picked up. After the rain a nice Redstart rødstjert and a Wryneck vendehals were the pick of the sightings. A Garden Warbler hagesanger also showed briefly.

Predictably there were some waders passing with Golden Plover heilo the most numerous. Others included a flock of three migrating Greenshank gluttsnipe.

A Peregrine vandrefalk put in a couple of appearance, first going after Starlings stær and later seen chasing a Common Tern makrellterne. White-tailed Eagle havørn and most of the usual suspects meant there was always something to see.

Things turned sunny just before I left.....

A quick look at Tjeldstø later on produced the first Goldeneye kvinand of the autumn (very early), White-tailed Eagle havørn and a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk giving a good go at catching a Swallow låvesvale.

House Sparrow gråspurv in my garden - it seems to have been a good year for them with plenty of young birds present.

Still lots of Painted Ladies about - this one on a yellow budlia in my garden

Herdlevær 28 August 2019 - (almost) Before the weather breaks.....

With work to do in the morning I left it until the last minute before the forecast torrential rain hit. I almost made it but was thoroughly soaked on the way home.

Sanderlings sandløper

Fresh westerly winds with rapidly approaching clouds may have been responsible for putting down a few waders. Best of the bunch were four of this years Sanderling sandløper. Other waders were three Knot polarsnipe, a couple of Golden Plover heilo, four Redshank rødstilk, Snipe enkeltbekkasin, and a Common Sandpiper strandsnipe. The only other migrant was a Kestrel tårnfalk.

On the way home a few Whinchat buskskvett joined the usual Wheatears steinskvett at Kollsnes.

Herdlevær 17 August 2019 - Rainy day birding

With SE winds and rain I hoped for a wader bonanza at Herdlevær. This was not the case with just a couple of Golden Plover heilo, Snipe enkeltbekkasin, a Common Sandpiper strandsnipe, a Greenshank gluttsnipe and some Oystercatcher tjeld.

Green Sandpipers skogsnipe

Snipe enkeltbekkasin

The way home produced a few more waders with a couple of Ruff brushane at Kollsnes, a couple of Green Sandpiper skogsnipe and more Snipe enkeltbekkasin at Ådnevika and a couple more Greenshank gluttsnipe at Tjeldstø.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Skogsøy 16 August 2019 - Late start wader migration

Light WSW winds but with a heavy swell coming in from somewhere else.

I just couldn't drag myself out of bed this morning and didn't get up until 0640. This was a mistake.

There was obviously quite a bit on the move and I assume I missed the best bit that normally occurs around dawn...

I had to make do with over 400 Oystercatcher tjeld, 195 Common Gull fiskemåke, 60 Great Black backed Gulls svartbak, 30 Turnstone steinvender, 16 Knot polarsnipe, 4 Curlew storspove and several Lesser Black-backed Gulls sildemåke heading south. Over 40 Gannets havsule went north along with a single flock of Knot polarsnipe.

The walk in and out produced Sparrowhawk spurvehauk, Ruff brushane and Greenshank gluttsnipe in addition to the usual Crested Tits toppmeis etc.

After a bit of work at home I checked out Tjeldstø but there was little other than a White-tailed Eagle havørn and a couple of Greenshank gluttsnipe present.

Hernar 15 Augusr 2019 - Vis mig

The weather turned out better than expected with light easterlies and clear skies.

So there was not much in the way of grounded migrants. However, all was not lost as there was a bit of passage which resulted in a number of new species for the island for the year and indeed even a new species for Hernar - a Spotted Redshank sotsnipe that was picked up heading south together with a couple of Greenshank gluttsnipe, a Redshank rødstilk and another smaller unidentified wader. The Spotted Red split off from the group and headed in to land. Unfortunately this was only seen in the telescope.

Young Fieldfare gråtrost

First year Kestrel tårnfalk

Ravens ravn

The other new species for Hernar for the year were Golden Plover heilo, Greenshank gluttsnipe, Ruff brushane, Dunlin myrsnipe, Sand Martin sandsvale and Kestrel tårnfalk.

Several flocks of Greylags grågås headed south too.

Among the usual suspects were plenty of Twite bergirisk and a couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn.

Meadow Pipit heipiplerke

A cooperative Ruff brushane
Worth lying in a marsh for.

After a couple of hours working I headed back out again - this time to Tjeldstø. No surprises there - just a couple of Ruff brushane, a Greenshank gluttsnipe and the usual.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Skogsøy 13 August 2019 - Gannets

Fresh northerly winds had me hoping for a bit more than Gannets havsule. I sat for over 1.5 hours and notched up 110 northbound Gannets, mostly at close range. Little else passed other than a flock of 30 Knot polarsnipe - also heading north.

Gannets havsule

Lesser Black-backed Gull sildemåke

Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke

I ran into a couple of Wren gjerdesmett families on the way home.....

The previous day was spent guiding in even stronger northerly winds - but at Herdla rather than Øygarden. At least 12 species of wader, a couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn and a Yellow Wagtail gulerle were among the sightings.

Øygarden 10-11 August 2019 - Taking it easy / Unusual TBC irruption

Taking things very easy with just a couple of strolls at Tjeldstø, some observations from the garden and a walk at Hjelme West.

Tjeldstø produced the usual seasonal waders with up to three Green Sandpiper skogsnipe on 11 August when a Wood Sandpiper grønnstilk also put in an appearance. Other waders included a few Greenshank gluttsnipe, Redshank rødstilk, several Ruff brushane and up to 20 Snipe enkeltbekkasin.

Tjeldstø also produced Merlin dvergfalk and a "rusty" Cuckoo gjøk.

The house and garden gave pretty much more of the same plus a Whimbrel småspove.

Heavily cropped shots of the bird near Storavatnet

The male Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb at Hjelme West

Male Two-barred Crossbills båndkorsnebb were heard singing close to Storavatnet and at Hjelme West on 11 August. I was completely thrown when I first heard the song - I am well accustomed to the usual harsh metallic call and the better known trumpet call. But the song was totally unexpected - and thoughts of some strange sylvia warbler sprang to mind as the song reminded me somewhat of a rather strange Lesser Whitethroat. The bird at Storavatnet was alone but the one at Hjelme West had a companion which answered its calls / song but did not show well.

This singing is just another unusual aspect of the ongoing irruption. Some of the other differences are largely single birds rather than flocks, later than "usual" and bypassing the area and getting to the UK before here.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Hardangarvidda 07 August 2019 - Late season vidda

Constantly changing conditions from overcast with rain to sunny - as can so often be the case in the mountains

Although this was not intended as a birding trip as such, a few stops were made in the usual kinds of places and at least some of the target species were found to still be present including five Temminck's Stints temminksnipe and small numbers of Shorelark fjellerke. Bluethroats blåstrupe were still widespread and a reasonable selection of other waders were seen including a Green Sandpiper skogsnipe. Lapland Bunting lappspurv was heard only at one location.

The commonest species were Meadow Pipit heipiplerke, Fieldfare gråtrost, Yellow Wagtail gulerle, White Wagtail linerle, Wheatear steinskvett, Willow Warbler løvsanger, Common Gull fiskemåke and Golden Plover heilo. Other species were Kestrel tårnfalk, Reed Bunting sivspurv, Raven ravn, Common Sandpiper strandsnipe, Ringed Plover sandlo, Cormorant storskarv, Herring Gull gråmåke, Redwing rødvingetrost, Redshank rødstilk and Tufted Duck toppand.

Some young Bluethroats blåstrupe were particularly cooperative!

 Young Bluethroats blåstrupe

A more typical view of Bluethroat blåstrupe

An adult female

One of this year's Dunlin myrsnipe

Various views of the Hardanger glacier

Young Ringed Plover sandlo

Young Shorelark fjellerke

Yellow wagtail gulerle