Thursday, October 31, 2019

Herdlevær / Tjeldstø / Nautnes 23 October 2019 - Another new for the house list!

What a cracking day out in strong southerly winds and overcast conditions

I did my usual round at Herdlevær finally picking up a decent Siberian Chiff-chaff sibirgransanger (despite the fact it didn't call), Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt, Goldfinch stillits and a selection of the usual stuff plus a couple of lateish Oystercatcher tjeld.

This bird ticks all the sibe chiff-chaff boxes despite the lack of vocalisation.
All black bill, jet black legs, hint of a wingband etc etc!

Oystercatcher tjeld - getting late for these now....

Grey outer tail feather says the ar*e

Lots of Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke at Herdlevær now....

On my way home I stopped at Husvatnet (what a shock!) and found the Ring-necked Duck ringand had returned after a couple of days absence.

Grey Heron gråhegre at Tjeldstø

Ring-necked Duck ringand
Slightly better pictures than last time despite the light conditions

Back home I started to get back into some work stuff but something made me look up and a 1cy Glaucous Gull polarmåke flew right past the terrace. Amazingly a new species for the house....

...again obeying the golden rule of bird photography:
If the image is somehow in focus the second wing will be missing from the photograph:)

First year Glaucous Gull polarmåke - a cracking bird and a house tick to boot!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Herdlevær 24 October 2019 - Jack Snipe at last

Strong southerly winds and overcast again.

I did the usual Herdlevær round again - still plenty of Rock Pipits skjærpiplerke and some thrushes and finches. Best bird was a nice Jack Snipe kvartbekkasin - a species that often turns up in wet and windy conditions.

At Hatten a flock of nine Two-barred Crossbills båndkorsbnebb turned up but were typically difficult to photograph in the tree tops where they were joined by a flock of at least 20 Brambling bjørkefink.

Common Scoter svartand from my terrace at Nautnes

Jay nøtteskrike at Hatten

A few of the Two-barred Crossbills båndkorsnebb

Whoopers sangsvane at Tjeldstø

Friday, October 25, 2019

Herdlevær 21 October 2019 - Back to not birding

A very quick look at Herdlevær in the morning produced a Merlin dvergfalk, a Peregrine vandrefalk and a cooperative Guillemot lomvi.

A Guillemot lomvi fished in the channel under the bridge. Obscene ISO and stupidly slow shutter speeds but reasonable results.....

Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb still hanging around too and a lone Pinkfoot kortnebbgås near Blomvåg.

Tjeldstø 20 October 2019 - RING-NECKED DUCK

The cracking weather continues and after a day of essentially not birding I was on my way to fill petrol when a message came in that meant I had to screech to a halt at Husvatnet, Tjeldstø.

Local birder Bjørnar Skjold had found the first Ring-necked Duck ringand for Øygarden!! Owing to the rarity value and the fact others were on their way to get this massive find (only the second county record) I just took some documentation shots from a long distance (the others had already secured more than ample shots so there was no need for more).

Jay nøtteskrike collecting peanuts at Hatten

A couple of obscenely cropped images from my DSLR

Phone scoped images of  the presumed 2cy Ring-necked Duck ringand

On the way home I managed to pick up a Green Woodpecker grønspett at Hatten - the second Øygarden tick today! This species has been seen for the last week or so by a number of obsevers in various places which may point to something of an invasion. This is the first record to be found in the national recording system although the late Eddie Chapman told me that he had seen this species at least at Sæle in the past.

Relegated to "also ran" was a Two-barred Crossbill bånkorsnebb at the same place.

One of the Ring Ousel ringtrost from yesterday also found its way back to my garden.

Øygarden 17-19 October 2019 - Common Crossbill on the move

SE winds continue.....

On 17 October I did the "usual" Thursday half-day on Hernar. The weather forecast turned out to be the exact opposite of what actually happened so instead of dry in the morning and wet in the afternoon this turned out to be a rather wet experience. Nothing much of note though the Carrion Crow svartkråke was still present and a Velvet Scoter sjøorre joined the Common Scoter svartand flock. Water Rail vannrikse, small numbers of Twite bergirisk, a Chiff-chaff gransanger and several Red-throated Diver smålom were among the species seen.

I spent a couple of hours at Herdlevær on 18 October where the main feature was a very noticeable movement of Common Crossbill grankorsnebb - at least 240 headed south whilst I was there and I had a couple of hundred more heading the same way at other localities later in the day. Highlights were a probable Green Woodpecker grønnspett (heard only), a Yellowhammer gulspurv that flew over a few times, a late White Wagtail linerle etc.

Blackbird svarttrost

Chiff-chaff gransanger - sounded like sibe but didn't tick many other of the boxes

A Chiff-chaff gransanger sounded very "chicken" like and on call should have been a tristis. However, I could not make any of the plumage details fit - rather like a bird I had on Hernar a few years ago.

Back home at Nautnes a couple of flocks of Goldfinch stillits totalling 19 birds headed north and two Ring Ousel ringtrost fed in the area and even came into my "garden".

The flock of nine Pinkfeet kortnebbgås remained at Breivik and a few Golden Plover heilo still knocking about here and there.

And to show that I very occasionally take photos of things that are not birds a couple of shots from my terrace:

Moon taken with a mobile phone though my scope

Evening view from the terrace

Hernar 16 October 2019 - Another all-dayer!

South easterly winds and overcast conditions meant that things looked promising.

Although there were no real rarities I did manage a few new for the island's 2019 year list in the form of a Hen Harrier myrhauk, a fly-over Ring Ousel ringtrost (thank God for those flight calls!), a couple of Goldfinch stillits and a flock of Wigeon brunnakke.

The one that got away was a Tree/OB Pipit that called a few times as it seemingly came in to land. I checked out the area it looked like it went down but, as usual, failed to connect. One day I'll see one of these things properly!

The supporting cast included a couple of Lapland Bunting lappspurv, at least 1200 Redwing rødvingetrost passing over, Water Rails vannrikse, Great Northern Divers islom

One of many Brambling bjørkefink seen today

Blue Tit blåmeis do not breed on the island - so this is a migrant. 
On Hernar they often feed in the grass rather than in trees and bushes

Meadow Pipit heipiplerke - one of three pipit species on the island today

One of several Reed Bunting sivspurv present

Starling stær

Second year White-tailed Eagle havørn

A/the Carrion Crow svartkråke put in an appearance.

Around 47 species so once again close to the usual Hernar day tally.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Engerdal 12-14 October 2019 - Getting away from the rarities

Another attempt to avoid the rarities - I fled east again to escape the rarity pressure  - and avoid the inevitable few days of rarity reports before the February deadline next year😀

Although there were obviously less birds about that my recent visit it was still a pleasure to bird the area - possibly one of the few places left that can be still called wilderness. I even managed to find yet another promising locality for further investigation next year.....

Waxwing sidensvans were particularly obvious, I picked up a cracking roadside Hawk Owl haukugle and even managed a new species for the municipality (at according to artsobs) - Goldfinch stillits along with a few more Engerdal year ticks.

I even left my real camera at home  - only taking my point and pray superzoom with an almost flat battery. Less time spent downloading images = happier birder!

So just a few pics and a couple of short videos.

Waxwings sidensvans feeding on the neighbours redcurrants....

Roadside Hawkie.....

Hawk Owl haukugle

Røksdalskanppen. I'll be back!
This photo in no way does justice to the actual view. Stunning is too small a word!

Galtsjøen with Sølen in the background

A nice result.