Friday, November 08, 2019

Øygarden 03 November 2019 - (Un)Common Buzzard!

Another bright and sunny morning with winds from the east.

Jackdaw kaie

Starlings stær

I did a short check at Herdlevær where Waxwings sidensvans put in an appearance, a late Woodpigeon ringdue headed south and another typical late autumn migrant - Jackdaw kaie - turned up. Otherwise just the usual Redpolls gråsisik, Brambling bjørkefink etc

Roadside Meadow Pipit heipiplerke at Breivik
The vast majority have left the area now

I then stopped at Tjeldstø and started filling petrol. However, I had to abort, grab my camera and take pictures of a Common Buzzard musvåk that came over chased by Hooded Crows kråke and disappeared to the south....A rare bird out in Øygarden and the first I have seen at Tjeldstø.

Common Buzzard musvåk

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Øygarden 01-02 November 2019 - Still plenty going on!

On 01 November I did a quick check at Herdlevær which produced Goshawk hønsehauk and Goldfinch stillits as the best birds.

Peregrine vandrefalk at Tjeldstø

Tjeldstø was slightly better with three White-tailed Eagles havørn - two adults seemed to cooperate on catching a large fish and a younger birds that tried to get in on the action. Also a first year Goshawk hønsehauk and an adult Peregrine vandrefalk.

Thrushes and finches still picking off the last of the rowan berries and some late Dunnock jernspurv also moving through - heard or seen at a few locations.

Female Blackcap munk at Blomvåg

On 02 November I spent at hour at Sæle where I had a couple of flocks of Waxwing sidensvans as the best birds. Family errands meant I had to chase a bus to Rong and on the way home I picked up a couple of female Blackcaps munk at Blomvåg, a Merlin dvergfalk over the road at Oen and both Waxwing sidensvans and Goldfinch stillits at Ådnevika.

A short trip out in the afternoon finally gave me actual views of a Green Woodpecker grønnspett, a few more Waxwing sidensvans flocks heading south and 100s of finches - mostly Common Redpoll gråsisik, Siskin grønnsisik and Brambling bjørkefink.

Otter in my "garden"
I did actually leave the terrace to get the close up shots!

Back home at Nautnes a Little Auk alkekonge turned up on the sea outside the house and an Otter put on a nice performance as it devoured a butterfish.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Skogsøy and Hellesøy 30-31 October 2019 - Looking for Pineys

On 30 October I did not go looking for Pine Grosbeaks and went seawatching instead.

Adult Great Northern Diver islom

s the weather was "nice" I did not use the hide but sat in the usual place for a little over an hour. 18 Little Auk alkekonge heading north and an adult Great Northern Diver islom were the best of the birds. 11 Kittiwake krykkje and 60 "guillebills" headed south - only several of which were specifically identified - all as Razorbill alke. A flyover Lapland Bunting lappspurv was a bonus sighting here.

Waxwings sidensvans

On my way home I found a flock of around 20 Waxwing sidensvans feeding on insects from the top of spruce trees.

Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett, Hellesøy

A selection of grounded migrants at Hellesøy - Redwing rødvingetrost, Brambling bjørkefink and Chaffinch bokfink

tristis Chiff-chaff sibirgransanger - "chicken" called a lot!

On 31 October I had a vocal Lesser Spotted Woodpecker dvergspett at Hatten before heading up to Hellesøy where there were lots of birds about. Mostly the usual autumn suspects but a few Chiff-chaff gransanger about - at least one of which was a tristis. A Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett also gave good views here.

Back home at Nautnes I had to announce that a Goshawk hønsehauk passed to the other participants of a Skype meeting with work.....

Monday, November 04, 2019

Herdlevær & Tjeldstø 28-29 October 2019 - Northward migration

On 28 October the usual round at Herdlevær showed that the rather strange phenomenon of northward migration was underway with thrushes, finches and Waxwing sidensvans moving north. This happens most autumns during periods of calm, sunny and settled weather.

Goldfinch stillits, Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett and Snow Bunting snøspurv and at least three Great Northern Divers islom were among the other species seen.

On my way home I drove past Sture where I had four Two-barred Crossbill båndkorsnebb and a flock of at least 100 Brambling bjørkefink feeding on spruce cones.

A very small part of a flock of migrating Fieldfare gråtrost at Tjeldstø

On 29 October I spent an hour at Tjeldstø and counted migrating Fieldfare - 1200 in one hour! I had hundreds more  at other localities during the morning. Several thousand must have passed during the course of the day - but heading north rather than the more seasonally acceptable south. Other stuff during this hour included 100's of finches  - largely Brambling bjørkefink, Redpoll gråsisik and Siskin grønnsisik. A few small flocks of Goldfich stillits, three Sparrowhawk spurvehauk also headed north. Flyover White-tailed Eagles havørn, Curlew storspove and Snipe enkeltbekkasin were among the other species seen here.

Back at Nautnes a Tree Sparrow pilfink and a Blackcap munk joined the more usual suspects in the garden. More birds heading north here too including Fieldfare gråstrost, Brambling bjørkefink and another flock of 15 Waxwing sidensvans.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Herdlevær 26 October 2019 - Pipit chasing

Another rather windy day.

A fairly typical morning out with a couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn, a Razorbill alke on the sea, Rock Pipits skjærpiplerke, a Wigeon brunnakke and small numbers of thrushes and finches. The finches included a couple of Goldfinch stillits.

I thought that a pipit that flew up silently was worth investigating further. Shortly afterwards it called with a tree / OBP flight call and, given the time of year my pulse rate went up and I knew I wasn't going to catch that bus to town.....

A late Tree Pipit trepiplerke

It flew off a long way but I had an idea about where it would probably go down so off I went and sure enough relocated the bird. After viewing the bird in the scope I realised it was "just" a rather late Tree Pipit trepiplerke and managed finally to snap some pictures to document the find. Just shows that these late pipits with interesting calls are just as likely to be Tree Pipit.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Skogsøy 25 October - Little Auks on the move!

Gale force WSW with some showers.

The drop down windows work fine although they are a bit on the narrow side

Out of the wind and rain, I'll be making the most of this in future storms...

I used the new "hide" at Skogsøy for the first time today. This construction is ideally placed for those days when it blows hard from the south through to west and when raining. The windows are on the narrow side for seawatching but it is considerably better than the alternative of sitting exposed to the elements. The hide did shake a bit in the wind but probably less shake than the wind would normally give on a scope tripod.

A few Kittiwakes krykkje

Great Northern Diver islom

A couple of hours or so of seawatching gave some great results - over 500 Little Auks alkekonge battled their way south as did 60+ other auks, 19 Gannets havsule, 45 Kittiwake krykkje, 8 Long-tailed Duck havelle, a Great Northern Diver islom and a Red-throated Diver smålom. A Woodcock rugde feeding out by the lookout was an unusual place to see this common autumn migrant.

Long-tailed Ducks havelle at Tjeldstø

Sometimes the Little Auks head down the fjord in greater numbers than offshore so I checked Tjeldstø quickly. No auks but a couple of Purple Sands fjæreplytt, a nice pair of Long-tailed Duck havelle and a Common Scoter svartand turned up.