Friday, April 24, 2020

Skogsøy 24 April 2020 - The Loonatic season begins....

Some might say I wasn't in my right mind to leave a perfectly good bed at idiot o'clock to go seawatching in a chilly northerly wind.  However, it is close to the end of April and the loonatic season has started. To make matters worst I have no idea how long I have at home......

The northerly winds were a little to strong to make this the best of migrations days but there was enough interest to keep things going until it was time to go home.

Best birds were actually a southbound Great Skua storjo - the first for the new Vestland county this year and a Little Auk alkekonge - the first I have seen this year.

A 2nd year White-billed Diver gulnebblom was an unusual sighting as most birds passing here at this time of year are adults. An adult also passed:)

A little over five hours seawatching gave the following results:

Red throated Diver N 66
White Billed Diver N 2
Northern Gannet N 57
Northern Gannet S 12
Great Cormorant S 1
Eurasian Shag N 3
Eurasian Shag S 5
Teal N 1
Tufted Duck N 1
Long tailed duck N 14
Common Scoter N 99
Common Scoter S 11
Merganser N 1
Merganser S 2
Oystercatcher N 13
Eurasian Curlew N 15
Great Skua S 1
Common Gull N 2
Lesser black backed Gull N 1
Common Guillemot N 9
Razorbill N 6
Little Auk N 1

Small flocks of Common Scoter svartand were the most numerous species today

Migrating Curlew storspove

Gannet havsule

Red-throated Diver smålom

Second year White-billed Diver gulnebblom

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Dåvøy and Hernar 23 April 2020 - Back in business and a personal first for Øygarden!

Arrived home last night after four weeks in the northern Norwegian sector (more about that later I hope).

Northerly breeze with light cloud cover, sunny at times.

My first ever Stork in Øygarden!

Kicked the day off at Dåvøy where a Stork was the first I have seen in Øygarden  - the last one was seen whilst I was at the top of a mast on a vessel in Bergen. This one was a lot more cooperative:)

Black Guillemot teist

Chiff-chaff gransanger - one of many seen today

Curlew storspove

Long-tailed Duck havelle

Meadow Pipit heipiplerke

Purple Sandpipers fjæreplytt - several small flocks present today - and the birds are moulting into breeding plumage,

White Wagtail linerle

After this a trip to Hernar - the first of the year - was on the cards. The islands on the way out produced a flock of Curlew storspove, small numbers of Teal krikkand, several flocks of Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt, at least four Black Guillemot teist, Long-tailed Ducks havelle and the usual.

Hernar gave up the expected - small numbers of Wheatear steinskvett, Twite bergirisk, Linnet tornirisk, displaying Snipe enkeltbekkasin, Golden Plover heilo, White Wagtail linerle and plenty more besides.

A drive-by at Breivik saw the first two Swallows låvesvale of the year along with singing Skylark sanglerke and a another flock of Golden Plover heilo.

Having missed a significant part of the spring there were plenty of new species for the year. Chiff-chaff gransanger were everywhere and a Willow Warbler løvsanger sang in my garden.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Øygarden 21-23 March - Game over for now

With a lot of stuff to sort out before a return to a good old fashioned offshore trip I did not manage to put much effort into the birding.

Birdwise the highlights were new sightings of the two "new" neck-ringed Greylags grågås at Tjeldstø and a Black-headed Gull hettemåke from my terrace. Still plenty of White-tailed Eagles havørn though:)

Coooperative Grey Seal havert at Herdlevær

Greylag numbers have now reached around 200 at Tjeldstø - though these two neck-ringed birds have been around for a while now.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Skogsøy 20 March 2020 - A good day's migration

Calm, sunny and frosty on the way out - just how we like it! Warm enough to not have to do my coat up too!

I spent nearly four hours seawatching and notched up the first two Red-throated Diver smålom of the season along with a respectable 655 Oystercatcher tjeld heading north.

Plenty of formation flying from the Oystercatchers tjeld today. 

One of two Red-throated Diver smålom that passed

Some good chances to compare Shags toppskarv with Cormorants storskarv as they came past in mixed flocks

Red throated Diver N 2
Northern Gannet N 10
Northern Gannet S 6
Great Cormorant N 4
Great Cormorant S 6
Eurasian Shag N 16
Eurasian Shag S 46
Greylag Goose N 7
Eider S 2
Long tailed duck S 2
Oystercatcher N 655
Oystercatcher S 1
Eurasian Curlew N 5
Common Gull N 17
Common Gull S 3
Common Guillemot N 1
Razorbill N 1
Auk N 3

On the way home a Meadow Pipit heipiplerke at Breivik and six Lapwing vipe beside Husvatnet, Tjeldstø were other signs of spring.