Thursday, July 09, 2020

Tjeldstø and Skogsøy 08-09 July 2020 - Summer stuff

A walk around the reserve at Tjeldstø gave little in the way of migrants - though a Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper here was a relatively unusual sighting at this locality.

Waders and passerines with young - the woods are full of Lesser Redpoll brunsisik, Crested Tits toppmeis and Willow Warblers løvsanger all with families. 

Crested Tit toppmeis

Lesser Redpoll brunsisik

With light westerly winds on 09 July I gave Skogsøy another go - nothing remarkable but a couple of Arctic Skua tyvjo and 14 Puffins lunde heading north meant it was not a waste of time. A couple of Whimbrel småspove also rested here.

Song Thrush måltrost

Tree Sparrow pilfink

Whimbrel småspove

Even though the White-tailed Eagles havørn are now in "stealth mode" I picked up an adult near a breeding location on the way home.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

SKogsøy 06-07 July 2020 - Summer seawatching = Skogsøy record

Strong gale force winds from the north west on 06 July were too strong for any decent movement during most of the day - just as well as I was committed to driving my daughters to town where I spent a large part of the day.

In the evening winds dropped from around 20 m/s to a mere 10 m/s. This did the trick and from a little after 1900 until we left at 21:30 there was a record breaking passage of Manx Shearwater havlire - with a total of 31 passing, largest flock was 8 and was the closest flock to pass. I concentrated on enjoying these birds and making sure my daughter saw at least some of them. I didn't even try and photograph the the majority and instead made sure none of them were more interesting than Manx. Little else passed other than small numbers of various auks and some Gannets havsule. Manx Shearwater was far and away the commonest bird and outnumbered the Gannets by 3:1!!

The next morning winds were weaker still and with light but persistent rain we covered some other sites before hitting Skogsøy again. It was 0900 when we started seawatching and just one distant Manx Shearwater havlire was seen. However, there was a lot more variety with two Great Skua storjo heading south, a few Arctic Skua tyvjo, Puffins lunde, a Fulmar havhest and a southbound Red-throated Diver smålom among the sightings.

This partial albino GBBG svartbak caused some confusion for a few seconds

A male Pied Wagtail svartryggerle was at Harkestad, a Golden Plover heilo joined Lapwings vipe at Breivk and the Wrynecks vendehals continued to bring in food to their young at Sture.

Heavily cropped image of Wryneck vendehals with a beak full of food for its young

Monday, July 06, 2020

Øygarden 03-05 July 2020 - Time to get a hunting license.....

Spending most of my time trying to get caught up with house stuff, sawing and splitting logs etc, but still out and about to a certain degree most days.

The Rosy Starling rosenstær has predictably proved popular with twitchers from town and has been seen daily since I found it - although disappears for long periods of time.

I finally made the effort to catch up with a Wryneck vendehals pair that are breeding in a nestbox having ousted the previous occupants.

During wet weather on 05 July I checked out a few localities. The Common Tern makrellterne colony at Dåvøy remains abandoned - although I am not certain it would be easy to point the finger at mink being the reason behind this. However, a small Arctic Tern rødnebbterne colony surprisingly remains active at Tjeldstø with adults coming in with food regularly. At least one pair of Common Tern were among these.

Arctic Terns rødnebbterne with young

The Common Tern pair at Nautnes have a well grown chick but it is not yet on the wing. There have been only a couple of pairs at this locality - so it is puzzling that these have got so far whilst a larger colony has failed......

Some Lapwings vipe have fully fledged young - it seems the birds at Kollsnes may have managed to raise some young and moved over to better feeding at Breivik where another pair probably has very small young. At Breivik a Woodcock rugde flew over despite it being the middle of the day.

This adult was actively warning some young hidden in the grass at Breivik

One of the Lapwing chicks at Husvatnet, Tjeldstø - only a few tens of metres from a hunting mink

At Tjeldstø there was at least one Lapwing chick - seems to be growing fast and hopefully it will be fast enough. Just after I photographed this agitated Common Gulls fiskemåke drew my attention to a mink obviously looking for eggs or chicks in the reserve. Without my dog I am now evaluating going through the process of obtaining a hunting license so I can shoot these things....

Wish it was something other than a camera I shot this with......

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Tjeldstø 02 July 2020 - Rosy Starling

On my way to work (albeit just for a day) I took a detour of a few hundred metres. First bird I saw was a cracking male Rosy Starling rosenstær - it was just a matter of time before these started turning up here too but this was the first of the year for the "county".

Male Rosy Starling rosenstær

This Oystercatcher tjeld landed on the roof of the car next to mine as I parked up at work in Bergen

Friday, July 03, 2020

Øygarden 28.06- 01.07 2020 - Waders

On Sunday 28.06 I did not get out at all but I heard the first Greenshank gluttsnipe of the autumn fly over the house in the evening. A Lapwing vipe with two young at Husvatnet was not unexpected but the chicks were very small and obviously a second or even third attempt to get some young off to a start - elsewhere in Øygarden I saw some of this year's Lapwing fully grown and flying.....

Lapwing vipe sheltering a young one in the rain

The shower stops but the young one is reminded of clear and present danger.....

...but runs off to do its own thing anyway

....and ran off in the direction of one (perhaps the only one) of its siblings

The following day the best bird was a Green Sandpiper skogsnipe - again an evening bird flying up from a pool to the north of my house and heading south. The rest of the day was spent getting my car serviced - so, this being Norway, I now need to get offshore ASAP to pay for it. Probably for the rest of my natural life,

On 30.06 a Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove fed in the fields at Breivik - but looked like a young bird rather than an early returning adult - where a flock of 16 Curlew storspove was also present. Seven Lapwing vipe including some young birds - quite possibly young raised in the immediate vicinity fed in newly sown grass. Herdlevær produced the usual including an immature White-tailed Eagle havørn, a small flock of Twite bergirisk and Merganser siland with young.

Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove with Oystercatcher tjeld at Breivik

On 01 July the winds were strong and from the north so I squeeezed in 1.5 hours of seawatching. This produced little in the way of numbers but four Puffin lunde, three Whimbrel småspove and a Red-throated Diver smålom were among the birds heading north and a flock of four Great Skua storjo headed south.

Gannet havsule with rope stuck around it's bill. This bird sat on the sea for an hour before it took to the wing....

Lesser Black-backed Gull sildemåke

Whimbrel småspove

White-tailed Eagle havørn - a bird probably in it's third year