Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Øygarden 23 August 2020 - Migrants in the rain

 A quick trip out produced a couple of Whinchat buskskvett and a Reed Bunting sivspurv at Breivik.

Back home a Green Sandpiper skogsnipe dropped in and joined the Common Sandpipers strandsnipe. A Black-headed Gull hettemåke took a break here too - not exactly a daily sighting from the house or anywhere else in Øygarden for that matter.

Snipe enkeltbekkasin very much in evidence with small flocks taking advantage of all the wet ground.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Herdlevær 22 August 2020 - Good weather at last!

 Fresh southerly winds and some short but very heavy showers.

At last some proper weather! Enough sunshine and calm conditions - time for getting up close and personal with some waders.

I took at very late and lazy stroll round Herdlevær and picked up a decent selection of the usual waders including a (the?) Green Sandpiper skogsnipe, 26 Knot polarsnipe, a few each of Sanderling sandløper and Turnstone steinvender

A small flock of Dunline myrsnipe together with a Sanderling sandløper fed intensively and more or less ignored us. The initial crawl through puddles and piles of sheep dung that left me wet and filthy  proved totally pointless

Dunlin myrsnipe - a small flock of six birds was present today

Knot polarsnipe and Oystercatcher tjeld

Sanderling sandløper

Back home the usual couple of White-tailed Eagles havørn and a nice flyover Merlin dvergfalk.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Skogsøy 21 August 2020 - A good few hours of migration

 Light SE winds, distant thunder and varying between sunny and overcast.

A superb few hours of seawatching gave non-stop action with well over 1300 birds heading south. Typically for the time of year numbers were dominated by waders and gulls but there was a nice variety of species too.

The number of Lesser Black-backed Gulls sildemåke  passing was a new record for this locality!

Common Gulls fiskemåke 

Gannet havsule

Great Black-backed Gulls svartbak

Knot polarsnipe with Oystercatcher tjeld

Lesser Black-backed Gull sildemåke

Lesser Black-backed Gull sildemåke

Lesser Black-backed Gull sildemåke

5 Ringed Plover sandlo with a Dunlin myrsnipe (bottom right)

Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke

Rock Pipit skjærpiplerke

4 Ringed Plover sandlo with a Turnstone steinvender (far left)
Knot polarsnipe 65
Ringed Plover sandlo 40
Oystercatcher tjeld 343
Redshank rødstilk 2
Dunlin myrsnipe 7
Common Gull fiskemåke 367
GBBG svartbak 212
LBBG sildemåke 46
Gannet S havsule 57
Gannet N havsule 8
Cormorant S storskarv 23
Cormorant N storskarv 1
Great Skua storjo 1
Shag N toppskarv 17
Shag S toppskarv 1
Wader vaderfugl 56
Common Scoter svartand 57
Velvet Scoter sjøorre 1
Ruff brushane 5
Sanderling sandløper 6
Common Tern  makrellterne 1
Tern terner 3
Turnstone steinvender 3
Golden Plover heilo 6
Bar-tailed Godwit lappspove 3
Herring Gull gråmåke 3
Greenshank gluttsnipe 1
Heron gråhegre 2
Greylag grågås 35

A Merlin dvergfalk also put in an appearance along with the local Rock Pipits skjærpiplerke

On the way home a quick look at Tjeldstø produced another Merlin dvergfalk, Sparrowhawk spurvehauk and a flock of around 60 Linnets tornirisk - a typical late August sighting at Tjeldstø. Greenshank gluttsnipe, Golden Plover heilo and Snipe enkeltbekkasin were also seen here.

Part of a Linnet tornirisk flock at Tjeldstø

At Harkestad there was a flock of 300 Starling stær feeding in the fields there - but nothing special with them.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Hernar 20 August 2020 - Time for some migrants

 Light SE winds and sunny.

Spent the morning looking for migrants on my favourite island.

Although Hernar was lifting with birds including a flock of around 50 Twite bergirisk there were only a Whinchat buskskvett and a Spotted Flycatcher gråfluesnapper present - right up until we were leaving the island when I found a first year Rosy Starling rosenstær sitting on a telephone line together with Starlings stær. I managed a few documentation shots and a quick view in the scope before I ended up helping to carry a vivarium complete with terrapins whilst hoping to obtain some better shots afterwards. Unfortunately once the terrapins were safely onboard their new boat the Rosy had moved on..... You couldn't make it up:)

Other sightings included a selection of the usual waders including Ruff brushane and Greenshank gluttsnipe, a flock of 14 Black-headed Gulls hettemåke (a good Hernar observation) and a Coal Tit svartmeis (an early migrant).

1cy Rosy Starling rosenstær

Whinchat buskskvett

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Herdlevær / Nautnes 19 August 2020 - Early morning rain:)

 Some rain and a bit of southerly winds around dawn meant that even with a late start Herdlevær paid dividends with plenty of waders. Highlights were a Green Sandpiper skogsnipe, my first Ruff brushane of the autumn and a Little Stint dvergsnipe. Most of the usual waders were also present including Knot polarsnipe, Sanderling sandløper, Turnstone steinvender and more. A steady passage of Great Black-backed Gulls svartbak heading south and a Shelduck gravand hanging around were among the other sightings.

Less predictable was a Nuthatch spettmeis at Tjeldstø on the way home.

In the evening a non-birding trip west of Nautnes produced yet more waders - and a nice adult Peregrine vandrefalk  hunting them. It took a while to make it a habit but I don't leave the house without my camera, even if it is only a trip to the shops:)

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Tvisloket / Nautnes 18 August 2020 - Garden List update

Flat calm without a breath of wind. 

Pretty much the same selection of wader species as yesterday but in lower numbers.

We were just about back home when a flock of Greylags grågås flew south and with them a single Bar-headed Goose stripegås.

This reminded me that my garden list has not been paid any attention for some considerable time. It is at least 143 and potentially more than that - two new were added this week alone in the form of a Whinchat buskskvett and Spotted Redshank sotsnipe.

I also received a mail from Geir Mobakken a couple of days ago - who has now cracked 200 for his garden - what a milestone!!

Some house list numbers here for anyone interested.

Bar-headed Goose stripegås

Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt

Turstone steinvender

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Tvisloket 17 August 2020 - Wader time

Finally felt like getting out and about today and, despite a rather late start, the islands and skerries on the west side of Øygarden proved quite productive. At least 90 Knot polarsnipe, 30+ Oystercatcher tjeld, 23 Turnstone steinvender, 14 Ringed Plover sandlo, 5 Sanderling sandløper, 4 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt, a few Dunlin myrsnipe, three Golden Plover heilo, two Common Sandpiper strandsnipe and a Whimbrel småspove all fed and/or rested out there.

This young Eider Duck ærfugl was all on its own

Young Great Black-backed Gulls svartbak

Part of one of the Greylag grågås flocks

Knot polarsnipe

Sanderling sandløper

Shelduck gravand

Turnstones steinvender

A few Shelduck gravand and a small flock of Teal krikkand were among the other species around the islands. 

Several flocks of Greylags grågås passed overhead on their way south totalling at least 160.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Nautnes 13-16 August 2020 Home again

 Extremely tired after another trip offshore and not out birding at all, just relaxing and enjoying a bed that doesn't move and with no engine noise. 

Birds from the terrace included Green Sandpipers skogsnipe and a Spotted Redshank sotsnipe. Good numbers of Redpoll brunsisik, Kestrels tårnfalk seen pretty much wherever I went.

Small flocks of Common Crossbill grankorsnebb, White-tailed Eagles havørn and most of the usual stuff.

In my postbox was a fantastic book: North Atlantic Seabirds, Shearwaters, Jouanin's and White-chinned Petrels. A couple of Scopoli's shearwater pictures I took some years ago were used in the book. Although I have not updated my website for this species there is at least one picture here

The offshore trip provided an opportunity to do some updates to my website, although I still have a few years of pictures to go through:)

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Haltenbank March 30 - April 21 2020 - Back offshore again

A  late post on a four week trip back in March and April - largely in the Haltenbank area of the North Sea.

It was on the early side for much in the way of migration but plenty of the usual seabirds - including Kittiwakes breeding on Heidrun and possibly also Åsgard B.

More details on this page

Aasta Hansteen

Feeding Fulmars havhest

"Intermediate" Blue Fulmar

Song Thrush måltrost