Friday, October 09, 2020

Oslo 07-09 October - Promising?

Moved east to avoid too many birds:) A flock of Bearded Tits skjeggmeis were found back home the day after I left just to rub it in. The first record for Øygarden and the second for the county. 

And to further ensure few birds were seen I  almost didn't go out either, though I managed a couple of afternoon visits to Gressholm right outside Oslo city centre.

On 07 October there were masses of Fieldfare gråtrost and few of the migrants I've been seeing on the west coast - so it looks like things are at least a couple of weeks ahead here. 

The only birds of any interest were a flyover Common Buzzard musvåk which landed on the island to the south of Gressholmen and a Peregerine vandrefalk heading over towards the city centre. A couple of Chiff-chaff gransanger were the only other migrants present.

Water Vole vånd - the island of Gressholm is FULL of these right now.

There are obviously enormous numbers of rodents - the ground was full of burrows and we saw at least some of the culprits - Water Voles vånd. This should mean a promising season for raptors and owls.

Fieldfare gråtrost bathing in seawater

The only other thing of remote interest was that the Fieldfare gråtrost were bathing and washing themselves in large numbers in seawater. I don't think I have seen this before....

Another visit on 09 October produced nothing, almost literally. I've seen more in the middle of winter there.

A Red-flanked Bluetail blåstjert was found at Fornebu on 08 October showing that with luck and perservation even the east of Norway can produce some rarities!!

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Herdelvær 05 October 2020 -

 Yet another day of easterly winds.

It seems like many of the birds are clearing out under the current good migration conditions.

Red-throated Diver smålom at Herdlevær

The Red-throated Diver smålom was still present as were the four Grey Plover tundralo. A hunting Merlin dvergfalk, a couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn and a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk were the raptors.

A flock of three Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås were also a Herdlevær - no doubt the same birds previously associating with the Pinkfeet kortnebbgås at Breivik - where 55 were remained.

Most of the usual passerines about including at least one Yellow-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger, Bullfinch dompap and Goldfinch stillits.

On the way home I caught up with the Pintail stjertand again, now together with seven Wigeon brunnakke and a few Teal krikkand.

Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett photographed from my terrace.

A Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett showed itself quite well from the terrace but I didn't bother leaving the house to obtain better images. A Lesser spotted Woodpecker dvergspett was the first I have seen from my terrace this year. Other sightings from the house included a Wigeon brunnakke and Bullfinch dompap - a species which is obviously on the move from somewhere else at the moment.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Herdlevær 04 October 2020 - Taking it easy again

 The light easterly winds continue:)

Just did my usual round at Herdlevær today. A Red-throated Diver smålom fed close in and gave some nice photo opportunities. Other stuff included a flock of four Grey Plover tundralo feeding on the shore together with a Ringed Plover sandlo and a Dunlin myrsnipe. A Great Northern Diver islom headed north during my coffee break.

First year Red-throated Diver smålom

Grey Plover tundralo (cropped from already cropped image below)

Grey Plover tundralo, Dunlin myrsnipe and Ringed Plover sandlo

Bullfinch dompap was the only passerine of note and for the first time in over a week I did not see a Yellow-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger.

A Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett once again put in appearance back home at Nautnes.

Monday, October 05, 2020

Øygarden 03 October 2020 - New species for the house list

 Another day of cracking weather. I took things rather easy with just a walk at Breivik and a stop at Tjeldstø on the way home but nevertheless had some decent sightings.

Pinkfeet kortnebbgås with two Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås

Pintail stjertand with Wigeon brunnakke

At Breivik / Kollsnes the best bird was the first Pintail stjertand of the year together with some Wigeon brunnakke. A couple of Barnacle Geese hvitkinngås had joined the flock of Pinkfeet kortnebbgås at Breivik. Otherwise flocks of thrushes, finches, Woodpigeons ringdue and Golden Plover heilo on the move.

Yellow-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger at Tjeldstø

A Yellow-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger, two migrating Grey Wagtail vintererle and some flyover Goldfinch stillits were the pick of the sightings at Tjeldstø.

Common Buzzard musvåk from the terrace (it looked a lot better in the bins and scope!)

My terrace produced the best bird of the day in the form of a Common Buzzard musvåk - quite the rarity out here and another addition to the house list:) A late Swift tårnseiler headed south as did a couple of Kestrel tårnfalk. A flock of 12 Goldfinch stillits, singing Chiff-chaff gransanger, Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett, three White-tailed Eagles havørn, four Swallows låvesvale and a couple of Red-throated Diver smålom were among the other things seen from the house.

My stint on the terrace was interrupted to go and investigate a strange bird seen in the woods nearby. I said it was Jay nøtteskrike before I left and this is what is was. It is always Jay:) Bonus bird was a Treecreeper trekryper. Plus some reports (with proof) of Hawk Owl haukugle back in September 2018 - so an area worth keeping an eye on.

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Hernar 02 October - All day sesh II

 Easterly winds, overcast and with about an hour of light rain early on.

Hernar at dawn

With seemingly ideal conditions the island was slightly disappointing with no real rarities, just three Yellow-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger. Other migrants included a Garden Warbler hagesanger, three Blackcap munk, at least five Chiff-chaff gransanger, a Ring Ousel ringtrost and a flyover Lapland Bunting lappspurv

Generally a little less about that a couple of days ago - I managed to cover rather more of the island today. Still plenty to see though including migrating Bullfinch dompap, Grey Wagtail vintererle, Common Crossbill grankorsnebb and good numbers of Redwing rødvingetrost and Song Thrush måltrost.

Raptors were thin on the ground today with just a Kestrel tårnfalk and a first year Peregrine vandrefalk seen. Few waders too, just an Oystercatcher tjeld, small numbers of migrating Golden Plover heilo and a Ringed Plover sandlo in addition to the ever present Snipe enkeltbekkasin.

Back on the mainland I thought I should check up again on yesterday's diver and this time saw it in better conditions confirming its identity as Black-throated Diver storlom

Various views of Black-throated Diver storlom

A Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett called repeatedly somewhere close to my house in the evening

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Herdlevær 01 October 2020 - SURF SCOTER!

 A morning walk at Herdlevær really produced the goods today. Light SE winds, overcast with  hint of rain turning sunny later.

As we neared the place where I normally stop for coffee and breakfast a scoter came flying past at close range. For some reason I thought I should lift my binoculars and check it out - and was immediately struck by the massive orange bill, white forehead and a large white neck patch - male SURF SCOTER brilleand!!. It then promptly vanished behind some rocks and was lost to view....the fifth county record and the third in Øygarden (previous two were migrating birds in May). Interestingly the only autumn record for the county turned up on 01 October - back in 1996 which is the only time I have seen this species in Hordaland / Vestlandet.

During our breakfast break a Great Northern Diver islom headed south along with several Red-throated Diver smålom

A total of five Yellow-browed Warblers gulbrynsanger, Grey Plover tundralo, Grey Wagtail vintererle and a good selection of other migrants were also noted.

On the way home a diver came in to land on a lake at Breivik. I called it as Black-throated Diver storlom at the time but when I looked at the pictures later it looked a bit more interesting than that....

No white flank patch despite a variety of poses and a hint of a chin strap made me think again when I downloaded the images in the evening.....

Also on the way home the Yellow-legged Gull gulbeinmåke was back to looking more like a Yellow-legged gull with strikingly different moult to the surrounding Herring Gulls gråmåke.

Herring Gulls gråmåke with very streaky heads

Yellow-legged Gull gulbeinmåke looking much more the part.
This bird is a regular pain and has not been identified with certainty - although many come down on the YLG side of the debate. I swing from omissus to YLG on this one. The clear white head clearly sets it apart from the local Herring Gulls so right now I am back on the YLG side of things:)

After a brief pause at home which produced a Guillemot lomvi on the sea in front of the house, a calling Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett and a few Swallow låvesvale I headed out again.

At Tjeldstø a Lesser-spotted Woodpecker dvergspett called several times, a couple of Grey Wagtail vintererle headed south as did a few Kestrel tårnfalk and a Sparrowhawk spurvehauk. Three Lapwing vipe besde Husvatnet were a little unseasonal but this species has been recorded in every month of the year here.

One of a few Kestrels tårnfalk migrating today

Lapwing vipe

Friday, October 02, 2020

Hernar 30 September - All day sesh

 Light SE winds, overcast then sunny.

Ideal conditions and the island was heaving with birds - good on numbers and variety. No real rarities but plenty of interest and enough going on to feel that there was something good just about to pop out of a bush somewhere.

A minimum of 15 Chiff-chaff gransanger were present as well as a few Blackcap munk and a Willow Warbler løvsanger

Mistle Thrush duetrost

Pied Flycatcher svarthvit fluesnapper

Heavily cropped image of Song Thrush måltrost and Ring Ousel ringtrost

Massively cropped Ring Ousel ringtrost

Normally when I'm on Hernar for eight hours I cover the vast majority of it - the island is not that big! Today I did not cover anything like what I would usually do.....there was just too much going on:)

Best bird from my point of view was a cracking White-billed Diver gulnebblom on the sea - they are a lot more uncommon in the autumn than in the spring here. An island first for me:)

At least two Yellow-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger, four Ring Ousel ringtrost, a Common Redstart rødstjert, a Pied Flycatcher svarthvit fluesnapper, Water Rail vannriske, Peregrine vandrefalk, Merlin dvergfalk, a Mistle Thrush duetrost, Lesser Whitethroat møller, a few Grey Plover tundralo, two Tree Sparrow pilfink and more were seen.

Good numbers of Robin rødstrupe, Dunnock jernspurv, Reed Buntings sivspurv, 30+ Song Thrush måltrost, lots of Redwing rødvingetrost and Blackbird svarttrost along with the usual selection of finches including Twite bergirisk and Siskin grønnsisik.

Some more untraditional migrants were also obvious with several Nuthatch spettmeis, Great Tits kjøttmeis and Blue Tits blåmeis now present on the island.

A magic day out and the hours just flew by - it was time to go home before we knew it:) Almost 60 species noted.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Herdlevær 29 September - YBW everywhere

 Forecast was wall to wall rain. As often happens in costa del Øygarden this rain barely happened.

I was prepared for the worst but in the end barely even did my jacket up when it did rain briefly.

At Herdlevær there were at least five Yellow-browed Warbler gulbrynsanger. Other good birds included at least one Lapland Bunting lappspurv, Grey Plover tundralo and Grey Wagtail vintererle. Generally plenty of birds about with a few Chiff-chaff gransanger, small numbers of Ringed Plover sandlo, Golden Plover heilo, Dunnocks jernspurv  among the usual autumn fare. Small flocks of Wigeon brunnakke and Teal krikkand rested on the ponds there.

A couple of shots of a cracking little warbler.....

One the way home a short look at Breivik / Kollnes produced my first Jack Snipe kvartbekkasin of the autumn, a decent flock of Twite bergirisk, several Skylark and a flock of 40 Meadow Pipit heipiplerke. 34 Pinkfeet kortnebbgås fed in the fields there.

Last stop was Sæle where at least two more Yellow-broweds were very active, along with at least six Blackcap munk, four Chiff-chaff gransanger and a flock of eight Long-tailed Tits stjertmeis among other things.