Thursday, September 29, 2022

Øygarden 04-08 September 2022 - Patch year ticks

 Not out on 04 September but a pod of White-sided Dolphins headed north past the terrace:)

Among other migrants seen from the terrace were Kestrel tårnfalk, Golden Plover heilo, four Sparrowhawk spurvehauk. A breif afternoon stroll at Sæle produced a couple of Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett,  a Pied Flyvatcher svarthvitfluesnapper and a Goldfinch stillits.

Didn't even leave the house on 05 September but had a couple of White-tailed Eagle havørn, migrating Golden Plover heilo, Snipe enkeltbekkassin and yet another Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett.

On 06 September I did my usual round at Herdlevær, interrupted as usual by an incessant stream of phone calls. Despite this I managed the first Lapland Bunting lappsurv of the autumn, a reasonable selection of waders, several Red-throated Diver smålom and at least six Wheatear steinskvett.

Five Teal krikkand and a Wigeon brunnakke

Wheatear steinskvett

On the way home a Whinchat buskskvett at Tjeldstø was the best sighting.

The following day was another house-bound day but I still managed to notch up a Grey Wagtail vintererle, a Greenshank gluttsnipe and a Redshank rødstilk from my terrace. 

A work trip to Svanevågen on 08 September gave Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett and on the way home 12 Ruff brushane at Tjeldsø. Back home Grey Plover tundralo and another Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett were the highlights.

Sunday, September 04, 2022

Skogsøy and Nautnes 03 September 2022 - More local year ticks and Northern Lights

 Yet another day in the cracking series of fantastic weather - at least for normal people. 

I started the day at Skogsøy and already during the walk out to where I sit the trip was worth it - a Spotted Redshank sotsnipe flew south calling as it went:)

Migration wise it was quieter than my previous visit and some of the waders were even heading the wrong way. Largely the usual species such as Oystercatcher tjeld, RInged Plover sandlo, Golden Plover heilo, Dunlin myrsnipe, Sanderling sandløper and Turnstone steinvender but also a Curlew Sandpiper tundrasnipe (something of a scarcity in Øygarden, seen only 17 times since the first in 1988 and the first I have seen since 2016!) in one of the flocks. A bit frustrating as many waders were only heard as they passed either overhead or possibly too close in to be seen.

Curlew Sandpiper tundrasnipe with Dunlin myrsnipe and Turnstone steinvender

Gannet havsule

Wader flock

15 Red-throated Diver smålom, a few auks including Black Guillemot teist, a Velvet Scoter sjøorre, a few Arctic Tern rødnebbterne and at least a couple of Tuna makrellstørje were among the other sightings.

Meadow Pipit heipiplerke at Tjeldstø

Young Swallows låvesvale at Tjeldstø

I spent an hour on my terrace and clocked up a few more species including a Common Buzzard musvåk heading north (only six previous observations in the "old" Øygarden), a Kestrel tårnfalk and a few flocks of Greylag grågås and Cormorant storskarv.

In the evening I actually left the house and met people which meant I returned home after my bedtime and was rewarded with a spectacular showing of the aurora borealis. Typically I couldn't find my smallest lens and had forgotten the settings to use so I in no way did any justice to the performance!

Some Northern Lights shots from my terrace. One day I really will buy a landscape lens in the hope that I can do this kind of thing some kind of justice:)

Saturday, September 03, 2022

Hernar and Nautnes 01-02 September - Island season starts

 Calm and largely sunny.

Finally autumn is here, although it feels more like summer than the summer did:)

I ditched work for most of the day on Thursday, heading off to Hernar instead, along with a quick look at the islands along the way. Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett heard from the terrace before I left:)

Hernar produced the expected early autumn fare with three Pied Flycatcher svartvhit fluensnapper and a Common Redstart rødstjert as the best of the migrants, Further indications of something going on in the forests to the north and / or east of us today too with Coal Tit svartmeis and Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett also turning up.

Generally still a lot of birds about with decent flocks of Twite bergirisk, Linnet tornirisk, Redpoll brunsisk etc feeding on the plentiful seeds. 

Small numbers of waders passed overhead too.

The first Redstart rødstjert of the for me un Øygarden:)

The offshore islands produced the usual selection of waders but with just one Sanderling sandløper and no Knot polarsnipe. 27 Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt including some very short-billed birds were the first of the autumn for me. A Shelduck gravand was hanging around - a typical feature of the early autumn here. Just one Black Guillemot teist - one of this year's birds was quite approachable.

Black Guillemot teist, probably locally produced.

Dunlin myrsnipe

Heron gråhegre

Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt

Shelduck gravand

Turnstone steinvender

On 02 September it was back to the grindstone. Half and hour on the terrace before work and a short spell whilst I made dinner gave some birds though - including hunting Sparrowhawk spurvehauk, a Goshawk hønsehauk flying over and several Red-throated Diver smålom heading south.

Friday, September 02, 2022

Herdlevær and Skogsøy 30-31 August 2022 - Meetings

 Amazing weather, though too good to be any use for exciting birding.

On 30 August I had breakfast and the first meeting of the day at Herdlevær. Nothing out of the ordinary but obviously migration going on with flocks of waders and other species passing. Ruff brushane, Dunlin myrsnipe, Ringed Plover sandlo, Golden Plover heilo, Oystercatcher tjeld, Snipe enkeltbekkasin, Redhank rødstilk and Curlew storspove were the waders seen. Red-throated Diver smålom, Common Scoter svartand and a steady passage of gulls were among the other species.

Small numbers of waders stopped to feed - including these Dunlin myrsnipe

On 31 August I did Skogsøy for a couple of hours, similarly trying to get some work in whilst seawatching.  Another day of obvious passage, though many wader flocks were heading over quite high. A better variety of waders than the previous day with Knot polarsnipe and Sanderling sandløper in addition. Shags toppskarv and Cormorants storskarv on the move as well as nine Red-throated Diver smålom and small numbers of terns.

Normally it is Rock Pipit skjærpiperke that hang out where I sit seawatching, today a few Meadow Pipits heipiplerke joined them.

Some of the 60+ Shags toppskarv that headed north

Both Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett and Nuthatch spettmeis were seen on the way back to the car - clearly some movement going on:) (First record this year of both these species at Skogsøy)

Oslo 23-29 August 2022 - Almost no birding

 Work took the upper hand yet again.

A short trip to Gressholm on Saturday morning produced rather little other than my first Green Woodpecker grønnspett for the island - mirroring my recent experience back home. There are definite indications that some woodland species, notably Nuthatch spettmeis and Great spotted Woodpecker flaggspett will be irrupting this autumn. Maybe they will be accompanied by some more exciting species....

A big pod of White-sided Dolphins right in the middle of Oslo really stole the show today. Typically I found my camera battery was dead.

The following day several hours spent walking in the woods east of Oslo proved that they are pretty much empty already. A single Common Buzzard musvåk and a vocal Black Woodpecker svartspett were the only species approaching interest level. Other than than a flock of Brambling bjørkefink and not much else at all. 

Once again not-birds gave the best sightings - a lizard nordfirfisle showed well as did several species of butterfly including what I think was a Camberwell beauty sørgekåpe 

What I struggle to get is how on earth these survive the long cold winters in the east of Norway