Calm, frozen with several centimetres of snow cover most of the period, although on 18.12 the thaw had set in and most of the snow was gone.
All in all a typical winter week, after three weeks away there was a lot to catch up on both at work and otherwise so time was at a premium.
Thus it was the garden that received most of the attention. A minimum of 12 Blackbirds svarttrost fed daily - a species that does not normally come to the feeders except under such frozen conditions. They were joined by a couple of Redwing rødvingetrost, a Starling stær and up to three Robins rødstrupe. Gulls and corvids often come in and take most of the food I put out for the thrushes and on 16.12 a Rook kornkråke joined them -a new species for the garden taking the number of species to at least 152. Rook are normally a scarce but regular passage migrant in spring and autumn so this winter sighting is quite unusual.
Other species seen from the terrace included Purple Sandpiper fjæreplytt, Teal krikkand, Brambling bjørkefink, Parrot Crossbill furukorsnebb, Woodcock rugde (daily) as well as the usual White-tailed Eagle havørn etc.
On the occasions I did get out there was plenty to see. Hjelme Vest on 17.12 was probably the best day with a White-billed Diver gulnebblom, two Great Northern Diver islom, a Red-necked Grebe gråstrupedykker, two Wigeon brunnakke and 60 Long-tailed Duck havelle among the highlights.
Skogsøy produced Peregrine vandrefalk, a Great Northern Diver islom, Gannets havsule and Kittiwakes krykkje on 18.12.
Woodcocks rugde were seen daily here and there with up to four seen at Herdlevær, Snipe enkeltbekkasin less numerous but seen at a few localities. Curlew storspove were, as usual, present in small numbers at various localities.
Colour ringed Herring Gulls gråmåke at Dåvøy and in my garden proved to be just local birds, sightings show they have not moved very far since they were ringed earlier this year.
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