Monday, September 25, 2023

Øygarden 01-09 September 2023 - New tripod head = seawatching

Another period with little time in the field. However, my new tripod head arrived and meant that I could actually attach my scope to the tripod so seawatching was in fact possible.

I spent a couple of hours at Skogsøy on 1st September but it was rather quiet, just a lone Manx Shearwater havlire heading north at nice range and a smattering of the the usual wader species.

A similar session the following day gave the same kind of result. Sanderling sandløper and several of the usual waders were passing in small numbers a Peregrine vandrefalk gave a superb photo opportunity that I completely missed with my point and pray, perhaps I should replace my proper camera with another proper camera instead.....

This falcon flew over as I left and was probably not the same bird I saw whilst seawatching.
Looks rather bulky....

At least 20 Goldfinch stillits at Tjeldstø on the way home, a Greenshank gluttsnipe from my terrace and what I presume was the same Black-throated Diver storlom at Skjoldpollen were the best of the rest.

On 03 September I managed my usual round at Herdlevær. Not a lot going on here either, a few Sanderling sandløper and a few other species of wader.

I was not out the next few days but picked up a male Stonechat svartstrupe beside Husvatnet on my way to the shops. Otter put in appearances regularly outside my house.

Dunnock jernspurv in the garden, after characteristically "absent" for a few months they are suddenly more obvious.

Otter photographed from my terrace

Massively cropped image of a male Stonechat svartstrupe at Husvatnet

On 07 September I tried a half day at Hernar. Again it was rather quiet with little in the way of migrants, though I did my first local Yellow Wagtails gulerle of the year(!) along with Reed Bunting sivspurv and Sparrowhawk spurvehauk. The Twite bergirisk flock was "back" (didn't see any during my last visit - at least 40 were present much to my relief.

A lone Common Crossbill grankorsnebb

Meadow Pipit heipiplerke

Reed Bunting sivspurv

Sparrowhawk spurvehauk

Back home an Arctic Tern rødnebbterne fed in the bay outside my house and a Green Sandpiper skogsnipe put in a surprise appearance at Husvatnet.

The next day was yet another day not out and about but produced the best bird of the period - a 2cy Golden Eagle kongeørn that turned up with two White-tailed Eagles havørn and then headed south over the house. This is a relatively rare species in Øygarden and although not even a new species for the garden it has been a few years since I saw one here.

Also from the terrace: a Peregrine vandrefalk, four Sparrowhawk spurvhauk, my first local House Martin taksvale of the year (!!) and at least 150 Starling stær.

Above two images with the point and pray

This one with a beat-up old reserve DSLR

Friday, September 01, 2023

Øygarden 21-31 August - Mum visiting and more dog sitting

 On 21 August I did an all day visit to Hernar - a place I have being paying scant attention to this year. There were almost no migrants as such although I did notch up a few Hernar year ticks in the form of Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett, Nuthatch spettmeis, Greenshank gluttsnipe, Ruff brushane, Common Crossbill grankorsnebb and more. Didn't even reach the 40 species mark although two unidentified warblers shortly before the boat home would have helped the tally along nicely.

Not birding as such the next day but a stop beside Husvatnet on the way home produced a few Swifts tårnseiler and a flock of seven Goldfinch stillits also at Tjeldstø.

A walk at Herdlevær on 23 August produced little other than small numbers of the usual waders on the move and a Green Sandpiper skogsnipe.

Not quite Whisky but close enough💗

First year Redshank rødstilk, photographed from the same place as where I stood to take the dog picture

Taking both the dog and my mum out for some fresh air at Tjeldstø the following day showed that there were quite a few waders hidden in the reserve with 10 each of Ruff brushane and Golden Plover heilo, nine Curlew storspove, a few Lapwing vipe, Greenshank gluttsnipe and Ringed Plover sandlo present. A flock of around 500 Starling stær  at Oen and a several early duck movers were at Kollsnes in the form of Wigeon brunnakke and Teal krikkand.

Since "the dog needed to go out" I covered Tjeldstø again on 25 August and clocked up a similar selection of waders with an extra Spotted Redshank sotsnipe flying up out of the reserve. An afternoon stroll with the dog at Nautnes (the usual walk with him) produced a surprise first year Black-throated Diver storlom - thank you Dino:) The third new species for Nautnes thus far this year:) This is the rarest diver locally and most often seen migrating rather than up close and personal.

First year Black-throated Diver storlom - and the first record of this species at Nautnes
Didn't quite make it onto the house list though😥

I kept things simple on 26 August too, doing another repeat of Tjeldstø - being the closest walk with any chance of success. Spotted Red again and Golden Plover heilo numbers up to 40 along with several Snipe enkeltbekkasin , a few Wigeon brunnakke and a Kestrel tårnfalk.

On the last day of dog-sitting I predictably did the same again - but almost all the waders had cleared out.

After the dog left I didn't get out of the house, something I hope at least work might be happy about.

Great-spotted Woodpeckers flaggspett continued to turn up where they have not been present, so there is definitely something going on there.

My tripod head broke meaning that I couldn't really use my scope for over a week until the new one arrived, not that this made a difference as the problem was almost purely hypothetical.

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