Thursday, 30 April 2015

30th April

A pleasant day with birds on the sea first thing including a White-billed Diver north, a Fulmar, 2 Shoveler, 52 Common Scoter, 3 Velvet Scoter and a Goosander while there were a few signs of action in the nets with 5 Willow Warblers and a Blackcap caught.   A walk round the coast in the afternoon was pretty quiet with 2 Whimbrel, 2 Kestrels, a Peregrine, a Merlin, 130+ Swallows and 60+ Wheatears while there were a few bits in Lebeltet as I walked back through including a female Pied Flycatcher, 4 Tree Pipits and 4 Reed Buntings.

                The best period of the day came late afternoon as the sun came out as there was a strange hybrid-type male Yellow Wagtail with a wholly dark head resembling a thunbergi but the ear coverts were not black and in good light there were bits of green and grey in the dark head in the company of 4 Blue-headed Wagtails around Vågsvollvåien; there was also a Short-eared Owl over Gunnarsmyra but the undoubted highlight came in Vågsvollvika where I found a stunning summer plumaged BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT feeding on the beach which showed really well for the rest of the evening.

Buff-bellied Pipit

Strange hybrid type Yellow Wagtail


Blue-headed Wagtail

Pied Flycatcher

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

29th April

A walk on Nordhasselvika first thing produced 11 Ringed Plovers and single Common Sandpiper, Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwit while there were 6 Velvet Scoter and 2 Great-northern Divers in the bay.   Spring-trapped four Wheatears through the rest of the morning including a three year old male before a walk in the afternoon produced a female Yellow Wagtail, a Common Sandpiper and one of the Black-tailed Godwits in Vågsvollvika and a male Goshawk soaring over Groda with two of the Slevdalsvann Marsh Harriers.
Yellow Wagtail, probably a flava

Red-breasted Mergansers starting to display

Summer and winter plumaged drake Long-tailed Ducks together in the harbour

These four young Mute Swans on the beach at Nordhasselvika were all ringed; the furthest one had travelled 40Km from Lindesnes

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

28th April

A similar day to yesterday – sunny but a very cold start, led to a pretty quiet day with 2 Great-northern Divers on the sea along with a few flocks of Tufted Ducks and Teal heading north while in the nets a nice flock of 7 Lesser Redpolls was the highlight.
                It clouded over and the easterly breeze picked up in the afternoon with birds around the coast including 17 Curlew, 3 Whimbrel and a Greenshank in Verevågen, a Kestrel, still good numbers of hirundines around with 150+ Swallows, 14 House Martins and 30 Sand Martins and the three Black-tailed Godwits still.

Slinky Minky

Monday, 27 April 2015

27th April

A bright and sunny start but with a light frost and a cutting easterly breeze; the day’s highlight came early on with great views of a very early BEE-EATER which flew low over the Labyrinth and past the lighthouse and away.   There was very little on the sea but a few birds in the nets included the earliest ever Lista Wood Warbler, 3 Blackcaps and a Chiffchaff.
                The afternoon didn’t live up to the couple of good birds of the morning with a walk round the coast producing 2 Whimbrel again, 160+ Swallows, 15+ Sand Martins and 4 House Martins while Golden Plover increased again to 105 and a Wryneck was singing in Lebeltet.
Wood Warbler


Linnet looking at me funny

White Wagtail

Sunday, 26 April 2015

26th April

A lovely, if breezy day but it was clear that most of yesterday’s arrivals had moved on; the sea was again dominated by 122 Red-throated Divers along with a White-billed Diver, 39 Gannets, 5 Tufted Ducks, 4 Velvet Scoter and another 400 Common Gulls.   The only other birds through the morning were the first two Blackcaps of the spring – a male which sang briefly before flying off high to the south and a female caught in the Labyrinth.
                The afternoon was pretty quiet although there were further increases in hirundines with 148+ Swallows and 25+ Sand Martins across the area; other birds included an improved count of 93 Golden Plover, the two Whimbrel and three islandica Black-tailed Godwits still, the adult male Marsh Harrier and a Great-northern Diver on the sea.
Marsh Harrier

Red-breasted Merganser

Long-tailed Duck coming into summer plumage

The three Black-tailed Godwits


Saturday, 25 April 2015

25th April

Rain at dawn with a SE breeze produced high hopes of a few new arrivals and so it proved; birds on the sea during the first few hours in poor visibility included the first Arctic Tern of the year, a pair of Shoveler south, a Great-northern Diver, 75 Oystercatchers north in three flocks and 51 Common Scoter also north while the adult White-tailed Eagle did another close range flyby (and again I didn’t have my camera!).   I opened some nets when the rain stopped but there were very few birds around with 2 Willow Warblers and a Chiffchaff caught.

                There were however plenty of new birds throughout the area in the afternoon, most notably an arrival of waders with the first 7 Common Sandpipers (5 in Vågsvollvika and 2 in Sevika) and 2 Whimbrel (in Verevågen) of the year, a nice flock of 10 Purple Sandpipers on the tip of Steinodden, a big influx of 52+ Redshank including a flock of 28 on Vågsvollvåien, a Dunlin and the three islandica Black-tailed Godwits still.    Other birds around the coast included a pair of Gadwall on Fuglejønna (an overdue Norwegian tick!), 42+ Teal and increased totals of 55+ White Wagtails plus 3 Pied Wagtails, 200+ Meadow Pipits and 79+ Swallows plus 7 Sand Martins and 2 House Martins especially around Sevika.

                Inland, new birds comprised 2 Tree Pipits, a male Pied Flycatcher in Lebeltet and a Blue-headed Wagtail over Gunnarsmyra which were all new for the year; also seen was a Wryneck in Lebeltet, a female Marsh Harrier, 2 Merlins, a singing Willow Warbler in Lebeltet, a Brambling and a Reed Bunting.

- I read a Great Black-backed Gulls ring on Vågsvollvåien at lunchtime which illustrates many Gulls life histories; JH106 was ringed as a chick on Rauna in 2010 and wasn’t seen again until last year when it was on a beach near Calais and now it has become a full adult and reached breeding age it has just returned to its natal area after wandering around for five years and will probably attempt to breed back on Rauna or nearby.

Sand Martins and Swallows low over Sevika in the murk and fog

Purple Sandpipers


Same Black-tailed Godwit, same position, bit better light!

Friday, 24 April 2015

24th April

A breezy start soon calmed down into a pleasant day; there was a good northward passage at sea of 410 Red-throated Divers along with a cracking summer plumaged White-billed Diver, 40 Teal and more Common Gulls.   The first Greenshank and Little Ringed Plover of the year were on Vågsvollvåien as well as three islandica Black-tailed Godwits while on the land the highlight was the first Wryneck of the year on the grass near Net One which may have just come in.

                The afternoon was disappointingly quiet with another Wryneck singing in Lebeltet the pick along with 50+ Golden Plover, a Brambling in Lebeltet, a Merlin, a male Pied Wagtail with the Whites on a recently turned field and further increases in Wheatears, Swallows and White Wagtails across the area.

Black-tailed Godwit

more and more Wheatears every day

White Wagtail 'AXJ' ringed last year

Thursday, 23 April 2015

23rd April

The morning was spent at the secret location surrounded by some awesome secret birds which I can't really mention, suffice to say it was awesome!   Just write to me if you want to know what they were but I don't think too many people do read this so it wouldn't really matter either way; I'm still not going to mention them though!

It was cold and windy, murky and foggy back at Lista in the afternoon and a walk round the coast produced an influx of c50 Swallows and 15 Sand Martins around Sevika where there was also a pair of Pintail and a Green Sandpiper.

22nd April

A surprisingly calm start to the day saw a few things moving north at sea including 116 Red-throated Divers, a Great-northern Diver, 5 Tufted Ducks, 14 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Goosanders and another good total of 743 Common Gulls while there was a constant trickle of Linnets, Redpolls and Siskins also going north along with 4 Goldfinches and a few White Wagtails.

                By mid-morning the wind remembered that the forecast had said it was supposed to be twice as strong and it rapidly picked up and there was limited interest through the rest of the day with the exception of the first 4 Black-tailed Godwits dropped into Gunnarsmyra – beautiful summer plumaged islandica birds.   I then drove out to a secret location to spend the night in a tent up in the hills and went to sleep just after dark with a few grunts and clicks of my target species out in the trees as they got into position for tomorrow mornings action.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

21st April

Still nice and sunny but the blazing, cold, very strong NW wind made an unwelcome return; there were a few bits on the sea first thing including 30 Red-throated Divers, a Fulmar, 10 Tufted Ducks, 2 Goosanders and another 314 Common Gulls still heading north.   The conditions made any other birding through the day a bit of a mission though there was a build-up of 15 Swallows, 10 Sand Martins and a House Martin sheltering behind Lebeltet along with 3 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler and a male Merlin.

There's still Long-tailed Ducks lingering in the harbour, many of which are starting to turn into their breeding plumage - this one doesn't seem to want to though!

Monday, 20 April 2015

20th April

Another glorious, sunny, warm day but pretty quiet birdwise; there were again a few Red-throated Divers, Common Scoter and Red-breasted Mergansers heading north during the first few hours of the day while the highlight in the nets (and probably the day!) was the first Willow Warbler of the spring caught as the last bird of the session.   55 Woodpigeons also went south and there was a Collared Dove at the lighthouse – pretty scarce out here at the point!
                Despite the lovely afternoon the only birds of note were 9 Red-breasted Mergansers in Sevika, the adult male Marsh Harrier cruising around and yet more Wheatears getting excited throughout the area.
Willow Warbler

Sunday, 19 April 2015

19th April

Warm and sunny – the first really warm feeling day of the spring; the sea was fairly quiet through the morning with a few Red-throated Divers going north while two Kestrels came in off and a 1st winter White-tailed Eagle flew south out at sea.   There was an obvious increase in Wheatear activity round the lighthouse in the fine weather with many pairs singing and displaying and the males chasing each other around.

                Birds in the afternoon included distant views of a Red Kite soaring over Groda (a Norwegian tick!), a Ring Ouzel in Lebeltet with 20+ Song Thrushes, at least 32 Wheatears scattered around and a Peregrine which was inches away from nailing a Golden Plover over Gunnarsmyra.

Lots of Wheatear action this morning

This nearby female was paying them absolutely no attention though!