Sunday, 31 May 2015

31st May

The reverse of yesterday as it was a bit breezy at first light but soon calmed down and turned into a lovely calm, sunny, warm day; the days highlight was a very close Pomarine Skua which flew north early on, pausing to half-heartedly chase a Kittiwake over the beach, other birds offshore included 3 Great-northern Divers, a Bonxie and 3 Tufted Ducks.   The first baby House Sparrow of the year made it into the nets along with not much else.

                There was little else seen through the day with a noticeable decrease in migrants throughout with only 7 Wigeon and a Barnacle Goose on Vågsvollvåien being new in while flocks of 13 Red-breasted Mergansers and 13 Velvet Scoter flew north up the coast in the afternoon.
Fledgling House Sparrow

Baby Ringed Plover

Yellowhammer feeding chicks

Saturday, 30 May 2015

30th May

Beautiful and calm first thing but that didn’t last long as a strong north-westerly soon sprang up; the nets were quiet with just a few more Redpolls and Siskins to catch while the brief look at the sea that I had just produced 3 Arctic Skuas.   The pair of Red-backed Shrikes in Lebeltet were looking cosy with some mate-feeding going on while the Wryneck sang nearby before a walk round the coast was unremarkable with a single Whimbrel the only migrant wader and an increase in ducks the only thing of note as there were 97 Eider and 34 Mallard counted.

Red-backed Shrikes - the female calling just before and the male just after he fed her, I missed the actual feeding of course - too slow!

Willow Warbler

Friday, 29 May 2015

29th May

A very pleasant morning with lightish winds and a good amount of sunshine produced a few leftovers on the sea from yesterday including 2 Arctic Skuas, 250 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, a Puffin, a few Fulmars and Gannets milling around not really going anywhere and a Merlin which flew north quite far out at sea; a Lesser Whitethroat and a Whinchat were the highlights in the nets along with more Siskins and Redpolls.

                A walk across the fields to Groda then saw a few birds around including a singing Icterine Warbler at Groda, a female Stonechat at the Radiomastene, 3 Red-backed Shrikes (an ‘extra’ male in Vatnemarka), a Spotted Flycatcher, a Wryneck, a few more Whinchat pairs settling down, a Peregrine, 2 Kestrels, another Merlin, 60+ Swifts coming down low as the weather closed in late afternoon and a brood of just fledged Greenfinches at Vatnemarka.



Red-backed Shrike

Thursday, 28 May 2015

28th May

Rain for most of the morning until around 10:00 when it just became showers with a brisk easterly wind; the sea was quite lively as it was raining but really kicked off during the dry spells late morning with an excellent range of stuff passing north which included the highlights of my first 2 Manx Shearwaters of the year, 5 Pomarine Skuas, a 1st summer White-billed Diver and 1,100 Pale-bellied Brent Geese (including a monster flock of 880+).

                Numbers were made up of 905 Fulmars, 8 Arctic Skuas, 41 Red-throated Divers, 11 Bonxies, a Puffin, a Tystie, 510 Gannets, 17 Arctic Terns, 56 Kittiwakes, a Great-northern Diver and a few Guillemots and Razorbills – more like an autumn seawatch than late May!

                Not much else was seen through the day with 3 Dotterel still on Vågsvoll and the first brood of baby Shelducks bobbing about in Vågsvollvika.

A soggy Hare

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

27th May

Still breezy from the NW but not as bad as yesterday with a few showers moving through first thing; the sea was again the most interesting thing to look at with the highlight being a Little Tern which flew north with a group of Arctic Terns (a good quality Norwegian rare!).   Other birds included 5 Arctic Skuas, 3 Great-northern Divers, a Black-throated Diver and a Tystie while there was also some good raptor action with a female Marsh Harrier coming in low over the sea, a Merlin which flashed through and an adult male Peregrine which appeared from nowhere to catch a Dunlin in Vågsvollvika; the two Dotterel were still in front of Vågsvollvåien.

                The few nets I could open were predictably quiet although a Swiss ringed Siskin was a smart highlight; there was then little change across the area with the pair of Red-backed Shrikes and 3 Wrynecks in Lebeltet, 4 Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper in Verevågen and a handful of Dunlin and Ringed plover still in Vågsvollvika.
The Swiss ringed Siskin

Red-backed Shrike

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

26th May

Very sunny and very windy throughout with all the morning’s action being on the sea with the exception of the first Common Rosefinch of the year singing in the Gallery Garden; birds offshore included good but distant views of a Long-tailed Skua drifting SE (a Norwegian tick!), the first Curlew Sandpiper of the year south, the first 33 Brent Geese of the predictable late May passage, 2 Barnacle Geese, single Black-throated and Great-northern Divers, 146 Red-throated Divers and 95 Gannets.

                10 Dotterel were still present with 8 on Vågsvoll and 2 in front of Vågsvollvåien while there were 33 Dunlin and 10 Ringed Plover in Vågsvollvika before a little walk along the sheltered side of Lebeltet only produced 2 Wrynecks, the male Red-backed Shrike (the last time I’m going out these in orange as I’m seeing them every day now!) and a Spotted Flycatcher.

                A little jaunt in the evening after I had tried unsuccessfully to spring trap the Dotterel (one of them set a trap off without getting caught!) allowed me to hear a Corncrake singing by the roadside near Huseby between Vanse and Farsund; it sang for about 30 seconds every 10 minutes but there was no way I was ever going to get a glimpse without doing some unethical!

More Dotterel pictures!


Rock Pipit busy collecting food

Monday, 25 May 2015

25th May

A breezy start with some showers whipping through but a few hours in the wind dropped right off and it turned out to be a lovely day; the nets were quiet as always although there was a Marsh Warbler caught in amongst the handful of Redpolls and Siskins.   The few bits on the sea included a nice close Pomarine Skua, an Arctic Skua, a Tystie, 65 Turnstone in two flocks and 2 Velvet Scoters while there was a Quail singing from just behind the Labyrinth.

                A walk inland in the afternoon produced 2 Wrynecks and the pair of Red-backed Shrikes in Lebeltet, a Spotted Flycatcher, a general increase to 11 Whinchats and 7 Sedge Warblers while 8 Dotterel had moved over to Vågsvollmarka and the male flavissima Yellow Wagtail was still on Vågsvollvåien.
                Yesterday's Laughing Gull was actually just the fifth record for Norway and after it left here it was re-found in a field up the coast.
Marsh Warbler

Red-backed Shrike

Sand Martins were excavating their burrows

I found two Yellowhammer nests with small chicks this afternoon

Sunday, 24 May 2015

24th May

A lovely, flat calm start with most of the interest on the sea with the day’s highlight coming fairly early on when I picked up a 1st summer LAUGHING GULL sat on the sea with a group of Common Gulls, it was on view for five minutes or so before taking off and flying NW up the coast – somewhat strangely much rarer than Franklin’s Gull in Norway and the first record for Lista!   Other birds seen included my first 2 Puffins of the year north, 2 Arctic Skuas, a Sanderling and a Great-northern Diver; the nets were quiet with 10 Redpolls, a Garden Warbler and 2 Chiffchaffs but it was all cut short by heavy rain which started at 09:00 and continued pretty much constantly until 17:00!

                A Bonxie flew low over Seviksmarka while in Lebeltet there were 2 Spotted Flycatchers and a Tree Pipit just as the rain stopped; the evening was rather pleasant and there were a few birds around including the 1st summer Mediterranean Gull which reappeared on Vågsvollvåien where there were also 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and a flavissima Yellow Wagtail with 10 Dotterel at Vågsvoll and 37 Dunlin, a Turnstone and 9 Ringed Plover in Vågsvollvika.
A slightly better picture of the Mediterranean Gull

Saturday, 23 May 2015

23rd May

Nice and sunny but the howling strong NW wind made things hard work; there were a few waders heading north at sea through the morning including 40+ Ringed Plover, 3 Knot, 20+ Dunlin, 9 Whimbrel, 11 Turnstone and a Redshank with a couple of Arctic Terns and Fulmars the only other things of note.   The pair of Gadwall were still on Vågsvollvåien along with 2 Barnacle Geese and 4 Teal while there were 4 Dotterel on Vågsvoll and 25 Dunlin, 19 Oystercatchers and a Common Sandpiper in Vågsvollvika.

                A female Red-backed Shrike was the highlight in the rest of the area along with singing Wryneck and Cuckoo while the first Grizzled Skipper and Small Coppers were on the wing along the sheltered side of Lebeltet.
This Oystercatcher in Vagsvollvika was colour ringed just up the coast near Spangereid as a chick in 2012 but has been re-sighted in 2013 and 2014 roosting at Freiston Shore on the Lincolnshire coast

Whitethroat getting a bit excited

Small Copper and Grizzled Skipper

Friday, 22 May 2015

22nd May

A horrible day with heavy, drizzly rain pretty much throughout; very little to mention, a flock of 12 Turnstone went north during a brief look at the sea while the pair of Gadwall were still on Vågsvollvåien.   Snuck out during one of the very infrequent dryish spells and apart from singing Wryneck and Cuckoo there wasn’t much with a pair of Teal and 3 Swifts in Verevågen.  

Twite from yesterday

For the first time in seemingly ages I didn't take a single picture today so here's some 'library' shots that haven't been worth putting up before!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

21st May

A great, flat calm day with varying amounts of cloud cover coming and going; it was the busiest morning in the nets so far this spring with 47 new birds caught including another influx of 25 Lesser Redpolls along with 2 Twite, 3 Garden Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Swallows and 4 Whitethroats while there were 2 Wrynecks and a Cuckoo around the lighthouse through the morning but they managed to avoid all the nets!    There were a few bits on the sea as well including a Black-throated Diver and a Great-northern Diver with 140 Red-throated Divers, 5 Tufted Ducks, 9 Velvet Scoters, a Purple Sandpiper and a trickle of hirundines heading north at sea.   There were now 4 Gadwall on Vågsvollvåien.

                A walk out across the fields to Groda then produced 2 Dotterel on the Vågsvoll field, my first 2 Red-backed Shrikes of the year near the Radiomastene (probably the returning pair which bred there last year), another 5 Cuckoos (including 4 together in Lebeltet), 5 Sedge Warblers in Gunnarsmyra and at least 50 Swifts overhead.

Slinky Minky goes fishing

These Tree Sparrows went right over to the Mute Swans nest to collect this prime nest-building feather but then just let it go and watched it float away!

Painted Lady

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

20th May

A pleasant day with good conditions – lightish SE wind and a bit of rain overnight to produce something but it was very quiet throughout the day; the nets were again disappointing (a very slow spring for ringing!) with a little influx of Lesser Redpolls around the place with 16 caught of note.   The sea produced 35 Red-throated Divers, 7 Velvet Scoter, 2 Common Terns and a couple of Kittiwakes with a female Marsh Harrier hunting over Skarvodden.

                The coast in the afternoon only produced an Osprey hovering over Sevika before drifting off north, 8 Whimbrel and a Spotted Flycatcher in Verevågen before a look at Vågsvollvåien later on only produced the pairs of Gadwall and Shoveler and a couple of Blue-headed Wagtails while there were 3 Dotterel on the field at Vågsvoll.

Redshank and Red-breasted Mergansers sleeping - it was that kind of day!


Slinky Minky out again