Thursday, 25 June 2015

24th June

Left Lista and spent the day in Stavanger where a walk along Sola Beach produced 90+ Arctic Terns, 15 Common Terns, 70 Velvet Scoter, 30 Red-breasted Mergansers, 3 Long-tailed Ducks and 5 Turnstone.    I then flew back to the green and pleasant land that is Shropshire.

Arctic Terns in Stavanger

Shelduck family

Monday, 22 June 2015

22nd June

Didn’t get out much in the morning but there were 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 5 Curlew, a Dunlin and 8 Redshank around Vågsvollvåien; a walk in the afternoon produced 4 Red-backed Shrikes, an adult female Peregrine, 3 Greenshank in Verevågen and a selection of fledglings bumbling about including Robin, White Wagtail, Linnet and Lesser Redpoll while the Vatnemarka pair of Whinchats were carrying food and alarming.

                A group of three Sandwich Terns flew NW up the coast in the evening while there were 57 Curlew and another Bar-tailed Godwit at Vågsvoll.
Bar-tailed Godwit

Red-backed Shrike

Another baby Wheatear

Sunday, 21 June 2015

21st June

A great, flat calm, overcast day perfect for netting (unfortunately all the nets have been taken down!) produced a few more already returning waders including 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Ruff and 70+ Curlew (with another 38 NW at sea).   Other birds on the sea first thing included an Arctic Skua, 122 Common Scoter, 9 Velvet Scoter, a Common Tern, 18 Red-breasted Mergansers and 5 Fulmars.

                The coast was very quiet with plenty of newly emerged Wheatear fledglings the only thing to keep me entertained while in Lebeltet there were 2 Spotted Flycatchers and a male Red-backed Shrike.

Plenty of fledgling Wheatears had emerged in the week I was away and were being watched over by very attentive parents

Baby Great Tit

20th June

Arrived back at Lista in the afternoon where it seemed that the seasons had changed just in the week I was gone with returning waders obvious even in the little time I was out as there were 5 Ruff (four breeding plumaged males) in Vågsvollvika and at least 60 Curlew scattered around the fields; two Canada Geese in Vågsvollvåien were the first I’ve seen in the recording area!



HEDMARK, 12th - 20th June (everything else)

It was hard work up in the forests and mountains of Hedmark for eight days with lots of driving and scanning clearings and bashing through thick forests, heather and bogs; I missed a lot of the things I wanted to see but with Great Grey and Ural Owls not breeding this year it was always going to be a major piece of luck finding one in that huge expanse of forest extending over to Sweden, I stumbled across many nestboxes, some of which I was told were occupied last year but that didn’t help me much!
Whooper Swan - A few birds were seen about the place but the only chicks were four on Steinmyra on 13th.
Canada Goose – Two broods of chicks were seen on Silksjøen and Nordre Fløgen.

Teal – Pairs seen on a few water bodies with one brood of chicks seen on Kynnsjøen.

Goldeneye – Common on most streams, rivers and lakes with many broods of chicks seen.

Goosander – Seen regularly on various lakes, rivers etc.

Red-breasted Merganser – A female was on the river just south of Trysil on 15th.

CAPERCAILLIE – A male and female were flushed separately from a track SE of Granåsen on 17th and a male was flushed from trees near Kynnsjøen on 19th; all gave brief views as they clattered away.

Black Grouse – Two females were flushed from Lindmyra in the evening of the 14th and morning of the 15th (possibly the same bird) and a group of 3 males were flushed from by Kynnsjøen on 18th one of which gave good flight views.

Quail – One was singing from Skjeftflensjøen on the morning of 17th.

Black-throated Diver – Smart summer plumaged birds were regularly seen on medium and large lakes throughout the area with birds on nests seen at two locations and a pair with two small chicks was on Lisjøen on 19th.  A group of 6 were on Nordre Fløgen on 18th.

Osprey – A group of 3 circled high over Høgsjøen on 15th and a one was on a nest on an island in Nordre Fløgen on 18th.

Goshawk – A monster big female flew low across Lisjøen carrying prey and being mobbed by Common Gulls and Arctic Terns on 17th.

Crane – Pairs seen and heard on a range of open, wet areas throughout, it was really smart when I was in thick forest and a pair started calling in a nearby clearing, setting off three or four other pairs within earshot and they all starting shouting at each other!   One was seen with a medium sized chick wandering through the forest near Lindmyra on 14th.

Golden Plover – A single male was next to Skjeftflensjøen on 17th and a pair was above Fageråsen on 19th.

Wood Sandpiper – One was displaying at Skjeftflensjøen on 17th and one was on Kynnsjøen on 17th and 18th.

Greenshank – Pairs were seen and heard in a variety of wet areas throughout; a pair with two small chicks was on a small pool near Lindmyra and a very agitated pair was on Fløgsjømyrene on 18th.   My first time seeing breeding birds!

Green Sandpiper – Regularly seen displaying over the forest and wet areas; an agitated bird was on Okstjennet on 13th.

Common Sandpiper – Seen on pretty much every piece of open water with lots of displaying, chasing each other and shouting going on but I never saw any signs of active breeding.

Woodcock – Two birds were roding right over my head on the first evening just to the east of Elverum making their funny squeaking noises and one was flushed from near Kynnsjøen on 17th.

Arctic Tern – Five were on the river just upstream of Trysil and the odd other pair were on the larger lakes.

Common Tern - Singles were on Silksjøen and Lisjøen.

Cuckoo – Pretty common throughout with many singing males.

BLACK WOODPECKER – Five sighting throughout the trip including one that flew across the motorway south of Elverum; all were very brief glimpses of birds flying across tracks or just calling birds.

Great-spotted Woodpecker – Common throughout; two nests with noisy, calling chicks were found.

Wryneck – one was near Vestre Flensjøen on the 16th.

Tree Pipit – Common throughout with several seen carrying food.

Grey Wagtail – Common on the bigger streams.

Grey-headed Wagtail – Many open, wet areas had their own pair with six around Skjeftflensjøen on 17th.

Black-bellied Dipper – A pair were feeding nestlings under a bridge just SW of Granåsen on 16th and one was on the river just upstream of Trysil on 19th; I’m sure I just kept missing them as plenty of suitable habitat was scanned throughout the trip!

Bluethroat – A female was above Fageråsen on 19th.

Redwing – A few singing birds were found with a pair feeding chicks at the Hawk Owl site on 16th (they did not like me or the Owls one little bit!).

Fieldfare – Very common throughout with birds everywhere, replacing Blackbird as the common garden large Thrush, several fledglings were seen.

Song and Mistle Thrush – Very common throughout with many fledglings seen all over, at some stages it seemed I could go off wandering through the forest for more than five minutes without putting up a fluttering, just able to fly baby Song Thrush!

Spotted Flycatcher – very common throughout, seemed much commoner than back in the UK.

Pied Flycatcher – Common throughout with many singing males, great to see them as common garden birds in Trysil!

Nuthatch – A pair were feeding chicks in a nestbox in Trysil.

Great Grey Shrike – One was in a clearing at Lindmyra on 13th and an extremely agitated pair were alongside Silksjøen on 18th; I had a quick look round but couldn’t find anything but they must have had just about to or just fledged chicks somewhere close as they were going crackers!

Brambling – A few singing males were seen; my first time seeing them on their breeding grounds.

Bullfinch – Several, deep calling northern birds were seen.

Crossbill – Common throughout, usually just flying over but a few family parties were seen drinking together.

PARROT CROSSBILL – A group of 10+ deep calling Crossbills landed near me along a track to the SW of Granåsen on 16th and the three or four birds that I got a look at were this species  so I guess the whole flock probably was as well.

List of other species seen: Mallard, Wigeon, Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Curlew, Whimbrel, Snipe, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Woodpigeon, Swift, Sand Martin, Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Redstart, Wheatear, Whinchat, Blackbird, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Wren, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Willow Tit, Crested Tit, Coal Tit, Magpie, Jay, Hooded Crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer.

Saturday, 20 June 2015


The other major highlight for me with five sightings through the trip including a female with a small calf near Lindmyra on 14th and two huge bulls crossing the track in front of me near Høgsjøen on 18th – brilliant beasts!

This Red Squirrel turned round to scold me after I very nearly ran him over!


The only other target species that I found with a fabulous group of 5 in the middle of nowhere, somewhere to the SW of Granåsen also on the 16th; they also performed brilliantly coming in to check me out before chilling out and sunbathing all the while chattering to each other before heading off slowly seemingly examining everything they came across with fascination – ace birds!






The definite highlight of the trip was finding a pair feeding chicks in a nestbox in a clearing north of Trysil and just south of Granåsen on 16th; they performed brilliantly well at one stage exchanging a vole before entering the nestbox – awesome!

They were right by a road and didn't seem to be worried about me being there at all!   Brilliant!  Made hours and hours of driving and scanning clearings worthwhile.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

11th June

A day of rest really before my holidays; a little look at the sea first thing produced a Bonxie, a Tystie, 3 Common Terns, a group of 6 Sanderling, a Ringed Plover and a Dunlin, 4 Curlew, 5 Velvet Scoter and a few Gannets.   The adult male Marsh Harrier floating over Gunnarsmyra in the evening was the only other thing seen through the day.
Off on my holidays tomorrow, driving up to Hedmark to look for Owls and Wolves and the like; so I'll be back in ten days or so (or maybe longer!) with awesome full frame photos of Great Grey Owls perching on the car (or perhaps a blurry moving shape that I'll swear is a Moose!)

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

10th June

After yesterday’s very pleasant respite the force 7-8 NW wind came back with a vengeance throughout the day; the last day of the spring standardised ringing season produced single Chiffchaff and Siskins  (although I could only open a couple of nets).  

The pick of the day’s birds came on the sea when a Great White Egret flew north out at sea (a Norwegian tick and a much rarer bird here than it is in the UK!), other birds included a single Pomarine Skua lingering offshore fighting with Gulls, 95 Common Scoters and a drake Tufted Duck while a big adult female Peregrine took a few swipes at the flocks of baby Starlings around the lighthouse but failed to make a dent in their numbers.

Two Dunlin and a Whimbrel were the best in Vågsvollvika while some newly emerged fledgling Tree Sparrows played on the beach and the usual birds were along the sheltered side of Lebeltet – it was pretty hard work in the cold, very strong wind.

The fledgling Tree Sparrows looked pretty lost on their first trip to the beach, until they were fed of course!

House Sparrows are also feeding fledglings

The fields are full of noisy baby starlings

and the harbour is full of little Eiders