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.
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.
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
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!
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.
– 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.
– 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
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.
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
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
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
Arctic Tern – Five were on
the river just upstream of Trysil and the odd other pair were on the larger
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.
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!
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
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
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 speciesso 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.
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!
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.
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!)
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).
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.
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
The fledgling Tree Sparrows looked pretty lost on their first trip to the beach, until they were fed of course!