Friday, 31 July 2015

31st July

Bright and sunny but the blazing strong north-westerly limited things somewhat; two Bonxies were again lingering offshore while there were 3 Ruff, 3 Wood Sandpipers and a Greenshank on Vågsvollvåien first thing.   Verevågen was the only bit of the coast I looked at through the day where there were 8 Greenshank along with a few Common Sandpipers, Green Sandpipers and Redshank with the only other birds of note being 2 Green Woodpeckers and a Tree Pipit inland.

                Two broods of Red-backed Shrikes were still around along with recent Song Thrush and Lesser Redpoll fledglings.

Green Woodpecker

Red-backed Shrike youngsters are still growing

Song Thrush and Lesser Redpoll fledglings

And this young Hooded Crow was shouting at me for walking under its perch!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

30th July

Nice and calm again in the morning but the nets were a bit quieter with a House Martin the only slightly unusual bird; a Bonxie went south offshore along with 250 more Greylag Geese while around Vågsvollvåien there were 3 Ruff, 2 Wood Sandpipers and a Greenshank.

                There were good numbers of waders around the coast but a different range of species and in different numbers to yesterday showing a good turnover of birds; totals today included 33 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 42 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling, 19 Common Sandpipers, 11 Greenshank, 6 Wood Sandpipers, 10 Green Sandpipers, 16 Redshank, 2 Golden Plover and single Knot and Turnstone while 12 Teal and 3 Arctic Terns (including two 1st summer birds) were also of note.   A Green Woodpecker in Lebeltet Nord and the first Redstart of the autumn at the Radiomastene were the highlights inland before the wind built up to a blazing force 8 north-westerly by early afternoon affectively ending the day!
Bar-tailed Godwits and other waders in Sevika


Dawn from the kitchen window with some strange effect making the turbines seem much closer and bigger than they normally look!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

29th July

Still nice and calm but unfortunately it rained pretty much all day with only a few windows in the weather to make the most of; with the rain and the light wind in the NE it was predictably waders that were the main focus with my two jaunts out in the rain producing some good totals.   A look in Sevika late morning saw 17 Bar-tailed Godwits (I can’t remember seeing such a big flock here before), 8 Green Sandpipers, 5 Greenshank, 5 Wood Sandpipers, 6 Common Sandpipers, 2 Ruff, 21 Snipe (small flocks appearing from nowhere!), 15 Redshank, 3 Dunlin and yesterday’s Curlew Sandpiper still with a Bonxie alarming everything over Steinodden until the rain drove me back indoors!

                I completed the coast later in the afternoon where there was another good concentration of birds in Verevågen which included my overdue first Spotted Redshank of the year, 27 Redshank, 8 Greenshank, 7 Green Sandpipers, 6 Common Sandpipers, 10 Dunlin, 4 Curlew and another Curlew Sandpiper.
I didn't take any pictures today (for a variety of reasons!) so here's a Blue Rock Thrush from Gibraltar a couple of years ago

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

28th July

Beautiful and calm again with 50 new birds in the nets including a smart juvenile Green Woodpecker, another young juvenile Pied Flycatcher, a Whinchat, a nice and scaly young Skylark and a little influx of 13 Willow Warblers; I didn’t look at the sea very much but I didn’t miss anything with c300 Greylag Geese heading south the only thing of note, there was however a nice wader passage going through Vågsvollvåien with birds dropping in and heading off all morning which included a few Wood Sandpipers, Greenshank, Redshank, Curlew, Green Sandpipers, a Ruff and the first Grey Plover of the autumn.

                The wader theme continued as I walked round the coast as totals included 25 Common Sandpipers, the first Curlew Sandpiper of the autumn, another Grey Plover, 2 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 12 Golden Plover, 6 Greenshank, 7 Green Sandpipers, 2 Ruff and a Wood Sandpiper along with 15 Teal and the adult male Peregrine.

                Inland was a bit quieter with a good spread of Red-backed Shrikes including two males together at the Radiomastene (not sure which pairs they belonged to!), 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 juvenile Fieldfares and a nice group of 4 very young fledgling Coal Tits at Vatnemarka.

Green Woodpecker



Curlew Sandpiper

Monday, 27 July 2015

27th July

Another perfect day, pretty much flat calm with some cloud cover coming and going; managed 45 new birds in the nets, all local breeding birds but they did include the first Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting and Rock Pipit caught this autumn.   Needless to say the sea was quiet with 2 Red-throated Divers and a few small Greylag Goose flocks south the only birds of note, there was though a few birds passing through Vågsvollvåien during the morning including 5+ Greenshank, a Wood Sandpiper, 3 Teal, a Ruff, 12 Lapwings and 5+ Herons.

                The coast was pretty quiet with a Little Stint and 9 Teal in Sevika, 8 Green Sandpipers in Verevågen, a Wood Sandpiper on the pool at Vatnemarka and a Green Woodpecker in Lebeltet Nord.   A Bar-tailed Godwit was new on Vågsvollvåien late afternoon when an odd little party of 3 Green Woodpeckers came out to the lighthouse for a look around!  

Willow Tit and fledgling


Six-spot Burnet

Sunday, 26 July 2015

26th July

The weather went back to its default setting of very strong northwest winds first thing changing to extremely strong northwest winds by the afternoon; not much on the sea first thing with at least two Bonxies again lingering offshore chasing things along with single Fulmar, Kittiwake and Common Tern.   27+ Lapwings plus two each of Bar-tailed Godwit and Whimbrel were around Vågsvollvåien and that was about it for the day really as I couldn’t really inspire myself enough to do much else!

I read a foreign Lesser Black-backed Gull ring yesterday evening on Vågsvollvåien; dark blue with orange numbers 850 was ringed at Gloucester Landfill site in December 1994 already aged as a 9 (meaning it was hatched in 1991) making it at least 24 years old!   It was seen regularly wintering at landfill sites in SW England up until 2012 but not since and just re-sighted once away from its wintering area – at Tingsaker, Lillesand north of Kristiansand in June 2006.  
A bit of a boring day really (although I didn't put very much effort in!) so here's a Smyrna Kingfisher from Israel last year which is enough to brighten anybody's day!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

25th July

A perfect morning, almost flat calm and overcast so the main focus was the nets where I managed 50 new birds including the first Icterine Warbler and 2 Tree Pipits of the autumn and another juvenile Pied Flycatcher (I also had a mist net extraction tick  - a Bedstraw Hawkmoth!).   There were plenty of other birds around as well with the Merlin whizzing around, 60+ Swifts hawking low down, 121 Greylag Geese heading south and a good selection of waders around Vågsvollvåien including 28 Golden Plover, a Ruff, 7 Common Sandpipers, 4 Green Sandpipers, 2 Whimbrel, 21 Curlew and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

                There were more waders along the coast at lunchtime as totals included 2 Turnstone, 7 more Common Sandpipers, 7 more Green Sandpipers, 5 Greenshank, 13 Redshank, 15 Dunlin and a Sanderling; other birds of note were 4 Teal, 2 Tufted Ducks, a Red-throated Diver south and 90+ Swifts.   The only result of persistent but light rain during most of the afternoon was 31 Lapwings on Vågsvollvåien.
Icterine Warbler


Friday, 24 July 2015

24th July

A similar day to yesterday but with the wind a bit stronger and with a bit more west in it; a couple of Bonxies were lingering offshore while around Vågsvollvåien there were 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 8 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel, a Greenshank and presumably the same female Tufted Duck relocating from Fuglejønna.   Managed to get a couple of nets open but it was very quiet, just rescued by a smart juvenile Wryneck as I was closing!

                The coast was also quiet with waders including 3 Common Sandpipers, another Greenshank, 4 Green Sandpipers, 5 Dunlin and a Sanderling; 38+ Swifts were feeding over Verevågen before the day’s highlight came with a cracking female WHITE-BACKED WOODPECKER in Lebeltet Nord (a proper one this time with no hint of any hybridness like the thing last autumn!).

- Read consecutive Lesser Black-backed Gull rings on Vågsvollvåien this morning; J663E and J664E were both ringed as chicks on Rauna on 17th July 2013and over two years later they were standing next to each other again!

White-backed Woodpecker

Wryneck - very hard to photograph in the hand as it wouldn't keep its bloody head still!

The Swifts were very photogenic today!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

23rd July

Not a bad day, sunny with the NW wind remaining on the moderate side; birds on the sea first thing included a lingering Bonxie chasing Gulls, 2 Goldeneye, a Red-throated Diver and a Kittiwake with 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 7 Curlew, 3 Whimbrel, 3 Greenshank and 2 Teal around Vågsvollvåien through the morning.   The coast was then quieter than recently as waders just included 2 Common Sandpipers, 5 Green Sandpipers, 5 Whimbrel a single Dunlin and 2 Greenshank.

                A walk late afternoon produced a few bits with presumably the same adult Little Stint reappearing in Vågsvollvika and a very worn and pale looking 1st summer female Merlin which caught a Swallow in Gunnarsmyra (slightly unseasonal) the highlights along with a Wood Sandpiper, a nice family group of 4 Whinchat fledglings on the edge of Lebeltet where there was also at least 3 Wrynecks and the original Red-backed Shrike family still.

Little Stint


The Lebeltet Red-backed Shrikes are growing up quickly!

Worryingly seen quite a few Slinky Minky's around over the last few days including three together yesterday, this one was in Verevegan today.   This one hasn't got a very prominent white chin patch - an immature?

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

22nd July

A lovely morning with a light NW wind produced 40 new birds in the nets, all local juveniles; there was single Bonxie, Kittiwake and Arctic Tern offshore with a Bar-tailed Godwit and 7 Curlew around Vågsvollvåien.   There were unsurprisingly fewer waders around the coast at lunchtime as totals included 11 Common Sandpipers, 4 Greenshank, 10 Dunlin, 3 Redshank and 5 Green Sandpipers.

                Finally caught sight of the Vatnemarka Red-backed Shrike chicks while 4 fledglings were still with the Lebeltet pair – the female of which had a couple of unsuccessful attempts in catching a juvenile Great Tit; two Wrynecks were also seen.


Red-backed Shrike




Tuesday, 21 July 2015

21st July

A bit rainy and breezy (although the wind had moved round into the east) for most of the morning which passed largely uneventful, it brightened up around lunchtime and there were much increased wader numbers around the coast most notably 16 Common Sandpipers along with 5 Greenshank, 19 Redshank, 13 Dunlin, 7 Green Sandpipers and 10 Ringed Plover.

                Other birds seen around the place included 6 Teal, the male Peregrine, the three pairs of Red-backed Shrikes still very active, broods of Willow Tit and Coal Tit fledglings being fed by the parents, a juvenile Pied Flycatcher in Lebeltet Nord, 25+ Swifts and 11 Crossbills.

- I read a pretty old Lesser Black-backed Gull ring today on Vågsvollvåien which had an excellent set of re-sightings; JNC9 was ringed as a chick just up the coast on Rauna in 1999, from where it spent the next summer in Germany before coming back up here briefly in summer 2001before heading back to Germany and Belgium presumably on route to its wintering area.   It returned here in 2002 and 2003 before going missing for three years, turning up back on Rauna in 2006 and then being seen in France on route back to its wintering area which is probably La Coruǹa in Spain as it was re-sighted there in March 2007 (although this could have also been on passage).
It has then returned every year to breed back on Rauna but hasn’t been seen anywhere on passage or during winter.
Common Sandpiper

Young Linnet

Monday, 20 July 2015

20th July

A nice day with the wind back in NW but not too strong; there wasn’t too much around though with the highlight in the nets being a juvenile Pied Flycatcher (presumably from somewhere fairly local although not in the recording area) with the only other bird of note being a juvenile Green Woodpecker which came out to the lighthouse a couple of times.

                Still quiet round the coast with 5 Teal, 6 Green Sandpipers, a Common Sandpiper, a Tufted Duck, 2 Herons and 30+ Swifts of note while the 8 big Shelduck chicks in Verevågen were taking their first unsteady flights!   There was another brood of fledgling Red-backed Shrikes out in Lebeltet Nord where the Spotted Flycatcher fledglings were still going and the Vatnemarka Red-backed Shrike pair were still present and alarming but I haven’t seen any chicks yet.

Pied Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

Hooded Crow

An Eider family having an afternoon nap

Sunday, 19 July 2015

19th July

Again breezy at dawn but unlike yesterday the wind dropped to almost nothing very quickly; single Manx Shearwaters and Bonxies went north at sea with 2 Ruff and a Wood Sandpiper on Vågsvollvåien and the highlight in the nets being a smart juvenile Whinchat in amongst a mob of not-so-smart young Starlings!  

The coast was quieter than yesterday with a lot of the waders having moved on; birds included 4 Teal, 5 Velvet Scoter south, 7 Common Sandpipers and 5 Green Sandpipers before rain for most of the afternoon put an end to proceedings.

Velvet Scoters

Just some of the many darvic ringed Gulls in the area; a really high percentage of birds are actually colour ringed giving a reason to scan through the flocks - reading the rings is usually far more interesting than the actual Gulls themselves!