Wednesday, 30 September 2015

30th September

A real change in the weather with complete cloud cover and a brisk NW wind; I went over to Kviljoodden first thing but it was really quiet with a Little Stint in amongst 12 Dunlin the only waders present while 4 Shoveler, a Pintail and 17 Velvet Scoter were offshore and three Peregrines were bombing around.

                The recording area was also very quiet with the increasing NW wind but there was an increase to at least 10 Grey Wagtails and 350+ Siskins were still wheeling around Lebeltet.


Grey Wagtail

This depredated Short-eared Owl was out in Seviksmarka.   Goshawk? 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

29th September

A continuation of the fine weather produced three more Tengmalm’s Owls caught in the small hours including one in the net still clutching a Mouse he had caught!   Passage through the morning was again slightly reduced although a steady stream of c40 Sparrowhawks went through along with at least 4 Hen Harriers and my first Short-eared Owl of the autumn heading away high and out to sea.

                There were however 400+ Siskins again wheeling around over Lebeltet seemingly unsure of where to go next, 20+ Magpies on the move and 12+ Reed Buntings was an increase whereas the quality was made up of a/the Three-toed Woodpecker which came out to the lighthouse briefly and the first Great Grey Shrike of the autumn distantly perched out in the fields.   The nets produced 60 new birds including more Blue Tits and Goldcrests along with 2 Chiffchaffs and a Willow Tit.

                A concerted effort in the afternoon had me tramping across a very wet Seviksmarka for a couple of hours; there was no rare Loco but it did produce my first 2 Jack Snipe of the autumn, 20+ Snipe, a Merlin and a flyover Lapland Bunting while two Redstarts were in Lebeltet.
Hen Harrier


Monday, 28 September 2015

28th September

Another great, sunny day with the merest waft of a breeze shifting round to the NE; there were fewer passerines heading over the lighthouse through the morning but 800+ Siskins were circling round over Lebeltet making an impressive sight and other bits included another Black Woodpecker, 3 Shoveler which landed on the sea, a Lapland Bunting, a calling Spotted Redshank (the only one since the first week of September) and a big influx of 165+ Woodpigeons.   Seventy-five new birds were caught through the morning including 2 Blackcaps, a little influx of 11 Goldcrests at dawn and 50 Blue Tits out of several flocks which passed overhead.

                The most exciting part of the day was a few hours from lunchtime when some great and varied raptor passage commenced with the highlights being an adult Golden Eagle over towards the hills in the same view as a 1st winter White-tailed Eagle and at least 9 Goshawks (including four together at one stage) along with 30+ Sparrowhawks, 10+ Kestrels, at least 3 Hen Harriers (including one north at sea), 10 Buzzards, a Merlin and probably three Peregrines mooching around but not really moving anywhere.

                The afternoon was spent across the fields and plantations and for what it lacked in numbers really made up for it with quality with the numerous highlights including awesome views of a THREE-TOED WOODPECKER in Lebeltet (another new bird for me!), brief views of a Kingfisher along the stream in Gunnarsmyra flashing past and perched on a post (actually the rarest thing for a while with only four previous records in the area!), a group of 3 Richard’s Pipits at Vågsvoll and a calling Yellow-browed Warbler at Vatnemarka.

                Other bits and pieces through the afternoon included a few more Sparrowhawks, another Hen Harrier floating around, a Tree Pipit, 40+ Skylarks in the fields, 9 Crossbills with 2 Ruff, 20 Wigeon and a Goldeneye on Vågsvollvåien and a cool looking leucistic Common Gull flying around - basically all white with a few light coffee coloured markings in the tail and primaries.

Three-toed Woodpecker - My 252nd Norwegian species (not that I'm keeping count or anything!)


Another Black Woodpecker came out to the lighthouse this morning

Sunday, 27 September 2015

27th September

The day’s highlight came just before dawn as with the aid of playback I caught an awesome little PYGMY OWL in the Labyrinth, a new bird for me and a great moment after trying all last autumn to catch one; I also caught two more Tengmalm’s Owls in the very early morning.

                With the wind dying away to almost nothing by dawn and clear skies it was always going to be a good morning of overhead passage and so it proved with birds streaming NW from just before dawn to mid-morning; totals included 3 Black Woodpeckers circling high over the lighthouse, 660+ Bramblings, 300+ Siskins, 200+ Meadow Pipits, 14 Grey Wagtails, 10 Tree Pipits, a Yellow Wagtail (with a slightly harsh sounding call) and smaller numbers of Snipe, Reed Buntings, Yellowhammers, Redpolls, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, White Wagtails and Skylarks – nothing rare but a great spectacle, how autumn should be!

                The nets were also busier than of late with 60 new birds caught including an influx of 35 Blue Tits, a Coal Tit, a Chiffchaff and a couple of Goldcrests and Robins.   The rest of the day was much quieter after the vis mig had dried up with 2 Shoveler and a Tufted Duck in Sevika and single Great-spotted Woodpecker and Jay in the plantations indicating the start of some autumn movements.

Pygmy Owl - Awesome!

Tengmalm's Owl - Also awesome!

Coal Tit - Nice!

Migrating Black Woodpeckers - Very awesome!

Saturday, 26 September 2015

26th September

Sunny with a brisk NW wind but there wasn’t much to mention with a Great-northern Diver flying past Verevågen, a Black Woodpecker in Lebeltet Nord and my first Richard’s Pipit of the autumn with a group of Skylarks in the stubble fields at Vågsvollmarka.
No pictures on this quiet day so here's a Black Woodpecker from last year

25th September

A difficult day with a very strong SW wind and regular showers sweeping through; there was little on the sea apart from a Long-tailed Duck, a couple of Knot flocks and two Kittiwakes along with a few Gannets and Auks.    Inland it was also quiet with a single Pink-footed Goose with the Greylags out on Vågsvollmarka, a young Marsh Harrier floating around and single Lapland Bunting, Grey Wagtail and Tree Pipit the only birds of note.

                A Grey Plover and the Shoveler were in Sevika with at least 9 Sparrowhawks and a notable influx of 140+ Rock Pipits around the coast.

Crested Tit

Pink-footed Goose



Thursday, 24 September 2015

24th September

We caught another couple of Tengmalm’s Owls overnight before another promising looking day dawned with a moderate easterly, plenty of cloud and a few isolated showers here and there but as is the norm this year the nets were ridiculously quiet – five hours netting in late September with an easterly wind blowing and you catch just one Dunnock all morning, what the hell is going on this autumn!?

                A juvenile Hobby showed well perched on a rock by the lighthouse and two Goshawks went south almost together while on the sea birds included 6 Red-throated Divers, 52 Dunlin, a Ruff, a Common Tern, 26 Wigeon, a Black Guillemot and 35 Gannets went south with the first Greenshank for a while passed overhead.

                The rest of the day was interrupted by a several heavy showers with the highlight being an Osprey which flew north over Seviksmarka, three Peregrines, the Shoveler and 33 Wigeon were the only other birds of note really.

- Most of the local Lesser Black-backed Gulls have left for their winter quarters now so many of the ones around at the moment are migrants from further north including J6R8 on Vågsvollvåien this evening who was ringed as a chick up near Troms in northern Norway in 2007, 1,500Km to the north of here.



Common Scoter

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

23rd September

A really good looking day with a light easterly breeze and plenty of cloud cover (which gave way to light rain for a short while) given more promise by a calling Yellow-browed Warbler at the lighthouse early morning.   There were a few bits on the sea (until the rain came) including a Black-throated Diver, 21 Red-throated Divers, 59 Cormorants, 8 Velvet Scoter, 8 Red-breasted Merganser, a Common Tern and a Black Guillemot while 9 Sparrowhawks and 3 Kestrels also went south.

                The area then had a few signs of a typical autumn day with the first few Redwings along with general increases in Goldcrests and Song Thrushes but there was actually little else as birds included a Hobby hunting low across the fields just beyond Lebeltet Nord, 2 Goshawks, a calling Black Woodpecker, 4 Redstarts, 3 Tree Pipits and a few more Sparrowhawks and Kestrels.

Just a couple of records shots of the Hobby as it zoomed about at a million miles an hour!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015


An all night effort with the playback produced 6 awesome TENGMALM'S OWLS, hopefully its shaping up to be a good Owl autumn (especially after the poor results last year).    They are so cool!!

This one didn't quite make it into the nets!

22nd September

Very wet through most of the morning but there was some good passage offshore with a Black-throated Diver with 69 Red-throated Divers, 11 Velvet Scoter, 46 Common Scoter, 29 Brent Geese, 20 Golden Plover, 5 Grey Plover, 55 Dunlin and 2 Common Terns while the Shoveler and 2 Grey Wagtails were mooching around along the shore.

                The highlight in the area was again the EAGLE OWL which I flushed from the corner of Lebeltet where, presumably the same bird, was back in August; migrants were again thin on the ground with 3 Redstarts, a Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Sparrowhawks, 5 Kestrels and a Hen Harrier hunting across Vatnemarka while the first Wood Sandpiper for over two weeks dropped into Vågsvollvåien late afternoon.

Monday, 21 September 2015

21st September

Still lovely conditions with the merest breath of a NW wind but a bit more cloud than yesterday; there were a few more birds in the nets highlighted by a smart 1st winter Barred Warbler along with 2 Reed Buntings and 10 Blue Tits.   The sea was quiet but there was a good overhead passage through the morning of 330+ Siskins, 13 Grey Wagtails, 6 Tree Pipits, a Lapland Bunting, 5 Reed Buntings, 5 Goldfinches and the odd Skylark, Redpoll, Yellowhammer and Yellow Wagtail while a big female Goshawk flew across the fields.

                The bushes and plantations were pretty quiet but there were some nice birds around including a Black Woodpecker calling in Lebeltet, a Red-throated Pipit in Seviksmarka and another Goshawk in Lebeltet Nord while other birds of note were another 290+ Siskins swirling round Lebeltet, 2 Lapland Buntings at the Radiomastene, 9 Crossbills, a Redstart, 11 Goldfinches and a couple of flyover Grey Plovers before it clouded over, the wind switched to the east and started raining by the evening.
Barred Warbler

This suspicious looking Golden Plover only set alarm bells ringing when I looked at the photographs later; it looks very small and slim with short primary projection and long tertials - more opinions are needed but its probably just a grey Goldie!

There was a Goshawk in the plantation where the Eagle Owl was yesterday who was probably responsible for this sad looking pile of Sparrowhawk feathers!