Monday, 30 November 2015

27th-28th November, Spurn

Spent a couple of days up at Spurn and as is the norm with my wintery visits there the weather was pretty horrible with strong, cold winds and frequent heavy showers limiting what I could and wanted to do; I opened a couple of sheltered nets where I caught a few Blackbirds, a couple of Lesser Redpolls (with a tape) and a smart male Brambling while amongst the few birds seen were a Short-eared Owl, a Woodcock, a single Pale-bellied Brent Goose with the Dark-bellies on Kilnsea Wetlands where there was also single Black-tailed Godwit and Shoveler.

Short-eared Owl not wanting to fly in the windy conditions


Pale-bellied Brent Goose in amongst the Dark-bellies


Monday, 23 November 2015

River Severn

Walked along the River Severn from Cressage Bridge to Ironbridge where the definite highlight was awesome close views of a big dog Otter eating a fish on the bank somewhere opposite Leighton Hall but apart from that it was extremely quiet birdwise with a Chiffchaff in the Tit flock and just a single Goosander being the only things vaguely noteworthy.

Great views but he was always facing away and obscured by branches so the pictures aren't as good as they could have been (but I suppose that's why he stayed there for so long and didn't really notice me, if it had been a clear view he would have been off and away!)



Sunday, 22 November 2015


Back home in Shropshire now and today I caught a few bits round the bird table, some of which are very different to the same species that we caught in Norway.

The top two Treecreepers were caught today here in Shropshire and are very different to the pale, frosty familiaris Treecreepers we caught in Norway - bottom picture

And there's no comparison with the Long-tailed Tits!

Thursday, 19 November 2015

17-19th November

Grey, windy and rainy on my last morning, a little look over Vågsvollvåien produced 2 distant Rough-legged Buzzards over the town and an increase to 293 Mallards on the floods before I spent a few hours at Spangereid trying unsuccessfully to relocate a Blyth’s Pipit from two days ago – it was found again but not until I was in Kristiansand waiting for the ferry across to Denmark (a Dusky Warbler was also found there at the same time but I won’t mention anything else about missing them!).

                The 18th was spent driving south, eventually reaching The Netherlands in the afternoon; a day’s birding on the 19th in some woods and along the coast at Oostvaardersdijk (just east of Amsterdam) was hard work in the very windy, showery, grey conditions but highlights included a couple of Great White Egrets and good but brief views of a calling Short-toed Treecreeper along with huge numbers of ducks including a few Smew, Goosander and Pintail in amongst hundreds of Tufted Duck, Pochard, Gadwall and Shoveler, a Slavonian Grebe with good numbers of Great-crested Grebes and an adult female Marsh Harrier out over the sea.

Great White Egret

Short-toed Treecreeper

Monday, 16 November 2015

16th November

My final full day here at Lista!   Due to various other jobs and the howling NW wind with extended spells of very heavy rain I only really got out and about from mid-afternoon but there were still a few birds around with the highlights being a lost looking Greenland White-fronted Goose in the stubble fields at Vågsvollmarka, 2 Woodlarks in Vatnemarka and the Great Grey Shrike still around Vågsvoll.

                Other birds included 2 1st winter White-tailed Eagles, a female Scaup on Vågsvollvåien, a Woodcock in Lebeltet, a Sparrowhawk, the Chiffchaff still around the lighthouse, a Dunlin, 5 Lapwings and a good count of 283 Mallard on the flooded Vågsvollvåien.   A little look in the harbours also produced 3 Slavonian Grebes, 3 Little Grebes and a Little Auk.  

Greenland White-fronted Goose


Sunday, 15 November 2015

15th November

After yesterday which was a complete write-off with gale force winds and nasty showers throughout it was a much nicer day with bright sunshine and much lighter NW winds; 4 Whooper Swans flew over at dawn before a look at the sea produced single Black-throated Diver and Red-necked Grebe with very small numbers of the usual Ducks and Auks while a White-tailed Eagle was doing something very far out to sea, two Peregrines were fighting over the lighthouse and another was struggling with a decent sized kill, also very far out at sea.

                The area was pretty quiet in the afternoon despite the now pretty nice conditions with a Great Grey Shrike and a Short-eared Owl on Gunnarsmyra the only birds of note with decent flocks of Meadow Pipits, Rock Pipits, Fieldfares and Common Gulls scattered around.
Just a Mallard!

Friday, 13 November 2015

13th November

Blustery through the morning with birds on the sea including single Fulmar, Great-northern Diver and Red-necked Grebe with the usual small numbers of Auks, Kittiwakes and Common Scoter while 40 Common Gulls and 300+ Starlings also went south.   The Chiffchaff was still around the lighthouse while 3 adult Whooper Swans and 7 Lapwings were new on Vågsvollvåien; that was about it really as heavy rain moved in at lunchtime which dampened my enthusiasm to do much else!

No pictures from today so here's another selection of baby birds for no reason; this time from Orkney in 2013


Thursday, 12 November 2015

12th November

A bright day but with a blazing westerly force 7 wind it was always going to be difficult; an hour’s seawatch from first thing produced a Leach’s Petrel heading south along with small numbers of Auks and Kittiwakes.   The watch was cut short however as I had to dash down the road to Vågsvoll where I got good views of an adult RING-BILLED GULL feeding in the fields with a big flock of Common Gulls, it disappeared over the houses just as I got there with the main flock but luckily it came back for five minutes with a much smaller group of Common Gulls before disappearing again, this time for good – another first for Lista!

                The coast was then windswept and largely birdless apart from 2 Great-northern Divers in Verevågen and at least 3 White-tailed Eagles floating around – two 1st winters and an adult; the only other birds to mention were 4 Great Grey Shrikes in the area with the Vågsvollvika bird still, one at Vatnemarka and two together at Vågsvollmarka.

Ring-billed Gull

Razorbill and Common Scoter passing Steinodden

Goldeneye and Tufted Duck


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

11th November

A pleasant enough day, brightish with a lightish NW breeze; I went out into the area in the morning where it was pretty quiet but with a trickle of birds heading over to the NW including a total of 68 Waxwings in several flocks, a flock of 6 Lapland Buntings, 2 Grey Wagtails, 60+ Bramblings and small numbers of Starlings, Redpolls and Chaffinches.   Other birds included the young White-tailed Eagle, 3 Peregrines including two females tag-teaming against a flock of Starlings but still failing to catch anything, 21 Crossbills, a calling Black Woodpecker, 4 normal sounding Bullfinches and a Chiffchaff.

                I then went out and about for the rest of the day where the highlights included 6 Smew, 22 Pochard and a fly through Little Auk on Hanangervann and a Slavonian Grebe, another drake Pochard and a single adult Crane on Kviljobukta; there were then some good totals offshore from Kviljoodden with single White-billed Diver and Black-throated Diver with 20 Great-northern Divers and 3 Slavonian Grebes in amongst good numbers of Velvet Scoter, Common Scoter, Goldeneye and Long-tailed Ducks.

                Finally there were 5 Slavonian Grebes and a Great-northern Diver in Nordhasselvika and the three Little Grebes in the harbour along with another Slavonian Grebe.

Male and female Long-tailed Ducks