May 12, 2018

Cirl Bunting

A singing male Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus is lingering in the south of the Netherlands for some weeks now... Not a difficult choice what to do. So today my dad, brother and I twitched it. Nice views of the rather active bird.

Cirl Bunting


Back in the north the White-throated Wagtail was still present as well as a Squacco Heron. The nice weather produced a lot of bird activity, which made the birding worth while...


Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides

Western Yellow Wagtail Motacilla lava

 Black-tailed Godwit Limosa l limosa

Stonechat Saxicola rubicola


May 11, 2018

White-throated Wagtail

Robin and I are visiting the Netherlands and I have some time to bird. So, on thursday I went with my brother and father to see this nice male  Italian White throated Wagtail Motacilla c cinereocapilla. (Dutch Birding is treating many wagtail-taxa as full species). The bird  is holding territory during the last few weeks near the city of Groningen. Due to bad weather only a record shot below...


White-throated Wagtail (photo below on a different day)

May 6, 2018

Caspian Gull still present

The Bergen Caspian Gull was still present today. Saw it only swim, but managed to get a beter picture, though...


May 5, 2018

Caspian Gull in Bergen

Who else than Arild Breistøl found this second calendar year Caspian Gull on the Tveitevannet in Bergen, only 5 minutes from my house. It showed much sings of wear in the wings as it should in this age. New bird for me for Norway...

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans

Apr 16, 2018

Sahara Atlantique (du Maroc), a week in the desert

The last week of march I made a trip with Enno Ebels, Eric Koops and Lodi Nauta to the desert in the Western Sahara. Western Sahara is occupied by Morocco and has been political unstable a long time. But the last ten years or so it has been rather stable and the UN has cleared large areas from landmines. That being so the area has openend for foreign visitors, mostly birdwatchers. In the true desert one can find birds that are otherwise difficult to find in the Western Palearctic.
Deep into the desert is a dry owed or wadi, Oued Jenna, that holds some of these birds: Golden Nightjar Caprimulgus eximius, Cricket Warbler Spiloptila clamans and Sudan Golden Sparrow Passer luteus.
We saw these birds, albeit with some difficulty. Along the coast at the Dakhla bay one can find another speciality of the region, African Royal Tern Sterna albididorsalis. We saw a maximum of 26 birds.
Other nice typical (desert) birds we saw were: Crowned Sandgrouse Pterocles coronatus, Western Reef Heron Egretta gularis gularisCream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor,  Atlas Long-legged Buzzard Buteo refinus cirtensisPharao Eagle Owl Bubo ascalaphus, Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus, Desert Grey Shrike Lanius elegans, Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis, lots of larks like African Dunn's Lark Eremelauda dunni, Maghreb Lark Galerida macrorhyncha and Black-crowned Sparrow-lark Eremopterix nigriceps, Pale Crag Martin Pytyoprogne obsoleta presaharica, African Desert Warbler Sylvia deserti, Western Subalpine Warbler Sylvia inornataWestern Olivaceous Warbler Iduna opaca, Saharan Olivaceous Warbler Iduna pallida reiseriSeebohm's Wheatear Oenanthe seebohmi, Red-rumped Wheatear Oenanthe moesta and Desert Sparrow Passer simplex. (All birds in red were new taxa to me). More pictures under the world button!

Also the third Fieldfare Turdus pilaris and eighth Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus for the country!!



male Seebohm's Wheatear

Crowned Sandgrouse

African Desert Warbler

Dunn's Lark

Desert Grey Shrike

Western Subalpine Warbler

Golden Nightjar (Eric Koops)

Cream-coloured Courser

Desert Sparrow

White-crowned Black Wheatear

Black Wheatear

African Royal Terns

African Royal Tern

Cricket Warbler

Maghreb Lark (Eric Koops)




Feb 12, 2018

at home

Not much birding lately due to work, a lot to do at home and so on...
But these two are about all the time.

pair of Collared Doves

Jan 7, 2018

a blue flash

Today, in very bad weather,  I tried for the Kingfisher in Hamreelven. It was found yesterday and seen well by many observers, but not me. Didn't have the time yesterday, but today I could pay a visit. After half an hour of walking and looking I suddenly saw it fly over the water in the little river and disappear. I reckon it can be hard to find and the area where it can hold is rather big... Anyhow, new for my Bergen list. Maybe I try for it on tuesday again.

Nov 13, 2017

Black-bellied Dipper

Walking home with my daughter from the kindergarten I had a fly-over Black-bellied Dipper Cinclus cinclus cinclus. I heard it's typical electric call five or six times and saw the bird in the twilight. I never have seen this phenomenon before. Nice and nr 43 for the houselist!

Nov 2, 2017

Turøy, Parrot Crossbills and beautiful weather

The second of november had beautiful weather on Turøy, but not many birds about. Heard and saw some ten Parrot Crossbills Loxia pytyopsittacus, as well as a few flyby Common Crossbills L curvirostra. Finally I could take some shots of the first.
Further very quiet, but worth mentioning are two White-tailed Eagles Haliaeetus albicilla and two Greater Spotted Woodpeckers Dendrocopus major...

male Parrot Crossbill

female Parrot Crossbill

male Greater Spotted Woodpecker

first-year White-tailed Eagle




Oct 25, 2017

Bergen list: Gadwall

A pair of Gadwalls Anas strepera was reported the day before yesterday (but not yesterday) at Muthaugtjern near Flesland in Bergen. As the species is new for my Bergen list, I checked anyhow today. Still present!
Didn't get decent photo's, only record shot of the male...


Oct 18, 2017

Yellow-browed on my house list

This morning, while walking with Hickman I heard a Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus in Christieparken. Christieparken lies some 200 meters from my house and surprise: ten minutes later I heard it calling from my house! Only species nr 38 for my houselist!!

Oct 17, 2017

Yellow-legged Gull!!

A Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis is being present since the end of september on Øygarden, but only the last few days it is being seen regularly at Hatlestad, near Tjeldstø on Øygarden. Couldn't visit last weekend, so I went monday morning. I found it first flying at Straumsundet, but half an hour later I found it back sitting together with two Herring Gulls on a rock at quite a distance, much to the relief of those who were searching; a huge crowd of four other birders(!) managed to see it there after being warned...The bird flew away after some ten minutes.
There is some discussion about the ID (good p5, but not enough black on the outer primaries...). I am not a gull-guru, but I think that it looks like a very good candidate for michahellis. We'll see how the rarity committee decides...it would be a new bird for me on my Norwegian list.
On Herdlevær the female Red-baked Shrike was still present, together with a calling Yellow-browed Warbler, some flyby Parrot Crossbills, Common Redpolls and the usual Tree Sparrows.

Not the best picture: record shot of the Yellow-legged Gull (bird on the right). 
Large bill with red gonydeal angle-spot and completely white head visible here.
It also has a red orbital ring, visible only when clicking on the picture...

Red-backed Shrike, adult female as it seems

one of the noisy Tree Sparrows



Oct 7, 2017

Parrot Crossbills around

The last weeks an invasion of Parrot Crossbills Loxia pytyopsittacus is going on. Had a few over our new house and at Herdlevær the last few times I visited as well as on Turøy and the biological station in Bergen. The two on Turøy I could identify by bill structure.
However, taxonomy isn't stable in the Loxia- genus. It seems there are a few types of crossbill and some of them are like Parrot in structure and call. For the moment we call the birds of the last few weeks here and in north-western europa pytyopsittacus calling typical with an  almost wader-like quality as I would call it.

Further yesterday a Yellow-browed Warbler there and lot of thrushes in the air. Not much else on the warbler front, though...One Chiffchaff, a Blackcap and a rather late Pied Flycatcher...