Mar 28, 2024

around Bergen

 The day off and home alone. I took the opportunity to visit northern and eastern Bergen. I began at Sæterstølen, where to Green Woodpeckers called a lot. I didn't see them though. Here also a pair of Willow Tits (a little bit of pishing made them very curious) and a singing Hawfinch. Then I visited Garnes where a Black-headed Gull and three Velvet Scoters were present. Unneland was very quiet. At Kalandsvannet one of the two returned Red-throated Divers was present as well as a small group of Meadow Pipits. I hoped to see the Golden Eagles that usually are around Gullfjellet, so I drove the long road through Bontveitdalen without seeing them. Instead I found a Mistle Thrush at Hausdalen. I was with some other thrushes (Fieldfares and Red-winged) feeding on the fields. But it quickly disappeared in the trees, where I saw it shortly. After that I couldn't find it again. Nice anyhow. On the way home I drove along Nesttunvannet where to pairs of Teal were present...

a nice pair of Willow Tits showed very well at Sæterstølen

Mar 24, 2024

a cold but beautiful day

 Went for a short visit to Flesland gård. It was beautiful cloudless weather, but the northern wind made it feel quite cold. No silent birds today. All of them showed lust for life. There were 17 Greylag Geese on the fields and a few migrating birds. On the airstrips two Ringed Plovers were flying around. Further a good deal of migrating Blackbirds, Fieldfares, a Song Thrush, Meadow Pipit, heard only White Wagtail (or yarrellii) and a Goldfinch.

And a Dipper was at Fana kulturpark😊

Mar 7, 2024

a little bit of spring on Herdla

 Yesterday I visited Herdla for the first time this year. Nice, but cold walk around the reserve. It gave a bit of a spring feeling with all the (sometimes displaying) Lapwings, Oystercatchers, the first Ringed Plovers and singing Sky Larks. Otherwise a Greater White fronted Goose fabalis and an early Bar-tailed Godwit...

fabalis Greater White-fronted Goose

one of the 25 or so Oystercatchers

Earlier in the week I recorded a singing Hawfinch in Christieparken with the Song Meter Touch- app on my phone. The app is meant to record nature sounds. Quite good quality. It proves handy if you don't have the normal recorder with shotgun microphone with you (which is quite often...). Below you can hear the result.

🎤 Hawfinch

Feb 4, 2024

First twitch of the year

Three Wood Larks are present on the farm lands of Terje Håheim in Etne since November (!). This lark was not on my Hordaland list...

But this winter is a bad one. I have been busy with other things, all too often ill or the weather was too bad. Yesterday, at last, I made the three-and-a-half hour drive from Bergen. I was met by an enthusiastic Terje, who showed me around. After about  three quarters of an hour we found them back on one of the acres. The birds were shy and could not easily be approached. After a few attempts to get some images I left them alone... Terje, thanks for the coffee! 

Nov 25, 2023


 Waxwing are on the move. Not very big numbers, but anyhow. After a few flyby's I had two birds back my house, an adult and a young bird. managed a picture in fading light late afternoon.

On Tveitevannet a poor adult Red-throated Loon with a broken lower bill was present. Imagine how to get your own food and eating it without your lower jaw being present...Attempts were made to catch it, but without results so far. It won't survive anyhow and is probably in pain as well...

adult female Bohemian Waxwing. In the background first-winter bird

poor bird

Oct 15, 2023

Ring-billed Gull at last

Tried this one six or seven times before I saw it. But it is a beauty. it was discovered by Anita Rude.
Ring-billed Gull is a bit of a Bergen speciality (my fourth), but already some time since the last was ringed here in the city centre

subadult Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis, old primaries just visible

Oct 11, 2023

A few days Utsira

 After the Dark-sided Flycatcher episode, we went to Utsira for a couple of days. On the island it was quiet with rarities, but very nice birding in nice weather. The birders there didn't hesitate to congratulate me on the discovery of the flycatcher. One of them, Torborg Berge, gave me the traditional snack to celebrate, a so-called Gullbrød. Many thanks for that😊

Birdwise, as said, no vagrants, although a Grey Phalarope was still new for my Norwegian list. Yellow-browed Warblers were few and far between, only two or three present. On Monday there was a good fall of  Goldcrests. Further worth mentioning were good numbers of Parrot Crossbills, two Carrion Crows, two Richard Pipits and two Ring Ouzels.

first-year Grey Phalarope

Goldcrest. Notice those nails!

Oct 5, 2023

MEGA: Dark-sided Flycatcher on Herdlevær

 What seemed to be a quiet day turned out to be a big one. A stroll at Herdlevær produced the usual suspects with two Yellow-browed Warblers, a Blackcap and Chiffchaff. On the way back I went with Julian Bell, who was also there. At the sjeldenhagen Julian noted a Spotted Flycatcher. We had very short views of the bird. We looked at each other and said that it seemed to have a lot of markings and off it flew...Alerted, but expecting nothing else but a Spotted flycatcher, we tried to find it again. It was flying a lot around and was erratic. Julian, however, took some pictures (me being clumsy with my new camera) on which we saw it was quite darkish and mottled on the underparts with lots of light fringes on many feathers on the back, head and rump. That made us discuss the possibility of a bird that was still extremely juvenile. After we found it back on another spot we both made some photo's. 

I mentioned the possibility of something much rarer (Grey-striped Flycatcher/Dark-sided Flycatcher), but that seemed far out. Julian had to leave, while I checked the photo's on my camera. Something made me uneasy; the eyering was too obvious and the bird seemed too mottled. I needed help and I texted Frode Falkenberg, Eirik Adolfsen and Terje Hansen. Eirik and Terje had been on Hernar together with Jørn Opsal and were present only some 20 minutes after I texted them. The first thing Eirik said was that this was something good AND IT WAS!! After Julian sent one of his pictures, other birders were consulted (my brother Sybrand and Enno Ebels were of great help) and it soon became clear that my suspicions were right; it looked indeed good for Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica. Dark-sided Flycatcher would be a new bird for Norway and only the second for the Western Palearctic. Later at home, after checking documentation, consulting literature and speaking with other birders we decided to claim this bird as such!!

I hope that some better pictures are going to be made, but on the photo's so far all characters do fit this species best and rule out other Muscicapae, such as Grey-straked Flycatcher and Asian Brown Flycatcher. Ou bird is a typical, but rather darkish muscicapa flycatcher with a bold eyering, rather fine bill with only a small yellow base on the lower mandible, strong lateral throat-stripes, mottled flanks, diffusely mottled under tail-coverts and very long primaries. Further lots of whitish fringes along the greater and median coverts, tertials and upper parts, including head and back. That made the bird a first year with a good deal juvenile feathers, which is in fact typical for Dark-sided Flycatcher in October... See below

Not a very good picture, but my own

It was still present on the days after to the joy of many! Last day was 10th of October. And lots of photo's have been made. I don't normally place pictures of others, but in this case...Four persons have been so kind to let me use their pictures. Alf Alden does have some really good ones, Cecilie Hansen gave me a picture made by her partner Daniel Taranger and  Roald Hatten and Petter Thornes made some nice ones as well. See below. Thank you all for that😊  

Nice picture taken on Friday by Alf Alden

another picture with a better view of the undertail-coverts. Picture by Daniel Taranger

bilde Roald Hatten

bilde Roald Hatten

bilde Petter Thornes

Here you can read the article I wrote for Birdlife Norge

Oct 3, 2023


Today a rather late and short visit to Turøy. Of course a calling Yellow-browed Warbler. Further rather quiet with a few Song Thrushes, Robins, a Chiffchaff, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Grey-headed Woodpecker.

Nice little Blue Tit, always some present

Oct 2, 2023

Herdlevær, 2nd of October: Yellow- browed Warbler

 In the first week of October Yellow-browed Warbler is (almost) guaranteed along the coast. And since I often visit Herdlevær, one could say: guaranteed at Herdlevær. Below a nice recording. May be there were two birds present, but I didn't hear them simultaneous...

Further not crowded with birds (the masses of finches and thrushes not yet on the move), but nice birding with a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, three Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a flyby Kestrel, three Blackcaps and one Chiffchaff.

🎤 Yellow-browed Warbler

female-type Kestrel; the wing formula is just visible in this picture (click on it for better views).  p10 looks short (which should exclude Lesser Kestrel). P9 and 8 longer than p10, whereas on Lesser Kestrel p 10 would be as long as p8...