Nov 20, 2011


A walk with Anne in Bergsdalen produced a male Willow Grouse. Otherwise very quiet with Black-bellied Dipper the only other bird.
Northern Pintail still present in Sædalen, only a short distance away from my house.

male Northern Pintail

Anne in Willow Grouse country
and me looking for it

Nov 16, 2011

Bean Goose continued

Checked Kalandsvannet for the reported Bean Goose. Still present with seven Canada Geese. Poor light conditions, but at least a record shot. This is a fabalis, aka Taiga Bean Goose (not yet split in Norway, by the way).

Taiga Bean Goose. Identified as such because of body size (nut much smaller than Canada Goose), quite long neck and long bill with a lot of orange

Nov 14, 2011


Twitched the Gadwall on Breivik today under foggy circumstances. Tried the bird later again in better light, but couldn't find it back then. Did some birding around after that. Highlights were two flyby Snow Buntings, four Little Auks and eight White-fronted Geese on Breivik. Further, a Guillemot at Davøy and  three Great Spotted Woodpeckers around Øygarden.

male Gadwall

Little Auk

Great Spotted Woodpecker on Hellesøy

immature Eurasian Wigeon at Storetveit in Bergen

Nov 12, 2011

Geese and Swans

Øygarden again and Herdla. Found a flock of 13 Pinkfeets with a Bean Goose amongst them on Breivik. Shy birds, so it was difficult to say if it was a serrirostris/ rossicus or fabalis. Size with long neck and bill shape and pattern suggests the latter. Also here a flyby Two-barred Crossbill, a Tree Sparrow and two White-tailed Eagles.
But the trip to Øygarden was a short one, because a flock of four Bewick's Swans was reported on Herdla (rare in Hordaland). When we came, the birds were gone...Here a Bean Goose as well, this one a Tundra Bean Goose (serrirostris/rossicus).  It was among a group of 15 or so White-fronted Geese.

adult White-tailed Eagle, Breivik

Bean Goose, Breivik. Long neck and long bill with much orange on it, suggesting fabalis
Bean Goose in a group of Pinkfeets (left bird)

Tundra Bean Goose

This indivual has the size of a Whitefront and has a bill of moderate size, quite stubby with the orange restricted to a band on the tip of the bill. I would claim it as a serrirostris/rossicus. On Taiga Bean Goose one would expect a larger bird, with a darker head and especially a longer bill with a greater amount of orange. Stand alone birds are often difficult to judge. I've seen thousands of bean geese in the Netherlands. Over there, Tundra is a common wintering bird, while Taiga is present each winter in small numbers, as it seems.
There is much discussion about taxonomy and identification of the Bean Goose-complex. It could well be that more taxa are involved during winter in western Europe than serrirostris and fabalis (it may well be that eastern, large subspecies like johanseni and middendorffii could turn up!). Interesting...

Whooper Swan, Herdla

Nov 8, 2011

Herdla november 8th

Late autumn trip to Herdla. Had a Great Grey Shrike, a group of seven Little Auks, two Slavonian Grebes, some 250 Eider, a late Oystercatcher and a flyby Yellowhammer.

Slavonian Grebe

Nov 6, 2011

6 november

An afternoon visit to Sotra. Tried the Black Redstart that was reported on Breivik yesterday, but couldn't find it. No Bean Geese either, but had a Horned Lark in a group of about 25 Skylarks and a late Northern Wheatear. On the fields nine Pink-footed Geese. Common Chiffchaff on Herdlevær and a Little Grebe on Turøy. Still lots of thrushes, crossbills and Robins all over the place.

Pink-footed Geese

Nov 4, 2011


Kalandsvannet had today three Cormorants. Some say that these inland sightings concern the continental race sinensis. That could be true, but these individuals were too far away to be sure about the racial identification. The feathering around the gape and especially the gular angle is the only steady feature that separates the two (for reading I refer to Martin Garner's Frontiers in Birding (2008)).
There was a shy Mistle Thrush foraging in the fields around the birdwatching tower.

Mistle Thrush

Nov 2, 2011

Radde's Warbler on Turøy!!!

Today I found a Radde's Warbler on Turøy (a month too late). It skulked around the 'house with the boat in the garden' along the main road to the sea. It was a very obvious and sturdy bird with short wings. Greyish green above, yellowish white below with an obvious supercilium, which was somewhat yellowish in front of the eye and long and white behind, bordered by a dark supracilium. Didn't see the bill well, but  it's legs were light orange- yellow. Most obvious were it's contrastingly buff undertail coverts. I saw it (quite well) four times within half an hour, but couldn't get it on camera. Both Terje Hansen and Egil Frantzen came too late. Searched till dark, but without any luck. Next day a couple of birders from Bergen searched for it without luck, so probably it was gone. But Radde's Warblers can be very skulky (I wonder why it is a phylloscopus. It should be classified as a locustella:))
It is a new species for Hordaland and Norway's most northern find (if accepted).
Further a few Common Chiffchaffs (one in the same garden as the Raddes' Warbler) and the Red-backed Shrike on Herdlevær still present, as well as a Grey-headed Woodpecker. Lots of thrushes and crossbills on the move. Sele had an amazing ten (!) Blackcaps, Herdlevær two and Turøy one. Still something going on.

Grey-headed Woodpecker on Herdlevær