Dec 12, 2013

Bergen centre

Yesterday I had some time to spend in the centre of Bergen. Took Robin to one of the best gull-spots for Hordaland, the city park. The day before a Long-tailed Duck was seen (new Bergen species for me). It was still present, together with the probable fuscus Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Common Moorhen. 

Dec 1, 2013

Common Scoter and Green Woodpecker

At Flesland-sletten a Common Scoter of the female type, which is my first for Bergen (total 152 now) and at Krokeide a female Green Woodpecker, which was only my second for Bergen...

Nov 30, 2013

Herdla late autumn

Had the opportunity today to do a quick round at Herdla with Robin and Hickman, but  it was just boring with only two Goldfinches and two Whoopers. Better in Sokndal, Rogaland with Black-throated Accentor at a feeder in a garden or the Netherlands with Two-barred Warbler Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus and a Nortern Hawk Owl which in the Netherlands attracts thousands of people...
I am going to feed birds in my garden soon, you never know.

Whoopers are not regular on Herdla

Nov 3, 2013

Herdlevær and Turøy

This morning off to Øygarden and guess what...eight White-winged Crossbills hanging around at the northern part of Herdlevær. Three females and five young. Otherwise three Blackcaps, two Tree Sparrows, five Twites and a group of ca ten Mealy Redpolls along with some Robins and a Willow Tit.
At Turøy things were quiet with some Common Crossbills, a Willow Tit and the usual other tits. At both islands still a good deal Greater Spotted Woodpeckers.

Oct 27, 2013

and crossbills

The afternoon on Herdlevær looking for late autumn birds. Off course lots of Common Crossbills (ca 150) and (the usual) White-winged Crossbills. At least ten birds of the latter and finally some decent pictures. Further a Blackcap, three Willow Tits and some Robins.

fine male White-winged Crossbill

Oct 22, 2013


A short trip to Herdlevær produces some 200 Common Crossbills. I heard a few flyby White-winged Crossbills, but didn't see them. Further the usual suspects with three Tree Sparrows, flyby Grey Wagtail and a Merlin at Blomvåg.

Oct 19, 2013

another YBW in Bergen

Yesterday I found yet another Yellow-browed Warbler in Bergen, as I was on my way to work. I only heard the bird. It was calling more or less frequently near Tveitevannet. But this time I was able to make a sound recording of the call. It pays off to look for migrants in the parks...When does the first Humes Yellow-browed Warbler or Pallas' Warbler turn up? Soundrecording linked below.
For the rest lots of thrushes, Bramblings, some Mealy Redpolls, two Hawfinches at Myrvannet near my house and a Common Snipe at Storetveit.


Oct 15, 2013

redpolls, redpolls, redpolls...

There are a lot of redpolls around these days, most of them flyby's though. Difficult stuff as they are more or less are lookalikes. One needs to see them quite good to put a name on it. Different species or subspecies are involved; the locally breeding (south-west norwegian) Lesser Redpolls (brown), Mealy Redpolls (grey) from the north and Coues' Arctic Redpolls (white) from further north. These three species are reported widely the last few weeks.
The ringing station on Herdla is ringing them and there is a possibility to study the birds in the hand. That makes identification a bit easier. Last sunday I happened to be on Herdla and paid Nigel and Sissel Goodgame a visit as they were ringing. I was lucky to see some birds in the hand with at least one Coues' Arctic Redpoll (exilipes) and a candidate Greenland Mealy Redpoll (rostrata)

First year Coues' Arctic Redpoll, note buffy wash on the face and broad white rump. In fact, the buff wash on the head is one of the best features to distinguish it from other redpoll-species

and tiny bill with straight culmen

and white undertailcoverts

possible Greenland type redpoll (rostrata) with large bill and boldly striped on the underside

Oct 12, 2013

Turøy with Robin and Hickman

Mid autumn, beautiful weather, so I HAD to go out. But these days I cannot just got out on my own. Anne had things for her own, so I chose to take Robin and Hickman with me to Turøy. Spent one-and-a-half hour searching for (small) birds, but as often with this type of weather, it was quiet with resting birds. Many birds on the move though, for the most finches. Many Mealy Redpolls (could identify some sitting birds), Bramblings and Common Crossbills and two singing and calling White-winged Crossbills.
On the ground only some Robins, Goldcrests and Blackbirds...

young WWC

 adult male WWC

Oct 8, 2013

YBW in Bergen (as expected...)

Today a Yellow-browed Warbler at Fantoft in Bergen. I only heard the bird calling ca 20 times. Didn't  have binoculars or sound recorder with me as I was heading to work. Anyhow, it was a new bird for Bergen municipality for me.
It was still present on 09.10 when I returned to try to tape it. I didn't succeed, because it only called to twice. However, I did see it, albeit short views high up in the trees.

Oct 5, 2013


Twitched the Hoopoe of Askøy successfully today. After almost three hours of searching in the area where it was seen on thursday, I was just about to give up...
Back at the carpark a man was approaching me and asked if I was looking for something special. Well, I was and as it happened to be the Hoopoe was in his garden, hiding from the main road. Lucky me! Took some shots and left the bird alone after that.

Hoopoe at Berland on Askøy

Utsira 2013

Had the traditional week with the family on Utsira. Did a lot of birding with Robin (sleeping) on my belly.
Not a week with the mindfuckers I had hoped for but there were in fact lots of birds around with four Little Buntings (two of which I found myself), Great Snipe, lots of Yellow-browed Warblers and Richard's Pipits and a Red-Throated Pipit. Below a selection of photographs

Little Bunting at Grotlihagen

Little Bunting near the church

Common Redstart at the rubbish tip

Snow Bunting near our house on east

one of the White-tailed Eagles present on the island

Sep 27, 2013

Yellow-browed Warbler as expected

During the last week a lot of Yellow-browed Warblers were reported in Norway. On Værøy on sunday alone 160 individuals were found!!
Did some small tours  last week in Bergen without finding one, but today on Turøy one was calling, but behaving elusive. Further many Great Spotted Woodpeckers hanging around with today 6 or so on Turøy, but many more other places.
Groups of redpolls were puzzling me. Most were flying over. I could not put a name on them. The last few days a lot of Lesser Redpolls are being ringed, so I wonder if today's birds are Lesser Redpolls. But I never saw these numbers with this species. These numbers suggest maybe Mealy Redpolls...

Aug 22, 2013

Buff-breasted Sandpiper on Herdla

Finally got the Buff-breasted Sandpiper on Herdla after I missed it the day before (and last year and the year before that...). It was in a flock with Golden Plovers. Visited Herdla a few times last week. Saw among others Sanderling, Little Stints, Green Sandpiper and lots of Common Snipes...

Jul 30, 2013

Herdla, more White-winged Crossbills!

Rain, a few waders and a few White-winged Crossbills today on Herdla. 4 of these in the trees near the bunkers, no males between them. They were quite noisy and I managed to make a record shot of one of the birds.
Further a Ruddy Turnstone, a Little Sandpiper, two Dunlins, two Greenshanks, a Bar-tailed Godwit some 20 Common Snipes and quite a few Ringed Plovers. A Peregrine present as well. Wader season is coming!

One of four White-winged Crossbills

Jul 28, 2013

Quiet (on the birding front)

Mostly busy with family. Not many reports of rare birds lately, but heard a flyby Two-barred Crossbill in a group of crossbills (Loxia sp) with it's typical trumpeter- call. The last few weeks quite a lot of crossbills are coming in. Could well be that there are more Two-barred involved, but I can not identify them if they don't trumpet...

Jun 26, 2013

Pied-billed Grebe

First trip with the family: a visit to Stavanger to look for the Pied-billed Grebe. On monday I found  it swimming in the open, but on tuesday morning I couldn't find it.
Robin did very well! May be we can do some more trips to Jæren this summer...

Jun 19, 2013


The report of a Lanceolated Warbler on Radøy made most part of Bergen birders travel to Toska on Radøy. The bird was found by Ola Moen, a very keen Nordhordaland birder. But it proved to be a River Warbler, which is a good find as well!
We tried to catch it, but didn't succeed. We only heard the bird sing and it was singing a bit fast indeed, reminiscent of a Lanceolated?  However, it did not match the song of that species as it should. Later in the night Jørn Opsal saw the bird quite good and he was able to identify it as a River Warbler.
Thus, a River Warbler with a rapid song. Can imagine that Ola thought it to be a Lanceolated...Checked the website of xenocanto afterwards. It seems that River warbler has a slight variation in speed in the song and that the Toska bird fits River Warbler quite good.
On Lindås at Hopsvannet a Marsh Warbler was present. Marsh Warbler occurs in very low numbers in Hordaland, may be one or two each year (this bird also found by Ola Moen).

Jun 15, 2013

Robin in Bergen!

Anne and I made a trip to Haukeland last night and there it was: a female Robin! Mother and child doing well...


Anne, Robin and me

Jun 8, 2013

Pectoral Sandpiper and Quail

Herdla was in a way quiet, but the Pectoral Sandpiper and Quail still present. Only heard the Quail and the PS was in the new ponds, but flew out of sight. Further Common Shelduck and Icterine Warbler.

Common Redshank

May 31, 2013


Short trip to Øygarden this morning. Visited Ulvøy, Breivik and Hellesøy. Very quiet...
At least Hickman had a good time chasing sheep.

Arctic Tern at Hellesøy

Earlier in the week had a Spotted Flycatcher in my garden. It was new for my garden list (85)

May 26, 2013

Weekend at Hardanger and a bit of Bergen

Made a trip to the Hardanger fjord with Anne. This is probably our last weekend alone, because I have to work next weekend and after that it's (birding) life is going to be a bit different...
I couldn't find the reported Garganey at Norheimsund, only the first since 2009 in Hordaland. At Ulvik we enjoyed the beautiful fjord views, but no birds worth mentioning.
On the way back in Bergsdalen a singing Common Redstart, Ring Ouzel and Grey-headed Woodpecker. Back in Bergen Anne had to rest a bit, so I took the chance to visit Skeie for the Wrynecks. They behave secretive. I only heard one once. At Ortuvannet in Fyllingdalen I did the Mandarin Duck for my Bergen list...

Mandarin Duck (first picture with my new camera)

May 17, 2013

Little Ringed Plover on Herdla

After my Florida trip picked up local birding again and twitched the Little Ringed Plover on Herdla. A new Hordaland species for me (only the first so far this year). Further a flava Yellow Wagtail, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel and a Wood Sandpiper.
Later this weekend I'll upload my Florida pics.

Apr 1, 2013

Almost spring

A short family trip with the pregnant wife and sister-in-law with her kids on Herdla. Sunny, crowded and cold, but some birds present. A Red- necked Grebe being the best bird. Slavonian Grebe also present and the first White Wagtail of the year. Other signs of spring were Eurasian Curlew, a Lapwing  and some 60 Starlings. Last, but not least were a group of five Snow Buntings.

Snow Buntings


Mar 14, 2013

Still winter

Today cold and quiet on Herdla, the only signs of spring being 6 Oystercatchers and a Ringed Plover. Further the usual stuff as velvet Scoters, a few Long-tailed Ducks, a Common Scoter and 6 Song Larks...

Feb 25, 2013


Felt like spring today; all birds singing. Not much special though. On Breivik three Common Crossbills, two Tree Sparrows, two flyby Greylag Geese and the Great Crested Grebe still present.

Feb 20, 2013


Still winter on Herdla, but it least there was a bit of activity. Snow Bunting being the best bird. Further a group of 14 Song Larks together with a good numbers of Rock Pipits. On sea the usual suspects, only the lingering Greater Scaup and two Slavonian Grebes worth mentioning.

Jan 24, 2013

Waiting for weather change

Still freezing. Very quiet conditions, not many birds around. Chaffinch at Hellesøy, Greater Spotted Woodpecker at Alvheim (couldn't find the Dipper). For the rest the usual stuff. Next days promiss a weather change, so may be there will be some movements among birds.

Raven on Ulvøya

Jan 22, 2013

Ice age

Minus 10 and open fresh water becoming scarce. Wildfowl gathering on the few spots left. On Klokkarvannet a group of 45 Whooper Swans together with Mallards,  two Goldeneyes and a Goosander.

Jan 19, 2013

Still freezing

A walk with Hickman at the marinbiological station produced little. Just the usual stuff on the water. At Espeland a Starling and a flock of 11 Wood Pigeons. At Flesland skjæret 13 Common Eiders.

Jan 15, 2013

Bergen birding

Had some things to do at home, but in the afternoon I was out for some municipality birding. Tried and found the Little Grebe at Kvitturspollen. It was hiding itself often, but it came out twice. A Sparrowhawk here as well. On Nordnes 12 Purple Sandpipers and a Willow Tit in my garden as I came home. 

Jan 11, 2013

Beautiful cold weather

Before work a roundabout at Kalandsvannet. A a feeder at Kismul a group of Greenfinches with ten or so Goldfinches between them.
Most of the lake frozen, no sign of the Smew.

Goldfinch and Blackbird

Jan 6, 2013

Another Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Anne and I made three hours walk with Hickman from Tjeldstø via Alvheim and Skjold back to Tjeldstø (Nordsjøløpet).
Not very many birds, but a Goshawk and a Peregrine around storevannet near Alvheim and yet another Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (remains of last autumn's invasion?) at Skjold made it a bit nice though. Two Chaffinches present there as well. Back at Tjeldstø four Whistling Swans an a small group of Crossbills flying by.
By the way, we managed to miss White-tailed Eagle today!

Jan 5, 2013

Drab Herdla

Herdla was wet today with an ongoing drizzle and no wind. The two Tundra Bean Geese still present together with 15 Greylags. Further a Greater Scaup, a flyby Goldfinch, an out-of-season Meadow Pipit and three Slavonian Grebes. At Abedissen a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker flew alongside my car and a Goshawk gave short views.
On the way back a short visit to Nygårdspark produced about ten Hawfinches present.

Jan 4, 2013

Iceland Gull

Day off in the new year, so I birded a bit around Bergen. Northern Pintail, Great Grey Shrike at Kalandsvannet and this Iceland Gull at Os being the highlights.

first winter Iceland Gull