Oct 19, 2014

the Netherlands

Last week a family visit home in the Netherlands. Almost no birding, only twitched two birds. One a much debated, but probably very good White-crowned Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga near Schiphol on the first saturday. The other a Steppe Grey Shrike Lanius lahtora pallidirostris at Den Helder in the north of the country. The latter was a real lifer for me resulting in having 446 species on my Dutch list.

White-crowned Wheatear by Sybrand de Bruin

Steppe Grey Shrike, photo's by Jan van der Laan

Back in Norway I visited Herdla with Hickman and Robin. Rather quiet, but with some geese. Five bernicla Brent Geese, three Greater White-fronted Geese of the race albifrons and no less than sixteen Pink-footed Geese. Further one Red-necked Grebe and three Slavonian Grebes.

Oct 6, 2014

Red-breasted Flycatcher at Herdlevær

Early morning birding at Herdlevær in beautiful autumn weather. It resulted in finding a Red-breasted Flycatcher. At first it showed well for about half a minute, but it was elusive after a Peregrine Falcon had flown over. It was rather vocal, but not constantly calling. Typical dry rattle: "trrrrr",  recalling a soft Wren. This call is different from the call of Taiga Flycatcher, which is even more dry and harder. I didn't see the bird well enough to see any plumage differences with the latter.
Alas, no sound recording and no pics either, because it was too elusive after I identified it. Both Egil Franzen and Bjørnard Skjold, who were birding in the vicinity, didn't see the bird.
Did get a sound recording of a Yellow-browed Warbler which was present as well. Further a flyby Grey Wagtail, a group of 22 Pink-footed Geese, a Common Chiffchaff, several Blue Tits, a Blackcap, a Garden Warbler and a Yellowhammer...

Yellow-browed Warbler:

Oct 5, 2014

After the storm. Herdla

Spent a few hours at Herdla  with my daughter in beautiful weather after the gales of friday and saturday. Hoped for some good birds... No rarities, but it wasn't dull either.
Best bird was a flyby Rough-legged Buzzard, heading south. Another nice one was a Jack Snipe. Further a Little Stint, good numbers of Dunlin, the Northern Pintail still about, a Red-throated Loon and twelve Pink-footed Geese. Passerines: two Northern Wheatears, lots of Rock and Meadow Pipits and some ten Skylarks on the fields and some ten (!) Willow Tits around the ringing station.

flock of twelve Pink-footed Geese