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 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...

Sep 26, 2017


Yesterday for the first time this autumn out to check on migration. Due to moving to a new house I didn't have much time so far and won't have much time further...
I checked Breivik and Herdlevær in beautiful weather. There were some birds about, but not many, most being up in the skies, I presume... Best were a calling Yellow-browed Warbler (reported five on saturday) on Herdlevær and a Jack Snipe on Breivik. Further some Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, a group of Parrot Crossbills and two Tree Sparrows. Friday again...

Aug 6, 2017

another day in the top of holland

The second saturday of our holiday in the Netherlands I spent again with my brother Sybrand and Lazar Brinkhuizen. This time we checked the wetlands around Groningen and the Lauwersmeer. Around the Zuidlaardermeer we saw to Baillon's Crakes, a breeding bird there and lots of Whiskered Terns. There have been breeding more than 30 pairs...
Further several Caspian Terns, Black-winged Stilts, Black-necked Grebes and a couple of White-tailed Eagles.

Baillon's Crake

juvenile Whiskered Terns

adult Whiskered Tern

Black-necked Grebe with chick


Jul 29, 2017

Pallid Harrier breeding in the Netherlands

Family holiday in the Netherlands again, Three weeks on the waddenisle Schiermonnikoog means lots of time on the beach with Robin and her cousins, but also a day or two birding with my brother and my good friend Lazar Brinkhuizen.
As it happens a pair of Pallid Harriers is breeding in the Netherlands for the first time ever. It is kept secret, but I was so happy to get information about the exact spot and saw today adult male and female and three crisp juveniles. Difficult circumstances for photography, though. Anyhow, here are some results...

the male, very worn

female, always difficult to identify

and one of the juveniles

Jul 4, 2017

Pacific Golden Plovers on Herdla

Yesterday Egil Frantzen discovered a Pacific Golden plover on Herdla, a fulva as I use to call them.
He reported it on Bird Alarm and the local system. When he saw another one, he was confused at first. But it were really two cracking adult birds, with the important diagnostics well visible; grey axilaries, long legs, very long tertials, boldly, golden spotted upperparts and the contrasting black-and -white underparts as well as (in flight) a slight toe projection beyond the tail.
During the day they held together with a European Golden Plover and were easy to find for those who came during the day. I even heard one call (a bit like a Spotted Redshank).

Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva

the grey axillary visible on the right bird

the two birds together

Jun 25, 2017

American Black Duck

Twitched the American Black Duck Anas rubripes this weekend at Hagavågen near Stavanger. Lifer as the other one I saw eight years ago proved to be a hybrid...Thanks to Bjørn Mo for helping me finding the bird.
Species number 300 for my Norwegian list, according to the very conservative Norwegian taxonomic rules...

record shots of the American Black Duck near Stavanger

Jun 20, 2017

Trumpeter Finch near Bergen

Wicked stuff as Eirik Nydal Adolfsen discovered a Trumpeter Finch yesterday at Breivik on Øygarden. Luckily it was still present today!! And lucky to get some shots of this erratic bird...

Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus

Jun 16, 2017

a week in Turkey

From 3rd to 10th of june I spent a week in southern Turkey with Enno Ebels, Lodi Nauta and turkish resident Gernant Magnin. The first two days Kerem Boyla joined us.
Our main goal was to see Turkish Fish Owl Bubo semenowi, at  lake Ogmapinar near Akseki. This species was re-discovered some ten years ago after being absent for some 30 years. It was until recently considered (and still is by most authorities) a subspecies of Brown Fish Owl Bubo zeylonensis, but it was split recently by the Dutch (see Owls by the Sound Approach)...
We travelled from Antalya to Adana and had six days of excellent birding in the Taurus mountains, concentrating on mountain species like Caspian Snowcock Tetraogallus caspius and Radde's Accentor Prunella ocularis at the  known spot near Demirkazik. Caucasian Horned Lark Eremophila penicillata, Red-fronted Serin Serinus pusillus and Asian Crimson-winged Finch Rhodopechys sanguineus we saw at some other places as well. And more! I had a total of eleven new species and one additional for my WP-list.
Other birds worth mentioning are Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes, Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus, White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis, Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis, Sombre Tit Poecile lugubris, Upcher's Warbler Hippolais languida, Olive Tree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum, Caspian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus (scirpaceus) caspiusFinch's Wheatear Oenanthe finchii Kruper's Nuthatch Sitta krueperi and Caucasian Water Pipit Anthus (spinoletta) coutelli.

Turkish Fish Owl Bubo semenowi

chick on the nest (picture by Kerem Boyla with Lodi Nauta's camera)

Radde's Accentor

Caucasian Horned Lark

Red-fronted Serin

and off course


For more pictures have a look under the world button!!!

May 22, 2017

Wood Warbler

Yesterday I visited a little farm at Fjøsanger in Bergen with my daughter Robin. While playing and walking around I heard a Wood Warbler sing a few times. Didn't have any things with me, so no documentation, but this morning the bird was reported again. Anyhow, it is heard by other people as well.

May 12, 2017

Grasshopper Warbler

This Grasshopper Warbler is holding territory at Åsane, Bergen

Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia

Apr 16, 2017

Dutch Birding

A midweek in the Netherlands to visit family gave me some time to bird. A trip with my brother produced some dutch birds. Not much special though. However, a fine White-spotted Bluethroat Luscinia svecica cyanecula showed well at Nooitgedacht...White Stork has become a common bird in the Netherlands again.

White-spotted Bluethroat

White Stork

Both pictures by my brother Sybrand

Apr 7, 2017

a little bit of spring

I was at the biologisk stasjon today and it tasted as spring as two Dunnocks, a Chiffchaff and a Song Thrush were singing...Further a Long-tailed Duck at sea at quite a distance.

Mar 27, 2017

Tundra Bean Geese still present

The two Tundra Bean Geese were still present today at Skeie, Rådal in Bergen. Didn't get any pics before though. Further the first singing Skylark at Flesland!

Otherwise not much birding lately...

Feb 5, 2017

Bergen birding

Last week I was home "sick" with a hurt shoulder. Painful, but it didn't keep me from birding. Nice weather and nice birds in Bergen community: Hawk Owl, King Eider, a pair of Tundra Bean Geese and a Common Pochard being best. Furthermore A Rough-legged Buzzard at Åsane, eight Purple Sandpipers at Flesland and a flyby Hawfinch at Stadped.

Jan 22, 2017

Short-eared Owl at last

I have always missed on Short-eared Owl in Hordaland. The last few winters one was reported at Flesland. Recently, even two are reported regularly, flying around at the airport.
Missed it until today! After trying five times this week I finally saw one of them today, flying for a short period. This is species nr 250 for Hordaland and nr 175 for Bergen!
Also, the two Tundra Bean Geese still present at the golf course at Fana...

Jan 13, 2017

Hawk Owl in Bergen

This winter there are a few about in Bergen. I saw this one today at Flesland airport.