Nov 21, 2019

Herdla 21th of November

Well, November on Herdla with grey and mild weather can be nice and it was today. Not many birds but a nice juvenile Goshawk made the day. It was feasting on a Wigeon, together with two Hooded Crows patiently waiting for their turn.
Further the usual suspects with Common and Velvet Scoters, a few Long-tailed Ducks and a Great Northern Diver.
At Kjerreide a group of seven flyby Two-barred Crossbills.

young Goshawk protecting it's prey

Nov 2, 2019

Siberian Chiffchaff on the house list

This morning a tristis was calling when I got out of the house with Hickman. It was calling good, but I didn't have camera or telefone on me, so no documentation so far. A quick search afterwards did not produce. May be later...
And yes, I found it back in the afternoon! Only calling twice then, but showing well.

Phylloscopus tristis

This bird shows all the characteristics of tristis, being a light and grey warbler, with no green and yellow in it's plumage.  Only on the closed wing is a little bit green visible, formed by the fringes of the secondaries. No yellow tones on the eyebrow, a white eye-ring and a faint wing bar are otherwise good characters, as well as the very dark bare parts. The call, which I would describe as a plaintive and high "seep" reminiscent of a down chick, makes the ID safe and sound.

Nov 1, 2019


Today I had to try for more, even though I am ill. Succeeded in finding (probably) new birds at Smøråsfjellet. Made some satisfying pictures this time, together with Kjetil Salomonsen and Petter Thornes. The only male we saw came down for drinking! A total of 20 birds today and 20 Two-barred Crossbills there as well. Below some of the day's results...
Further 12 Two-barred Crossbills at Skagetjern. That species is around in good numbers!

stunning male Pine Grosbeak

Oct 31, 2019

More Pine Grosbeaks

A really big invasion is going on with these birds. Today at Smøråsfjellet a group of four and a group of 10 and really confiding, although most of them only rest for a short period. Haven't got THE picture the afternoon I had three birds flying over my house to the north!

confiding birds

Oct 29, 2019

Pine Grosbeaks on the move

Currently there is a big influx of Pine Grosbeaks going on around Bergen. Yesterday I had 2 flyby's at Herdlevær and today I found a group og 32 birds here in Bergen.
Frode Falkenberg reported 152 birds passing today at Løvstakken. They have to fly over my house as well. Very spectacular!! Below not the best pictures (had to park the car, walk back and had strong light against...), but anyhow, I won't complain.
Last week I had a Siberian Chiffchaff at Turøy, which moved too quick to get decent pictures. It called 4-5 times: the well-known high-pitched and plaintive "pseep"!

female, male and a part of the group

Oct 23, 2019

Ring-necked Duck

On Sunday a male Ring-necked Duck was found by Bjornard Skjold on Husvatnet, Tjeldstø. I didn't have a possibility on Sunday and the following days it wasn't reported. However, today Julian Bell saw the bird again. So I took a shot. Still present, albeit a few minutes after I arrived. Luck!
New bird for Hordaland for me and only my second in Norway. Finally I saw something rare too this autumn after many trips on Herdlevær and Turøy...

record shot of immature (second calander-year) Ring-necked Duck

I have also visited hy homeland some weeks ago for a short period and did some birding with my brother, not finding anything big, but saw three Firecrests and five Long-eared Owls, both not common in Norway.

Long-eared Owl. photo's by Sybrand de Bruin

Sep 28, 2019

Turøy again

Had the afternoon off and went to Turøy. Beautiful weather and not many, but a nice variety of birds. Three calling Yellow-browed Warblers, two Red-throated Divers and a noisy male Grey-headed Woodpecker being the best birds. Further Robins, a few Twites and a Chiffchaff...

male Grey-headed Woodpecker

Sep 22, 2019

Little pearl of the autumn

Just had to get out on this beautiful day. I made a short trip to Turøy. Due to the beautiful weather it was not loaded with birds, but some birds were on the move, mostly flyby Meadow Pipits and a Sparrowhawk. On the ground a beautiful Tree Pipit and my first Yellow-browed Warbler of the autumn, calling frequently and showing well at Måsavatnet

Aug 25, 2019


 After holidays in The Netherlands (Pied Crow, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Pectoral Sandpiper and some other birds) I finally visited Herdla after a very long time of non birding due to work and things at home.
 Anyhow, I took a stroll with my daughter to the tower. It was nice, but not shocking...
Best birds probably two Shovelers. Further a group of eleven Curlews, one Curlew Sandpiper and several Ruff, Dunlin and Golden Plovers...

one of the two first-year Shovelers

juv Dunlin

Jul 4, 2019

Algeria june 2019

Since a year  it is possible to visit Algeria again after many years of political instability. We had a five days trip with Karim Haddad. He is chef of the Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti, one of the most enigmatic endemics of the Western Palearctic.
So from 18 to 24 June I went with Enno Ebels and Lodi Nauta to try for the nuthatch. We flew via Istanbul where we had a morning birding with Timur Caglar. An early start at the Bosporus produced Yelkouan Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan, which was a new species for me. Quite spectacular as a few thousand birds flew back and forth...The rest of the morning produced some Black Storks Ciconia nigra, Ortolan Buntings Emberiza hortulana and a Golden Jackal Canis aureus...
In Algeria we concentrated on the north-east of the country around Constantine, formerly known as Cirta, the capitol of Numidia in ancient roman times. We visited among others Djimla forest, the gorge of Constantine and the the area of Biskra at the borders of the Sahara.
We saw all the specialities we wanted: Barbary Partridge Alectoris barbara, Maghreb Owl Strix mauritanicus, Levaillant's Woodpecker Picus vaillanti, Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopus major numidiusTunesian Jay Garrulus glandarius cervicalis, Algerian Jackdaw Corvus monedula cirtensis, a spectacular endemic of Constantine!!), Maghreb Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla mauritanica, Moussier's Redstart Phoenicurus moussieri, Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus, Saharan Scrub Warbler Scotocerca s saharae, Ambiguous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus beaticatus ambiguous, African Desert Warbler Sylvia deserti, Atlas Pied Flycatcher Ficedula speculigera, African Blue Tit Cyanistes ultramarinus, Tunesian Coal Tit Periparus ater ledouci, Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti, Atlas Crossbill Loxia curvirostra poliogyna and Greenfinch Chloris chloris chlorotica/voousi

The biggest problem in Algeria is the fact that one cannot take binoculars into the country. Karim provided some, but these were very low quality ones. That means that one cannot study the birds properly and birding is like using your camera and look at the results as on the picture below.

Like this

Due to this it was very difficult to study the crested larks (Crested, Maghreb and Thekla) and the sparrows (House, Spanish and hybrids between them).
Another problem was that my camera didn't work well...Back at home I found out that the camera had a fault that has to be repaired...

Algerian Nuthatch

Maghreb Owl

Levaiilant's Woodpecker

putative Maghreb Lark

another putative Maghreb Lark (Enno Ebels)

African Desert Warbler

Algerian Jackdaw

African Blue Tit (Enno Ebels)

Atlas Flycatcher (Enno Ebels)

Atlas Chaffinch (Enno Ebels)

Ambiguous Reed Warbler (Enno Ebels)

Tunesian Jay

Moussier's Redstart

 Black-winged Stilt

 Western Olivaceous Warbler

Alpine Swift

Corn Bunting


Ruddy Shellduck

Maghreb Short-toed Treecreeper

Rock Sparrow

Atlas Crossbill

White-headed Ducks (Enno Ebels)

Yelkouan Shearwaters (Enno Ebels)

pure Rock Pigeon? (Enno Ebels)

Golden Jackal