Nov 25, 2023


 Waxwing are on the move. Not very big numbers, but anyhow. After a few flyby's I had two birds back my house, an adult and a young bird. managed a picture in fading light late afternoon.

On Tveitevannet a poor adult Red-throated Loon with a broken lower bill was present. Imagine how to get your own food and eating it without your lower jaw being present...Attempts were made to catch it, but without results so far. It won't survive anyhow and is probably in pain as well...

adult female Bohemian Waxwing. In the background first-winter bird

poor bird

Oct 15, 2023

Ring-billed Gull at last

Tried this one six or seven times before I saw it. But it is a beauty. it was discovered by Anita Rude.
Ring-billed Gull is a bit of a Bergen speciality (my fourth), but already some time since the last was ringed here in the city centre

subadult Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis, old primaries just visible

Oct 11, 2023

A few days Utsira

 After the Dark-sided Flycatcher episode, we went to Utsira for a couple of days. On the island it was quiet with rarities, but very nice birding in nice weather. The birders there didn't hesitate to congratulate me on the discovery of the flycatcher. One of them, Torborg Berge, gave me the traditional snack to celebrate, a so-called Gullbrød. Many thanks for that😊

Birdwise, as said, no vagrants, although a Grey Phalarope was still new for my Norwegian list. Yellow-browed Warblers were few and far between, only two or three present. On Monday there was a good fall of  Goldcrests. Further worth mentioning were good numbers of Parrot Crossbills, two Carrion Crows, two Richard Pipits and two Ring Ouzels.

first-year Grey Phalarope

Goldcrest. Notice those nails!

Oct 5, 2023

MEGA: Dark-sided Flycatcher on Herdlevær

 What seemed to be a quiet day turned out to be a big one. A stroll at Herdlevær produced the usual suspects with two Yellow-browed Warblers, a Blackcap and Chiffchaff. On the way back I went with Julian Bell, who was also there. At the sjeldenhagen Julian noted a Spotted Flycatcher. We had very short views of the bird. We looked at each other and said that it seemed to have a lot of markings and off it flew...Alerted, but expecting nothing else but a Spotted flycatcher, we tried to find it again. It was flying a lot around and was erratic. Julian, however, took some pictures (me being clumsy with my new camera) on which we saw it was quite darkish and mottled on the underparts with lots of light fringes on many feathers on the back, head and rump. That made us discuss the possibility of a bird that was still extremely juvenile. After we found it back on another spot we both made some photo's. 

I mentioned the possibility of something much rarer (Grey-striped Flycatcher/Dark-sided Flycatcher), but that seemed far out. Julian had to leave, while I checked the photo's on my camera. Something made me uneasy; the eyering was too obvious and the bird seemed too mottled. I needed help and I texted Frode Falkenberg, Eirik Adolfsen and Terje Hansen. Eirik and Terje had been on Hernar together with Jørn Opsal and were present only some 20 minutes after I texted them. The first thing Eirik said was that this was something good AND IT WAS!! After Julian sent one of his pictures, other birders were consulted (my brother Sybrand and Enno Ebels were of great help) and it soon became clear that my suspicions were right; it looked indeed good for Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica. Dark-sided Flycatcher would be a new bird for Norway and only the second for the Western Palearctic. Later at home, after checking documentation, consulting literature and speaking with other birders we decided to claim this bird as such!!

I hope that some better pictures are going to be made, but on the photo's so far all characters do fit this species best and rule out other Muscicapae, such as Grey-straked Flycatcher and Asian Brown Flycatcher. Ou bird is a typical, but rather darkish muscicapa flycatcher with a bold eyering, rather fine bill with only a small yellow base on the lower mandible, strong lateral throat-stripes, mottled flanks, diffusely mottled under tail-coverts and very long primaries. Further lots of whitish fringes along the greater and median coverts, tertials and upper parts, including head and back. That made the bird a first year with a good deal juvenile feathers, which is in fact typical for Dark-sided Flycatcher in October... See below

Not a very good picture, but my own

It was still present on the days after to the joy of many! Last day was 10th of October. And lots of photo's have been made. I don't normally place pictures of others, but in this case...Four persons have been so kind to let me use their pictures. Alf Alden does have some really good ones, Cecilie Hansen gave me a picture made by her partner Daniel Taranger and  Roald Hatten and Petter Thornes made some nice ones as well. See below. Thank you all for that😊  

Nice picture taken on Friday by Alf Alden

another picture with a better view of the undertail-coverts. Picture by Daniel Taranger

bilde Roald Hatten

bilde Roald Hatten

bilde Petter Thornes

Here you can read the article I wrote for Birdlife Norge

Oct 3, 2023


Today a rather late and short visit to Turøy. Of course a calling Yellow-browed Warbler. Further rather quiet with a few Song Thrushes, Robins, a Chiffchaff, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Grey-headed Woodpecker.

Nice little Blue Tit, always some present

Oct 2, 2023

Herdlevær, 2nd of October: Yellow- browed Warbler

 In the first week of October Yellow-browed Warbler is (almost) guaranteed along the coast. And since I often visit Herdlevær, one could say: guaranteed at Herdlevær. Below a nice recording. May be there were two birds present, but I didn't hear them simultaneous...

Further not crowded with birds (the masses of finches and thrushes not yet on the move), but nice birding with a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, three Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a flyby Kestrel, three Blackcaps and one Chiffchaff.

🎤 Yellow-browed Warbler

female-type Kestrel; the wing formula is just visible in this picture (click on it for better views).  p10 looks short (which should exclude Lesser Kestrel). P9 and 8 longer than p10, whereas on Lesser Kestrel p 10 would be as long as p8...

Sep 19, 2023

Woodchat Shrike

 I saw the Woodchat Shrike (discovered by Eirik Adolfsen) on monday late afternoon. He found the first calender year bird at Herdlevær on friday, but I didn't have the chance before.

I saw it after some ten minutes searching in a few trees between two houses. After maybe five seconds it flew away, probably to the ground. After that it began to rain hard...not the best twitch ever, but a new bird for Norway and thus Hordaland (Vestland). No pictures, off course

Aug 23, 2023

Caspian Gull in the neighborhood

 Between painting and packing stuff for our movement to another house I twitched the Caspian Gull at Tveitevannet, found yesterday by Arild Breistøl. Obvious juvenile, already worn and replacing some shoulder feathers, characteristic for it's first-winter plumage. Otherwise rather white-headed with a long and thin bill. It was ringed this morning...

Jul 22, 2023

Thailand intermezzo

 In July we had a family visit to Thailand. My father-in-law had his 80th birthday, so we visited him in a few weeks. No birding, but kept binoculars with me all the time. Most birding in the garden, around the hotel and on tourist spots...

We stayed one week around Chiang Mai in the north, where my father-in-law lives and one week at Khao Lak on the peninsula. Not the best time of the year; it was wet season and breeding season. We had a good deal rain, mostly short, strong showers. I managed to see 31 new species, all common ones😊

Ashy Woodswallow

Common Myna

Ornate Sunbird

Red-whiskered Bulbul

Streak-eared Bulbul

Zebra Dove

Jun 21, 2023

Songs of the night

I went two nights out this week for a Nightjar and a Common Reed Warbler in the northern parts of the county. Both would be new for the county for me, but alas.

I recorded some other species though mostly in Bergen. Listen below (headphones best)

🎤 Woodcock

🎤Common Grasshopper Warbler

🎤 Marsh Warbler

🎤Sedge Warbler

🎤 Sedge Warbler

The Sedge Warbler had two different acts. One full song, but otherwise a slow (sub)song most of the time

May 24, 2023

European Serin but no Pallas's Bunting

Today I wanted to visit the Pallas's Bunting on Utsira. As I drove from Bergen I didn't get any updates from Utsira. After a while it became cleat that IT WAS GONE👿

But yesterday a Serin was discovered at Vågedalen on Sveio in Vestland. New species for me for Norway and of course the county. As it was along the road to Haugesund, I twitched it today and took some sound recordings. Afterwards I waited in the harbour of Haugesund for news about the bunting, but it was really gone...alas

🎤 European Serin

🎤 European Serin

The song has clearly two parts, the first being a high pitched 'sisisisisi', directly followed by the even higher pitched second part, the more well known jangling or crackling, rapid notes.

May 21, 2023

Pied Flycatcher and Garden Warbler Bergen (and Mandarin Ducks)

 Due to work and some personal things not much time to go out. Recorded these birds lately. A Pied Flycatcher at Christieparken (first time for me there) and a Garden Warbler at the Marinbiological Station. Also a pair of Grey Wagtails having a nest at Christieparken, as in other years. Very noisy alarming bird...

Hope to get out a bit more soon!

🎤 Pied Flycatcher

🎤 Garden Warbler

🎤 Grey Wagtail

these two were present at Midtun skole. C-species, beautiful though

Apr 20, 2023

A short trip to Spain

 From 12th-16th of April I made a short trip to Spain with Enno Ebels and Eric Koops. The goals were some typical Iberian species, such as Lilford's Woodpecker, Iberian Dunnock, Dupont's Lark and Spanish Imperial Eagle. We hired a car at the Madrid airport and had three full days and two half days. Lots of driving, birding from dawn to dusk and very successful.

We visited the area around Ablitas for larks. Still dark (and cold) we listened to a morning chorus of ca ten Dupont's Larks (we saw only one). In the Pyrenees White-backed Woodpecker lilfordi was the target. In cold weather and rain (not unlike Bergen during winter) we found a male (already) after two hours. The same bird was still present in the same part of the area the next day. The other target in the Pyrenees was Iberian Dunnock Prunella mabotti, a recent split by the CSNA. We saw a pair which behaved secretly, suggesting breeding (also singing, listen below). The next few days were spent around Madrid. El Pardo is a good spot for raptors and vultures. We were there twice and saw lots of Griffons, some four or five Cinereous Vultures and four or five Spanish Imperial Eagles, of which one was calling (listen below).

At El Escorial the target was Iberian Pied Flycatcher. In bosque de Herreria we saw five singing males. A very easy spot for this taxon with several nesting boxes. Further we visited some other sites around Madrid for Great Bustard, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Iberian Magpie and Southern Grey Shrike (the last one we saw only at a great distance without finding it back)

Common species during the trip were both Red- and Black Kite, Booted Eagle, Calandra Lark, Serin and White Stork among others.

Sound recordings best with headphones of course.

Dupont's Lark

flying Dupont's, not often shot like this (photo Eric Koops)

🎤 Dupont's Lark dawn chorus

🎤 Dupont's Lark song

🎤 Calandra Lark song

male Lilford's Woodpecker

Iberian Dunnock (photo Eric Koops)

🎤 Iberian Dunnock song

Iberian Pied Flycatcher

🎤 Iberian Pied Flycatcher song

Spanish Imperial Eagle, upper two young, lower adult bird

Cinereous Vulture

Griffon Vulture

male Iberian Green Woodpecker

🎤 Iberian Green Woodpecker call

Iberian Magpie

Woodchat Shrike

🎤Cetti's Warbler song

Mistle Thrush

Mar 10, 2023

Twitching Moorhen in full-winter-Bergen

 Common Moorhen is really a rare bird in Bergen (or even in this county). So I went to see this   one....further cold and lots of snow...have to wait for spring...

Common Moorhen


Tufted Duck

these two Wood Pigeons don't wait for spring

Mar 3, 2023

Low bird activity, other things in the sky


Little bird activity this winter, at least where I go. So I have to see for other thing in the skies. I was lucky in Hemsedal (family ski holiday) to see aurora borealis on the 28th of February. Besides that Both Venus and Jupiter showed very well on the 2nd of March😊

Venus (upper) and Jupiter