I slept fitfully (either because I was missing home comforts or because I couldn’t wait to get out in the field again). The wind was forecast to be from the north which isn’t exactly ideal but I even so there were bound to be birds out there. I was up at 6am and out of the house at 0640 when it was just about light enough to tell an Eastern Crowned Warbler from a Yellow-browed Warbler (I should be so lucky).
It was overcast and there was some drizzle to start with but this had unfortunately failed to bring down any birds. As I walked around the gardens of Sørland the only warbler I had was a single Chiffchaff (gransanger). Flying overhead were 50+ Snow Buntings (snøspurv) and a few Bramblings (bjørkefink), Chaffinches (bokfink) and Meadow Pipits (heipiplerke) but little else. I made my way up to the plantation and spent a couple of hours here trying to ensure I saw everything that was hiding in there. The only new bird from yesterday was a Pied Flycatcher and Willow Warbler and otherwise 3 Yellow-browed Warblers (gulbrynsanger) were still present along with 3 or 4 Chiffchaff and a couple of Goldcrest (fuglekonge). I spent a long time trying to take pictures of the Yellow-browed Warblers but it was very frustrating.
|Yellow-browed Warbler (gulbrynsanger) front on|
|Yellow-browed Warbler from below|
|nearly the whole bird!|
I had a message from the others who are staying in the north of island that it was very quiet except for a single Barred Warbler (hauksanger). That wasn’t enough to tempt me up there but when a message came through just after 10am that they had found a Siberian Stonechat (asiasvartstrupe) then it was time to ring Erling, my personal taxi driver and hot wing it up there. After meeting up with the 5 members of the “Værøygjeng” (Kjell Mjølsnes, Geir Kristensen, Evan Mjaaland, Tore Berg and John Alsvik) I went searching for the Stonechat which had temporarily disappeared. After a bit of tramping around it suddenly popped in front of me and eventually allowed itself to be portrait photographed.
|Siberian Stonechat (asiasvartstrupe). Fantastic bird!|
The Barred Warbler also showed although only in flight and a Yellow-browed Warbler called.
We then all headed back to Sørland in the afternoon where the only real excitement was two Olive-backed Pipits (sibirpiplerke) seen by just one of us and that not being me. Alongside the numerous White-tailed Eagles (havørn) were also 2 (maybe 3) adult Golden Eagles (kongeørn) and a nice surprise was a Gyr Falcon (jaktfalk) that put up the two Golden Eagles that had been perched on a mountain top.
Finishing the day off around the gardens of Sørland I only found Meadow Pipits plus a new Willow Warbler and a couple of Chiffchaffs. After 11 hours in the field I will be enjoying a beer now!
|Snow Bunting (snøspurv)|
|Gyr Falcon (jaktfalk)|
|Golden Eagle (kongeørn) pair taken at great range|