Today was a quiet day and after many, many kilometres of mostly uneventful trudging around the island I am ready for a beer and an early night.
Clear skies meant that even more birds left the island overnight and despite easterly winds there was little evidence of new arrivals. That doesn’t mean that there wasn’t quality to be seen though. I had two Olive-backed Pipits (sibirpiplerke) but true to form, with me at least, there were no photos and I had to rely on flight views and calls to ID them. They had flown over me calling and I found them calling in a mature garden a couple of hundred metres away but my views were restricted to them exploding out of a spruce tree at 15m range.
Yellow-browed Warblers (gulbrynsanger) were a lot scarcer today and were for the first time outnumbered by Chiffchaffs (gransanger). I ended up with 7 Yellow-broweds and 11 Chiffchaff. I had three Lesser Whitethroats (møller) one of which had me going for a bit as I only heard it calling first and couldn’t quite place the call until the bird showed itself.
Highlight of the day was a Long-eared Owl (hornugle) perched in exactly the same group of bushes as yesterday’s Tengmalm’s Owls. Unfortunately this bird wasn’t quite as confiding and flushed before rapidly gaining height and disappearing over the nearby hillside.
A Treecreeper (trekryper) was possibly an island first and a few flocks of Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås) flew over in v –formation calling.
Let us hope that tomorrow brings the big rarity as I am off early on Friday morning.
|The third species of owl this trip: Long-eared Owl (hornugle)|
|A soaring Log-eared Owl over a hilltop is an unusuak sight|
|there are a number of Great Spotted Woodpeckers on the island. All are juvenile birds and probably originate from Russia. A number of birds, like this one, were feeding out in fields on dead plants.|
|adult White-tailed Eagle (havørn)|
|This Hawk Owl (haukugle) was one of three I saw on the island today|
|Treecreeper (trekryper) - this bird would seem to represent the first record for Værøy|
|Snow Bunting (snøspurv) - a fairly common bird at this time of year|
|There are many redpolls on the island. Around 10% are Arctic Redpolls of which a few are definiteky of the Greenland race hornemanni. In this picture at least two of the birds are Arctic Redpolls but most likely of the Scandinavian race exilipes|