Friday, 11 October 2013

Falsterbo light

8 Common Buzzard (musvåk) - Hvaler had a positive Falsterbo feeling to it today

After a very good day watching migration at Hvaler I was going to entitle this post “Eat your heart out Falsterbo” based on the fact that today I saw 89 individual raptors which was more than I saw when I was at Falsterbo at the end of August. However upon reading that they had 223,600 Wood Pigeons at Flasterbo today (smashing their old day record of 137,500) and I “only” had 4,420 then I think another title was appropriate.

I chose to watch viz mig on the island of Søndre Asmaløy in Hvaler today after the success of a visit three weeks ago. As you can see in the map below these islands are placed such that they can act as a natural funnel point for migrating birds coming from the north east but also as an arrival point for birds crossing the Oslo fjord from the west.

I arrived at 0730 which was just before sunrise (although still light) and was a little disappointed to not hear the same noise from migrating finches that greeted me last time. However birds were moving and the day did not disappoint. In the course of the last three weeks there has been a noticeable change in the makeup of the migrating birds. Last time the day was dominated by huge numbers of Bramblings (bjørkefink), Chaffinch (bokfink) and Siskin (grønnsisik) as well as good numbers of Swallow (låvesvale), Hawfinch (kjernebiter), Crossbill (grannkorsnebb) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (flaggspett).
 Today it was 4,420 Wood Pigeons (ringdue), 119 Bullfinches (dompap), 61 Mistle Thrushes (duetrost) and 80 Twite (bergirisk) that were noticeable plus my first Waxwing (sidensvans) of the autumn.
a few of the 4,420 Wood Pigeons (ringdue) I counted migrating today

2 overflying Mistle Thrushes (duetrost)

4 resting

There were no really scarce birds unfortunately although I did hear the trumpet call of a Two-barred Crossbill (båndkorsnebb) which was fresh in my mind from Værøy and is a species which has been seen here a few times this autumn. Unfortunately I didn’t see it though. This trumpet call is close to the trumpet call of eastern Bullfinches and amongst the many migrating Bullfinches today there were a few that gave a type of trumpet call but it wasn’t as obvious as the calls I remember hearing from the large invasion of eastern birds a few (10?) years ago.

The migrations of passerines really quietened down after 0830 but Wood Pigeons continued until after 10am although flew higher and higher such that they were sometimes difficult to pick up.

Raptors though were the highlight of the day for me. Sparrowhawks (spurvehauk) came through low down early on and then after 0930 Common (musvåk) and Rough-legged Buzzards (fjellvåk) started to appear. I had totals of 29 S’hawks, 48 Common Buzzards and 12 R-l Buzzards although suspect I missed a number whilst I was concentrating on checking bushes and then suddenly looked up to see Buzzards seemingly everywhere. I had 12 Common Buzzards thermallying together plus a group of three Rough-leggeds and three Commons which did give a distinct Falsterbo feeling. The buzzards appeared to come in from the west side of the fjord north from where I was, gain height and then drift south east.

adult Common Buzzard (musvåk) - aged by the dark tail band and dark rear edge to the wings
a different adult Common Buzzard

10 of a group of 12 Common Buzzards

2 Common Buzzards and a Rough-legged Buzzard (right)

2 Common Buzzards and a single Rough-legged (lower)

two and two

Rough-legged Buzzard (fjellvåk) -an adult female I believe

this Rough-legged Buzzard initially looked like something completely else with its Kite like tail which I assume is a result of moult
Chiffchaff (gransanger) - very few today

Coal Tit (svartmeis)

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