Sunday, 21 September 2014

Værøy 2014 day 3

A very brisk northerly wind made birding rather difficult today despite the rain having stopped and it being nice and sunny. An early morning seawatch failed to fill in the embarrassing hole in my Norwegian list but did give a Pomarine Skua (polarjo), a few Arctic Skuas (tyvjo), a White-billed Diver (gulnebblom) and 2000+ Barnacle Geese (hvitkinngås) heading south. The later were just distant geese for us but we got confirmation from the birders on Røst where they passed much closer that they were Barnacle rather than Brent Geese.

The plantation in the south of the island was relatively shaded from the wind but apart from an increase in Dunnock (jernspurv) numbers had few birds with only 2 Yellow-browed Warblers (gulbrynsanger) showing for me today. The weather conditions though seemed to suit raptors and overhead there was a great display from 6 species plus a mob of Ravens (ravn). Highlight was undoubtedly a Gyr Falcon (jaktfalk). I have never had much luck with this species and always just have distant fly-bys and although this bird also fell into that category it was on show for a while and even interacted with Ravens and a Sparrowhawk (spurvehauk). There were 8 White-tailed Eagles (havørn) in the air together, an adult Golden Eagle (kongeørn), a young Peregrine (vandrefalk) and a Kestrel (tårnfalk) to complete the show.

In addition to the birding, Værøy also gets me into shape and I did a lot of walking today. The return for this walking was very limited today but I did refind the Citrine Wagtail (sitronerle) in a garden. Today it was faithful to one garden and hardly called which was very different to yesterday and is a sure sign that it was newly arrived yesterday morning when I found it. In the same area was also a flock of Waxwings (sidensvans). I heard them calling and saw two in a small tree but eventually 12 flew out. If it is so difficult to see Waxwings in a tree then what chance is there of finding small skulky warblers?
Gyr Falcon (jaktfalk) montage

Gyr with Sparrowhawk

comparison of Gyr with Peregrine

Golden Eagle with Ravens in tow

Citrine Wagtail - much better light and pictures today!
Dunnocks can often have you thinking of something rarer
Chuffchaff (gransanger)

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