Thursday, 17 September 2015

Værøy 2015 day 2

It’s been a long day – over 12 hours in the field - and up until mid-afternoon I was thinking the day had been a success but then a couple of (not that rare) birds changed things. Despite the easterly winds there is too little cloud cover to push many birds down so there was no big fall although in the morning there was some viz mig and during the afternoon a number of obvious birds popped up which we hadn’t seen in the morning suggesting that they had arrived during the day.

As it’s late and I need to hit the sack to be ready for whatever tomorrow has in store for me then I’ll try to keep things short. A minimum of 8 Yellow-browed Warblers would at most localities have made the day but this being Værøy, the Yellow-browed capital of Europe, then this was a poor count. The Wood Warbler was still present, at least two smart Redpolls of the Arctic colour morph/form/species/subspecies/whatever you choose to call it and 6 species of raptor (including Rough-legged Buzzard and Golden Eagle) were quality. Goldcrests were very common, indeed commoner than I can remember on any previous visit and 12 Coal Tits including a fast moving flock of 9 were new in and very scare here (these are part of an invasion which saw 50,000 counted recently in the space of only 5 hours in Estonia).

The two birds that made the afternoon were first a Hawk Owl in the plantation which we hadn’t seen in the morning and then a Great Grey Shrike which again we hadn’t noted previously. We heard the shrike calling and then hovering at some height seemingly looking for food. This bird had a lot of white in the wing, tail and a very noticeably white rump which are features that suggest an easterly origin (ssp. homeyeri).
It would also appear that we had 2 3 new species for Værøy: Coal Tit, Great Grey Shrike and Rough-legged Buzzard. Today was therefore something quite special even if nothing was rare on a national level.

It is supposed to cloud over tonight so we have high expectations for tomorrow and have to at least match the Red-flanked Bluetail found today on the neighbouring island of Røst.
Arctic Redpoll (polarsisik) left, Common Redpoll (right) and a juvenile of one of the forms at the bottom

Two adult like Arctic Redpolls and a juvenile Redpoll sp

2 fast moving Coal Tits (svartmeis) part of a flock of nine and seemingly Værøy's first record

a slow moving Coal Tit

Goldcrest (fuglekonge)

Great Grey Shrike with feature suggesting ssp homeyeri. This is also Værøy's first record of GG Shrike

Hawk Owl

This Herring Gull (gråmåke) has been fitted with a device to record where it goes. It was fitted in June 2014 at the breeding sight 185km from where we saw it but has not been sighted again before today and the device has obviously not been removed and the data read. Let is hope this bird has not been the unwilling subject of citizen science for nothing

the electronic circuitry of the impressive piece of technology can be easily seen

Rough-legged Buzzard (fjellvåk) apparently Værøy's second first record

Yellow-browed Warbler (gullbrynsanger)


No comments:

Post a Comment