Monday, 26 September 2016

Værøy 2016 - final pictures

This year’s trip to Værøy didn’t feel that great but I actually had more Norwegian ticks (Turtle Dove, Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler and Pechora Pipit) than I have ever had before and the last two were also lifers so it is clearly my most successful trip in terms of quantity. The reason for this year not feeling so special was that the best birds were very frustrating with no chance to enjoy them plus the fact that I wasn’t the finder made them less rewarding. There were also fewer birds generally than there have been the other years with therefore less to go through and keep your interest up. When you check out 10 gardens in a row without a bird then it does get quite hard going.

My leaving the day before the 2 big birds (White’s Thrush and Lanceolated Warbler) also left a bad taste but I know it will soon pass and I am already looking forward to next years trip J

Here are my reminaing pictures and a couple of videos.


The Pechora Pipit was not much fun. Kjell had heard it flying over and was pretty confident that it had to be a Pechora which he confirmed after I played him the call 10 minutes later. We then went about searching where it may have gone down (over 500 m). It incredibly flew up from some long grass at our feet and Kjell saw enough on it to proclaim “that’s it”. It flew up silently (as is their habit) and started flying around in circles gaining height before it started calling – a buzzy call superficially similar to Little/Rustic Bunting and then landed again over 500m away. I managed some dot in the sky pictures at this point. We walked towards it without knowing exactly where it had gone down. A Merlin shot through the area and suddenly there were a number of small birds in the air and we heard it again. I had by this point got my phone out and was ready to press the record button to record the call. Incredibly I did actually record it calling twice although you really have to strain to hear it. Not quite as good as this recording made by TerjeKolaas on the same day on the island of Husøy (also in Nordland county).

This video has my recording of the call.

the photograhic evidence of Pechora Pipit (tundrapiplerke)........

The photographic evidence of Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler (starrsanger).........

The photographic evidence of Little Bunting (dvergspurv)

a more obliging Golden Plover (heilo)

I only saw Hawk Owl (haukugle) once. The bird was looking very unwell with drooping wings and could hardly keep its eyes open but it was clearly finding food as a dead bird can be seen cached just above it s head

Pied Flycatcher (svarthvt fluesnapper)

a juvenile Ring Ouzel (ringtrost) which had me thinking Starling (Stær) at first
an adult Ring Ouzel
Rook (kornkråke)
looking North from Værøy with the island of Mosken and behind the Lofotens

Yellow-browed Warbler (gulbrynsanger)
never easy to get a good photo of this species in the field
but a bit easier in the hand

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