Saturday, 23 September 2017

Værøy 2017 day 3

My hopes for today were met (although one can always hope for a bit more…)

The day started with an Olive-backed Pipit that for once showed well and allowed itself to be photographed. This was just the first of a number of encounters with the species during the morning with two overflying birds calling a lot and another bird being caught and ringed.

After yesterday’s dead Jack Snipe I was not quite sure what to feel when I found a dead Hawkie. As the pictures show I was quite happy to be holding my favourite bird (despite my trying to look sad due to the gravity of the situation). I found it dead face down in a field and like the Jack Snipe had no body fat and had probably just died of hunger. Judging by the location it had probably been flying and then just dropped dead – obviously pining for the fjords! Hawk Owls can look quite large birds when perched on top of a telegraph pole but in the hand they are surprisingly small.

After this we located a calling Little Bunting but views were brief and photos nothing to write home about. A Common Rosefinch was trapped and ringed, a Short-eared flew past, I finally saw the very rare Carrion Crow that has been around a week or so, I saw a single Arctic Redpoll, 25 Parrot Crossbills flew over and a few (but not many) Yellow-browed Warblers revealed themselves including my first calling bird. An adult Glaucous Gull was unexpected and a couple of juvenile Peregrines that flew around making a hell of noise were the noisiest species of the day.
Apart from very brief views of a Garden Warbler yesterday I have not seen a single Sylvia warbler and there is very visual evidence of the lack of this family on the island – all the redcurrant bushes in the gardens are still full of berries whereas normally there are very few again.

The only bird I missed today was two Jack Snipes which were seen very close to our house but I was on food duty (I had foolishly started cooking whilst it was still light outside).

Olive-backed Pipit (sibirpiplerke)
same bird
dead Hawk Owl

looking far too happy
adult Glaucous Gull (polarmåke) with Herring Gulls

an obscured Arctic Redpoll (polarsisik)

Carrion Crow (svartkråke)

a Little Bunting (dvergspurv) - honest
Common Rosefinch (rosenfink)
Short-eared Owl (jordugle)

Værøy harbour
Yellow-browed Warbler (gulbrynsanger)

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