Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Værøy 2018 day 1

The first full day on Værøy was plagued with strong westerly winds and frequent showers in the morning. Not exactly the conditions you hope for but we are not going to sit inside feeling sorry for ourselves.

There was no viz mig to talk about and birds were generally scarce but when you have Kjell Mjølsnes in your “crew” (I absolutely hate that word but can’t think of anything better at the moment…) then there will always be something. Kjell has an almost supernatural talent for finding acros and locustellas and today he found a Blyth’s Reed. He flushed it out of waist high vegetation and was confident of the ID just based on flight views. In the end the bird was chivvied into a specially erected net and the ID was confirmed although the bird was especially pallid in colour and I had hoped for something even scarce based on the flight views I had. Blyth’s Reed is always a cool bird but is in fact the only (and pretty much annual) acro we have had on Værøy and a Marsh or Reed would be more welcome.

Otherwise there were a few Snow Buntings and Twite, I flushed a Jack Snipe, had a Spotted Flycatcher (a Værøy first for me) and (only) a couple of Yellow-browed Warblers. With the strong westerlies I thought a seawatch would deliver the goods but gave up after 15 minutes when I hadn’t even seen a Fulmar. So, a bad day on Værøy.

the net is being erected in the background and the BRW was in the vegetation in front 
Blyth's Reed Warbler (busksanger)
the classic banana posture ;-)

Two Golden Plovers but unfortunately just of the common or garden variety

this flock of Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås) have been feeding in gardens right up against the houses

Snow Bunting (snøspurv) 

this one was in a garden

late Spotted Flycatcher (gråfluesnapper)

Twite (bergirisk)

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