Monday, 23 September 2019

Værøy 2019 Day 5 - a bird in the bush

I have received some rather direct feedback that I over did it on the Bar-tailed Godwit picture front yesterday 😉 The feedback is fair enough but yesterday’s post was also a reflection of how dire things were.

Today was equally dire but was saved in the afternoon by a bird in the bush which definitely beat 10 in the hand. Proof of how dire things have become is the shocking news that we did not have a single Yellow-browed Warbler which (without checking my records) must be a first.

The bird in the bush was an Olive-backed Pipit. It was ringed so was probably the bird I saw in the hand on Friday. After such a resultless day though it was a kick to pick it up on call in thick vegetation and then manage to see it very well. OBP is a classic Værøy species but is one that I have never really had satisfying views of until this year.

The sea provided some good birds with Long-tailed, Pomarine and Arctic Skua and a Red-necked Grebe but this is not why we come to Værøy. The skuas are attracted to many hundred Kittiwakes that are feeding every day but we have only seen a couple of juvenile birds amongst them showing what a bad breeding season this species must have had.

Olive-backed Pipit (sibirpiplerke) in a bush! 

Arctic Redpoll (polarsisik) - perhaps not the most classic individual but the rump was huge and white

female Parrot Crossbill (furukorsnebb)

the Rough-legged Buzzard (fjellvåk) is still going strong

White-tailed Eagles (havørn) are a common sight on Værøy

a younger bird, most likely a 2cy

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