Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Nightjar revisited

This post doesn’t present much in the way of new photos but I have had a chance to go through my Nightjar photos on the computer and think I have made a slightly better job of editing them. That said it is possible to do an awful lot on a mobile phone. Also a video put together from footage taken with the bazooka - you can just about make out the bill moving when it churs.

We noted two different males (sexed due to white in wing tips and tail) flying together and a female so the area seems to be good for Nightjars and will hopefully allow new encounters.

Being at home means that the first stage of our 2021 summer holiday is over. Stage 2 will be a week in Beitostølen and stage 3 is still TBD.

Nightjar (nattravn). Taken at 22:51 on 24 June

here it was churring and the bill is slightly open

note the very large eye which is typical of nocturnal birds

here I was too close!

I tried using the flash a couple of times but the bird reacted to the autofocus light and this was the only shot I got. Red eye doesn't quite fit as a description

not the worst flight shot I could have hoped for

note the whiskers which help detect moths when it flies around in the dark. Although the bill looks very small the mouth is actually enormous and the hole of the larger triangle opens up

Monday, 28 June 2021

Invertebrate holiday update

I have had quite a few posts about the butterflies around the cabin at Hulvik including this one from last year which summarises the species I have seen. Prior to this year I had recorded 34 species and our visit at the end of May had already added a new one with Green-underside Blue (kløverblåvinge). I had more observations of that species this last week including an egg laying female but no other new species. My total of 16 species was not very impressive and the complete absence of any of the larger fritillaries was worrying.

  1. Large Skipper /engsmyger
  2. Brimstone / sitronsommerfugl
  3. Silver-studded Blue/argusblåvinge - assumed this species but probaly both this and Idas seen
  4. Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary /brunflekket perlemorvinge plus a number of fast moving similarly sized fritillaries that could have been 0-4 other species
  5. Red Admiral / admiral
  6. Small Tortoiseshell / neslesommerfugl
  7. Pearly Heath /perleringvinge
  8. Ringlet /gullrinvinge
  9. Small White / liten kålsommerfugl
  10. Common Blue / tiriltungeblåvinge
  11. Small Copper / ildgullvinge
  12. Grizzled Skipper / bakkesmyger
  13. Dingy Skipper / tiriltungesmyger
  14. Moorland Clouded Yellow / myrgulvinge
  15. Wall Brown (sørringvinge)
  16. Green-underside Blue / kløverblåvinge

In addition to these butterflies I also noted the odd moth (god forgive), grasshopper, wasp and odonata. It was in fact a moth which was the real invertebrate highlight - a broad-bordered bee hawk-moth (bredkantet humlesvermer) allowed itself to be admired and photographed at close range. I saw what was most likely this species last year but it didn’t hang around long enough for me to confirm so I was very happy that this one allowed me to go and get my camera (I was swimming at the time).

Another very interesting moment was provided by a red-banded sand wasp carrying a caterpillar over the patio of the cabin. I wish I had followed it as it was only afterwards that I read up and realised that the caterpillar was going to be taken to a hole where the wasp would lay an egg inside it and the caterpillar would provide food for its offspring.


Broad bordered bee hawk-moth (bredkantet humlesvermer)

a Common Blue (tiriltungeblåvinge) lacking the (distinctive) spot at the base of the front wing

and one with the spot

Large Skipper (engsmyger)

the red-banded sand wasp (nattflylarvegraver) with caterpillar

Dingy Skipper (tiriltungesmyger)

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (brunflekket perlemorvinge)

Moorland Clouded Yellow (myrgulvinge) as you normally see them showing just the underwing

and here with a bit of the upperwing showing

and here a lucky shot showing the whole upperwing almost in focus as it flies up

the upperside of what I believe is a Silver-studded blue (argusblåvinge) and not the near identical Idas blue (idasblåvinge)

underside of the above blue

this one which has a much narrower blue border is I believe an Idas but in Norway the only accepted way to tell them apart is by observing the spine on the fore tibia which only Silver-studded is (supposed) to have

a Four Spotted Chaser (firflekkbredlibelle)

Grizzled Skipper (bakkesmyger)

egg laying Green-underside Blue (kløverblåvinge)

Great Green Bush Cricket (grønn løvgresshoppe)

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Non-invertebrate holiday update

 Our week by the sea is coming to an end and before I bore (many of) you with pictures of butterflies here is a final non invertebrate update.

Jr and I had another nocturnal trip but I have to accept that her interest is more in the mammals that we spot than the birds. We added badger and hare to our list so we were definitely doing better on the mammal than bird front. We did see the Nightjars from the car again and this time had a male and female flying together. It is rather cool to be able to stop the car, wind down the windows and have this mystical nocturnal creature right outside.

The Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers left the nest over the course of a couple of days amd the young have been noisily begging for food and following the parents around in the forest. The first White Wagtail young are out of the nest and interestingly I have seen three different males feeding just a single youngster each.

I discovered another Red-backed Shrike territory but just two is a bad showing in this area.

A Smooth Snake (slettsnok) by the cabin was a cool find and allowed a close picture with my phone but when I returned with the bazooka it shot off.

The 5 young Spotted Flycatchers in the nest in cabin gutter are now looking more their parents who are having no problems bringing a steady supply of food.

A smooth snake (slettsnok). Only my second sighting ever and both are from the same spot

Young Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (dvergspett) this presumably a female as it lacks red on head unlike the one photographed previously in nest

Young Great Spotted Woodpecker (flaggspett)

A female Red-backed Shrike (tornskate) - an old female that resembles a male

The same young LSW

The young LSW begging and an adult flying off after having delivered food

Young GSW waiting for food

The 5 young Spotted Flycatchers (gråfluesnapper) are developing nicely