mandag 27. juli 2015

Røst Pelagic July 2015

Some snapshots // Noen bilder Røst pelagic 2015

Puffins and Skomvær lighthouse // Lunder foran Skomvær fyr
Puffin // Lunde
Manx Shearwater // Havlire
In open waters outside Skomvær // På storhavet utenfor Skomvær


European Storm Petrel // Havsvale
A true beauty // En skjønnhet
Riding the waves // Surfing på bølgene
Northern Fulmar // Havhest
Close to the seabirds // Nærkontakt med sjøfuglene

Great Skua // Storjo
Arctic Skua and Kittiwake // Tyvjo og krykkje


This is the ultimate biding experience in arctic Norway, feel free to check out our web-page // Den ultimate fugleopplevelsen i nordlige Norge, sjekk ut turene våre her:
www.lofotenbirding.no // martin@lofotenbirding.no





torsdag 6. november 2014

Here it is: Finally our own, fresh logo! // Her er den: Endelig vår egen, nye logo!

We proudly present our new logo // Vi presenterer vår nye logo, stolt som en hane!

For a while now we have been working on creating our own logo. Now it is finally here!
The logo shows to adult Dunlins, with the midnight sun and the mountains over the small community Vikten in Flakstad as a perfect background. 

The artist who have made the logo is Øivind Egeland, one of the best bird drawer and painter in Norway. We wish to thank him so much for making a splendid logo for us! More from Øivind is to be viewed her: http://fugleillustrasjoner.blogspot.no
Take a look and be amazed!

Ruben Ingar Larsen from the local firm Ruben Larsen Design is behind the the final result. 

//

Siden i sommer har Lofoten Birding jobbet med å skaffe seg egen logo. 
Dette har vært et spennende arbeid, og nå er resultetet klart, i all sin prakt!
Det er vår venn Øivind Egeland som står bak den flotte tegningen av to voksne myrsniper. Vi vil gjerne få takke Øivind for bidraget. Videre vil vi få anbefale bloggen hans på det varmeste, det er rene naturopplevelsen å gå inn å titte på hans arbeid. De fleste bildene her er til salgs: http://fugleillustrasjoner.blogspot.no

Lofoten Birdings valg av logo-fugl falt til slutt på myrsnipe. Dette er en favorittfugl for oss, og står for noe av det mest fasinerende med naturen vår: de store vaderflokkene som raster i Lofoten hver sommer og høst. Myrsnipa hekker også i Lofoten. Som Lofoten Birding flakker den rundt, alltid på utkikk etter vakre naturområder å slå seg ned!

Med i logoen fikk vi med midtnattsolen. Naturstemningene og lyset i Lofoten er unikt, og vil alltid utgjøre en stor del av fugleopplevelsene sammen med Lofoten Birding. Vi har også funnet plass til et annet av Lofotens kjennetegn, Lofotfjellene. Det er fjellkjeden ovenfor bygden Vikten i Flakstad kommune som er tegnet inn, sett fra Ramberg. 

Ruben Ingar Larsen i firmaet Ruben Larsen Design har gjort en utmerket jobb med å hjelpe oss frem til det endelige resultatet. 

-Martin



One of the first idea for the logo - two Dunlins migrating past Lofoten, with the midnight sun lighting up the sky // En av de første ideene til logo: to myrsniper trekkende forbi Lofoten, med midtnattsolen bak.

The same two Dunlins in a stencil version. The Dunlin in the back has some shadows under its wings. // Samme to myrsniper i stensilert utgave. På den bakerste fuglen er skygge tegnet inn.





onsdag 5. november 2014

A Western Bonelli´s Warbler in the snow // En eikesanger satt i snøen


Heading out to Mulstøa in Flakstad in the western part of Lofoten, Norway, my goal for the day was to spot a Pomarine Skua. Several have been seen in Lofoten the last week. I also wanted to get some numbers on wintering divers in the area. As I reach my target I heard several passerines; Great Tit, some Rock Pipits and several Redwings. A stroll along the beach seemed interesting!

After a while I noticed a Chiffchaff, probably of the subspecies tristis. It was on a cliff, feeding underneath the shelter of a rock. Here the ground was not covered with snow. I did not have my camera within reach, since I prioritized the spottingscope. I did manage to capture some pictures with my cellphone though. A minute later my binocular was pointing at an even more interesting bird - I immediately recognized it as a Bonellis´s Warbler! 

The walk back to the car - let me refrase that - the run back to the car took me about 20 minutes, one way. As I reached back to the area the bird was still present. After an hour the Bonelli´s Warbler gave a call: "hi-it". The sound made me think of a Siskin or a Greenfinch, only far more Phylloscupus-like. It was very different from the two Eastern Bonelli´s Warblers (including the first for Norway) which I have seen and heard in Lofoten before. The Eastern Bonelli´s Warbler had more of a short, dry "chup", but it is said to have both sounds in the vocabulary. 
The appearance of the bird as well as the sound, after my opinion, support the identification as a Western Bonelli´s Warbler, but I would like to receive comments and other experiences you out there might have. 

9. record for Norway, and the first outside Rogaland county (located in southwest Norway). 

This nice rarity follows a Oriental Turle Dove and a Hume´s Leaf Warbler in Flakstad  - only the last week. 

-Martin   

 From the location, snow fall coming in // Fra lokaliteten: Snøbyge på vei







The Western Bonelli´s Warbler together with the Chiffchaff // Eikesangeren sammen med gransangeren
Chiffchaff // gransanger
Here there was a Goldcrest in the cliffs - other sighting included King Eiders, Yellow-billed Divers, White-tailed Eagle, Golden Eagle and a Woodcock // En fuglekonge raster i denne klippeveggen. Andre observasjoner her ute var praktærfugler, gulnebblommer, havørner, kongeørn og rugde.  
The birds were discovered around the cliffs in the front. // Fuglene ble oppdaget i forkant av stranda. 

mandag 3. november 2014

ID: Hume´s Leaf Warbler // Blekbrynsanger

Hume´s Leaf Warbler at Yttersand, Flakstad, Lofoten 31. October

To find a Hume´s Leaf Warbler was a dream come true. I have dreamt of this small jewel from the east many autumns, and it felt so far-fetched to actually find one. It is over 30 records of this species in Norway, so it is not one of the biggest raritys i have found. But still. It was so pure and beautiful this October day.

I guess there are many out there dreaming of finding their very own Hume´s Leaf Warbler, or just trying to get a glimpse of one. Therefore i was thinking i could make an ID-piece on this blog. Especially since we got some good audio of the call as well, which is a important piece of the puzzle of Hume´s Leaf Warbler. So here we go!


video

Hume´s Leaf Warbler call (recorded by Jon Olav Larsen the day after we found it)



This sound was important for us when finding the bird. As soon as we got out of the car at Yttersand we heard this call. As noone of us had experience with Hume´s Leaf Warbler before we all just had our eyes wide open, looking at eachother - wondering at what bird this might be.

When we saw what we had in front of us, it all became quite clear. This was not a Yellow-browed Warbler (now reffered as YBW), as i have heard so many times before - this was something else. If it was a YBW we would have pinpointed the call at once. We have all heard it several times before, and know the call very well. But with this bird - this was not case. YBW was not even in our thoughts when we heard the call!

After a while when we were with the bird, I heard the similiaritys with the YBW-sound, but there are some obvious differences as well. As the call of the YBW is like a bird on speed, this sound was much more compact and also the last part of the call goes down, instead of up like the YWB. Below is a link to the call of YWB uploaded on Xeno-canto.org. Check out the differences yourself!

The Hume´s Leaf Warbler is also said to have an other sound, more resembling the Chiffchaff.

Call of Yellow-Browed Warbler from Xeno-canto.org




The bird was fantastic. It was a low autumn sun outside and around zero degrees, but the bird was very active catching flies and showing quite well.

This picture is not in neutral light it can therefore show some details who are not considered as pro Hume´s characters, but still we can focus on some important details for Hume´s Leaf Warbler:
  • Only one visible wing-bar, and it is more "dull" and shorter than on YBW.
  • No visible yellow in supercilium (despite the sunlight)
  • Earcovers are less marbled than on YBW
  • The colours on the birds are dull and pale (again despite the sunlight)
  • The head and nape more grey, the nape in contrast to the mantle.
  • The dark areas of the wing-covers and tertials are more grey than black, making less contrast in the plumage than to be found in YBW
  • Grey-buffish flank´s
  • Dark legs
I was expecting the Hume´s Leaf Warbler to have a darker lower mandible, but on pictures on the internet for Hume´s Leaf Warbler this variates and on this picture the sunlight makes it even more brighter.


So, to clinch a Hume`s Leaf Warbler you have to establish a set of ID-characters from the birds itself, but the call is also important as there are pale Yellow-Browed Warblers out there who can show some of the same characters. Good luck!

Hope you enjoy the blog. Please comment or send us an e-mail if there is anything we can help you with.

-Håvard


onsdag 1. oktober 2014

Pallas´s Grasshopper Warbler // Starrsanger


Hello! See more pictures of me below // Hallo! Se flere bilder av meg lengre ned.

Røst is the western island of the Lofoten islands. It is most famous for its mountains of birds with hundreds of thousands of Puffins and seabirds. But now, it also has become famous for something entirely different. Rare birds from the west - and from the east. The last days has produced some really nice birds, lets have a look at them:

On Sunday there was a storm from the west, which produced a Buff-bellied Sandpiper. Buff-bellied Sandpiper breeds in North-America. A Olive-backed Pipit was also seen by several birdwatchers. 

Buff-bellied Sandpiper // Rustsnipe

Yesterday there was calm winds again, but there was pretty much only local birds to see. The most exciting bird was a Lesser Whitethroat. Probably an eastern one, as it is very brown on the head.


Eastern Lesser Whitethroat // Østlig møller


As I went outside the door today I could instantly feel that there were new arrivals of birds. Mostly trushes though. The gardens seemed to have the same warblers as we had seen for the last couple of days.

But what´s this? I saw a dark, quite big warbler in one of the bushes in front of me. Instantly as i got my binoculars on it i knew that it was a Locustella and a Pallas´s Grasshopper Warbler. The white, quite significant eyebrow and the powerfullnes of the bird was not to be mistaken. Both Common Grasshopper Warbler and Lanceloated warbler have a completely different look. I took up my camera and bended down as it just sat there watching me! 

The size of the bird, eyebrow, strong beak screams Pallas´s Grasshopper Warbler. You could also see some of the white tips on the tailfeathers in contrast to the black tail. // Størrelsen på fuglen, overøyestripen og kraftig nebb skriker Starrsanger. Man kan også se hvite kanter på stjertfjærene i kontrast til svart stjert. 

The bird was very cooperative // Fuglen var veldig samarbeidsvillig
It got a little bit bored of watching me taking pictures, so it just jumped down in the tall grass below. Afraid of it "vanishing" in the grass, I walked slowly towards the bush. It jumped up in the bush, before it hopped back on the grass. I got some new pictures of the whole bird. Just magnificent. In the end it flew over to a the garden just 15 meters from where I was. Now the rust brown rump showed well. 


Twenty records in Norway, five records on Røst. It breeds in Central-Asia // Tyve funn i Norge, fem funn på Røst. Hekker i sentrale deler av Asia

"What do you want?!" // "Hva vil du?!"

I never found it again. But I was satisfied.


- Håvard





mandag 15. september 2014

Ross´ Gull! // Rosenmåke!



I am now working on a scientific boat, doing a norwegian-russian study on how the ecosystem in the Barents Sea is doing. I am the bird observator on the ship, and therefore has to keep track on whats flying around when we are going from station to station.

Since I came on board the boat in Longyearbyen (Svalbard), it has mostly been Fulmars, Kittiwakes, Brünnich's Guillemots, Pomarine Skuas and Glaucous Gulls to see.  

But today i jumped out of my chair. An adult Ross Gull came flying by! 

This beautiful, but small gull breeds in the high arctic of northernmost North America and northeast Siberia. It is seldom seen, so this was a real treat. I am still on the boat, so more pictures will be coming your way.

Hope you enjoy the Ross´s Gull as much as I did.

// 

For tiden jobber jeg på en forskningsbåt, Johan Hjort, som gjør et norsk-russisk studie på hvordan det går med økosystemene i havene våre. På disse toktene på høsten er det ofte fuglekikkere med, og jeg fikk lov å være med denne gangen.

Siden vi forlot Longyearbyen (Svalbard) har det stort sett gått i havhest, krykkje, polarlomvi, polarjo og polarmåker.

Men i dag hoppet jeg virkelig ut av stolen. En voksen rosenmåke kom flyvende forbi!

Denne nydelige, men lille måken hekker i arktis i nordlige deler av Nord-Amerika og nordøst i Sibir. Den blir sjelden sett, så dette var virkelig en godbit. Jeg er ennå på båten, så flere bilder kommer etterhvert.

Håper bare du nyter rosenmåken like som jeg gjorde.

Håvard Eggen

lørdag 16. august 2014

Svalefest i Lofoten // Storm Petrel-feast in Lofoten!


Flere havlirer ble sett rundt båten på våre to dager til sjøs // Several Marx Shearwater was seen on our two days with pelagic trips.


Sjøfuglturer med Lofoten Birding
Havområdene utenfor Røst er et av de absolutt beste områdene i Norge for å få oppleve havsvaler, stormsvaler, lirer og andre sjøfugler. Forventningene var høye når vi "satte seil" og dro ut på Røsthavet 11. og 12. august. Turen ut til målet tok en liten time.

Bøtter fulle av nedfryst lever ble senket i vannet. Sjøfugler som havsvaler og lirer har god luktesans, og det tok ikke lang tid før de første fuglene var på plass: havsvaler, havlirer, havsuler, tyvjoer, rødnebbterner, havhest, alkefugl og en rekke måker. Antall havsvaler økte jevnt og trutt under våre opphold begge dager. Stormsvalen uteble denne gangen, men er en art som ofte sees her ute. 

Flere av de nevnte artene er vanskelig å få sett fra land, de holder seg på det åpne havet det meste av livet, og kommer kun til land for å hekke på øyer ytterst på kysten. 

Hav- og stormsvalene ankommer Røst i midten av juni. Mot slutten av august blir de mindre aktive rundt båter, og mer opptatt av hekkingen. 


//

Pelagic trip with Lofoten Birding
Pelagic trips outside Røst is one of the best areas for experiencing species like the European Storm Petrel, Leach´s Storm Petrel, Marx Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Arctic Skuas, Puffins, Fulmars and more. It is interesting all year, but midt June to late August is the perfect time to go on a pelagic trip.

The expectations where high as we reached the area outside Skomvær fyr at Røst 11. and 12. august. Using liver we managed to get close to about 50 European Storm Petrels, several Manx Shearwaters, Gannets, Arctic Skuas and other nice birds.

Havsvale // European Storm Petrel 
En ekte sjøfugl - havsvalen glir perfekt over bølgende // Perfect adoptet to the sea the European Storm Petrel are dancing over the waves 
Ved hjelp av lever lokket vi cirka 50 havsvaler til oss // Using liver, we attracted 50 Storm Petrels to our boat


Havsvale
Svært få mennesker har sett havsvale, dettte en av de mest mytebelagte fugleartene vi har.  Havsvalen er Atlanterhavets minste sjøfugl, på størrelse med en stær. Tross navnet er den egentlig ikke en svale, men hører til stormpetrellene (stormfuglene), og er i slekt med de store albatrossene. Denne meget spesielle arten holder til utenfor kysten av Afrika store deler av året, men når sommeren kommer til Norge, trekker fuglene nordover. Havsvalen er en utpreget pelagisk art, og kommer sjeldent nært land.

Det er altså kun om natten disse fuglene nærmer seg kysten, på streif og på leting etter hekkeplasser. Mørket er havsvalens beste venn. Forklaringen ligger blant annet i at de er lette bytter for måker, og kan derfor utnytte de mulighetene som fravær av lys gir. De fleste havsvaler hekker i Nord- Norge, og når lyset gradvis forsvinner, tar havsvalene over fuglefjell, gressbakker og sprekker ytterst i havgapet. Nettopp det faktum at det på den nordlige halvkule er så lyst om sommeren, gjør at havsvalen utsetter hekkingen til august. Ruge- og ungetiden er lang, og de siste havsvalene forlater ikke Nord- Norge før i desember. Mens vi styrer med juleinnkjøp og adventstid, tar havsvalene fatt på veien sørover igjen.

I Norge er det kanskje mest sjøfolk som kjenner disse fuglene, og det er ofte knyttet overtro til havsvalen. En utbredt oppfatning går ut på at om man røren en stormpetrell (for eksempel en som har landet på et skip), så forteller det om den visse død for den som rører den, eller i den nære familie. Stormpetrellene ble sett på som sjelefugler, og druknede sjømenn ble reinkarnert som stormpetreller.

Uheldigvis for fugler og dyr flyter mye søppel rundt omkring i Nordsjøen. Dette kommer fra skipsfart, oljeindustri og rekreasjoner langs kysten, og omfatter kjemisk avfall, tjæreklumper og plastbiter. Fugler som stormpetrellene og mange andre sjøfugler (blant annet havhest) finner maten sin på sjøoverflaten, og forveksler dette med mat. Det ufordøyde søppelet blir værende i magesekken, og er svært skadelig. Dette er bare et av utallige eksempel på ulike elementer som forringer og fortærer norsk natur, dag for dag. Forskingsprosjektet ”Save the North Sea” har funnet ut at Nordsjøen forsøples av om lag 20.000 tonn avfall hvert år. Av dette synker 70% til bunns, 15% flyter på overflata og 15% blir skylt i land. 

//

European Storm Petrel 
European Storm Petrel is the smallest seabird in the Atlantic Sea, Starling-sized. Wintering outside Africa, they migrate north during the spring, and reach their breeding ground at Røst in June. They breed in the autumn, when other seabirds have left the colony.

Among fishermen this bird is concidered to bring bad luck, and there is a lot of different superstitions related to its appearance. 

These birds feeds on the surface at sea, thus it is specially exposed to eating plastic and garbage. "Save the North Sea" claims that 20.000 tons of waste is spread into the ocean each year, and 15% of this floats on the surface.
Havhest (mørk fase) // Fulmar (dark morph)
Ung rødnebbterne // First-year Arctic Tern
Fulle av forventninger // Expectations as we head out
Bøtte full av lever, vår "hemmelige" våpen // A bucket full of liver, out "secret" weapon
Til sjøs // At sea
En ekstra båt ble brukt for å komme enda nærmere sjøfuglene // Using a second boat to get even closer
Mye fugl og mye moro! // A lot of birds and a lot of fun




Bilder // Pictures: Håvard Eggen + Aina G. Wingan