lørdag 8. desember 2012

Yes, it is winter

This Eurasian Woodcock planed to stay for the winter. It might regrets, but now its too late. Its impossible to escape from the snow. I observed the bird at Toftenes some days ago.

Late Ruff

Ruff is not a common shorebird in Mandal. In May Claus and Thomas had two observations at Ryvingen. I have to say that  I was quite surprised when one Ruff landed just in front of me at Sjøsanden 25 September.

Rare birds alert

Several rare shorebirds have visited Norway this autumn. I managed to see a couple of them. First we had a Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Revetangen, Jaeren (02.08.12) . This one of the hotspots for shorebirds in Norway. One month later an American Golden Plover was observed at Lista. In october one of the other hotspots at Jaeren produced two Semipalmated Sandpipers. The birds were photographed at Nerland 22. October during cloudy and rainy weather.

Mandarin Duck

My second observation of Mandarin this year. Tee bird was discovered at Vigeland 12 of October, and  it stayed only two days.

tirsdag 21. august 2012

Caspian Gull

Caspian Gulls are observed several times in Mandal, and here are some photos of the last Caspian Gull seen in Mandal 25. October 2011. The bird stayed in Mandalselva several days. This is a second year bird (2cy)

The white head is diagnostic as well as the white tail visible at the second photo. The wing pattern is also important to distinguish Caspian from Yellow-legged Gull.

Uncommon Gull plumage

Yellow-legged Gull and Caspian Gull are two seldom seen Gulls in Norway. The first six observations of this species are all from Mandal, and Mandal still produce more observations of Yellow-legged Gull than any other place in Norway. There are also several observations of Caspian Gull from Mandal. Inge Flesjå is our local expert on these Gulls. THe bird on this photo was first believed to be Yellow-legged Gull, but in fact it is Lesser Black-backed Gull.

                                                         The same size as European Herring Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull. The bird stands out among the other 1K birds. 

 The whitish breast and head are among the field marks seen at this bird that made us first believe that this was Yellow-legged Gull.

søndag 1. juli 2012

Klåstadkilen, Larvik

Klåstadkilen is an important stopover for many migrating shorebirds and ducks. You can find the area along the road 303 from Larvik to Sandefjord. The tide makes it possible for the shorebirds to find food here. Some birds also breed here like the Common Shelduck and Common Redshank.

Here are some photos from the area:

Broad-billed Sandpiper during migration 23. May 2010. This rare bird is seen almost each year in the area. 

Temminck's Stints during migration 26. May 2012 at 21:38 PM. They were photographed with a handheld Nikon D90 with Nikkor 300 mm. I had to adjust the shutter speed from 1/100 to 1/250. Aperture 4 and ISO 320. 

Short-eared Owl (May 2012 at 21:58 PM) hunting after dusk. I did not use tripod but managed to take some acceptable photos of the bird while it was "scanning" the area for food. I adjusted the shutter speed from 1/100 to 1/250. 

mandag 18. juni 2012

Dunlin at Kviljoodden - Myrsnipe

Kviljoodden is one of the best places to observe shorebirds in Vest-Agder. The list of birds seen contains several rare species. Yesterday I only observed more common species, and among them two Dunlins (myrsniper) in their summer plumage.

Dunlins from Kviljoodden.

søndag 17. juni 2012

Loons - Smålom & Storlom

Loons are right now on the move. Right now Red-throated and Black-throated Loons are the most common species.
Red-throated Loon (Smålom), winter plumage, from Sånumsstranda, Mandal 09 December 2011. The bird was photographed in rain. Note the slender bill.

Black-throated Loon (Storlom), adult and 2K, Nordhasselstranda, Farsund 16 June 2012. The adult bird shoves white at the back, dark throat and a straight bill. 

søndag 3. juni 2012


Here are some common and hard to see raptors from Mandal photographed the last years.
                                           White-tailed Eagle (Havørn) seen from my house (Frøysland) 01 November 2010.

                                            Common Kestrel (Tårnfalk), Jåbekk, 14 September 2011

                                              Common Buzzard (Musvåk), Sånum, 14 April 2012

                                             Western Marsh Harrier (Sivhauk), Skjernøya, 20 May 2012

                                                 Black Kite (Svartglente) seen from my house (Frøysland), 01 June 2012

søndag 20. mai 2012


The Spotted Flycatcher have had a mayor influx during the last few of days, and yesterday I saw it almost everywhere. The Pied Flycatcher started its return to Norway somewhat earlier but have increased in numbers as well the last week.

                                                                     Spotted Flycatcher (Gråfluesnapper) from Jåbekk, Mandal 19 May 2012

                                                                          Pied Flycatcher (svarthvit fluesnapper), Skjernøya 19 May 2012

lørdag 19. mai 2012

Shorbirds from Tregde - Vaderfugler på Tregde

The small beaches at Tregde is one of the best places to see shorebirds in Mandal. It is also possible to go offshore to see more shorebirds during the migration. Here are some of the shorebirds seen during my visits to Tregde this year.

From the top to the bottom: Grey Plover (Tundralo), 12 February 2012, Common Ringed Plover (Sandlo), 10 March 2012 and Common Redshank (Rødstilk), 18 May 2012. 

Eurasian Coot & Common Morheen - Sivhøne & Sothøne

                                                          Eurasian Coot (Sothøne) from Mandalselva, January 2012. 

                                                        Common Moorhen (Sivhøne), Kvisla, Mandal, April 2012.

Here in Norway Common Morheen and Eurasian Coot are quite common breeders. However, in Mandal none of them are common. The Eurasian Coot earlier had a small population in Leirvika, but today there are not any known breeding sites in our district. Although we suspect that it nests in one or two lakes. Several individuals are often seen mid October to March at different localities in and around the city. The Common Moorhen nests from time to time in Mandal, but there are not any stable population. It was observed at four localities in April 2012.

lørdag 12. mai 2012

Long stayers

                                                     Two Pink-footed Goose (PFG), Saanum, Mandal 28 April 2012

                                                        The same PFG together with Greylag goose, Sånum, Mandal 12 May 2012

                                              Greater White-fronted Goose (GWFG), Ormestad, Mandal, 10 March 2012. This is the subspecies flavirostris.

                                                   The same GWFG hiding in the grass two months later, 06 May 2012.

                                                         A better view of the same bird. It is staying togheter with a couple of Mute Swan.

Here are some long staying geese this spring, and both species are still present in the area. The two Pink-footed Goose were first observed 11 January and the Greater White-fronted Goose of the subspecies flavirostris 15 January 2012.

Mandarin Duck - Mandarinand

                                                           The bird seen today in Ronekilen, Mandal.

                                                           Two birds seen with Bankebroa, Mandal, May 2011.

Finnaly I had my first observation of Mandarin Duck tis year. The bird was discovered in Ronekilen yesterday. While I was informing my friends about its presence the bird disappeared.

                                                         From Skjebstad, male autumn 2011