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» Updated November 25th

This update covers the period from 21 October until 25 November 2004. We include the national rarities, subrarities, notes on invasion species and other remarkable events.

American Wigeon in Hordaland
We are starting up with the Black-necked Grebe that was found in Kurefjorden, Östfold on 3 October. The bird stayed at the location until 2 November. The first Great Bitterns of the winter were observed on 21 November. One was at Gjellumvatnet near Oslo and one was at Orrevatnet in Rogaland. At 24 October an adult male American Wigeon was found at Herdla in Hordaland County. It was together with about 200 Eurasian Wigeons, feeding on the fields at this bird sanctuary. It lingered for weeks, and was last seen on 13 November. This was the first record for Hordaland, and about number 15 in Norway (if accepted). The adult male Surf Scoter at Lista, Vest-Agder stayed throughout the period, and was joined by another drake on 6 November (both were also present last winter). Another adult male was seen only for a single day at Jomfruland, Telemark 30 October. A first winter Pallid Harrier was seen briefly at Kolnes, south of Stavanger in Rogaland 30 October, constituting an extremely late bird in Norwegian standards.

American Wigeon © Frode Falkenberg
American Wigeon Anas americana at Herdla in Hordaland 29 October 2004. This adult male stayed for more than three weeks. Foto © Frode Falkenberg | More pictures

Ivory Gull in Tröndelag and Pallid Swift in Rogaland
Non-birdwatchers reported a first winter Ivory Gull from Rissa in Sör-Tröndelag County on 21 November. It was feeding on the remains of a Roe Deer at the beach. There has been an influx of Pallid Swifts in NW Europe this autumn, with several records from our neighbours in Sweden and Denmark. Only one bird visited Norway, on 24 October at Brusand in Rogaland. If accepted, this will be the fifth national record.

Blyth's Pipit and several Water Pipits
The large pipit from Utsira in Rogaland during early October, claimed as Blyth's, is now probably turning out to be a Richard's Pipit. Some features point towards a smaller sized subspecies, and the sound was not normal for Richard's turning up in Norway (pictures). Anyway, another bird was reported at Brusand in Rogaland on 26 October. Unfortunately, it only showed a single day and for a single observer. There are only five previous records of the species in Norway. The sixth Olive-backed Pipit of the year was found at Utsira in Rogaland on 23 October. The first Water Pipit of the autumn showed up at Steinsviga in Vest-Agder on 30 October. During the next four weeks the total at Lista probably came up to three different birds. Another Water Pipit was at Tjöme in Vestfold in the period 14-20 November. A very late Blyth's Reed Warbler was caught and ringed at Orreparken, Rogaland 24 October. The only Pallas's Leaf Warbler during the period was at Reveskogen, Rogaland 2 November, the sixth during 2004. A Firecrest was at Öye in Kvinesdal, Vest-Agder on 22 October, while four different Rosy Starlings were reported in southern Norway during late October. A first winter male rostrata Redpoll was ringed at Mönstremyr, Vest-Agder 19 November. There are only four previous Norwegian records of this subspecies from Greenland and Iceland.

Pine Grosbeak invasion
During the end of October the first signs of Pine Grosbeak movements outside their normal Norwegian range were recorded. The first days of November several records around southwestern Norway were reported. On Saturday 6 November the ketchup bottle really opened. Up to a thousand birds were seen at Jaeren in Rogaland. Most of them were migrating towards the north, but some did also rest for a while. Further south, in Vest-Agder County (southwestern tip of Norway), about 200 birds were seen during the same day. Birds were still around the following day, but only in small parties up to 15 individuals. During the next 14 days Pine Grosbeaks have been reported from all around southern Norway, but in lower numbers.

The Waxwing influx from early October is still going strong, but numbers have declined during the end of the period. The largest count was at Mölen, Vestfold 23 October, when 2000 birds were counted.

Pine Grosbeak © Morten Kersbergen
Pine Grosbeak Pinicola enucleator at Jaeren, Rogaland 6 November 2004. Foto © Morten Kersbergen | Homepage

Other subrarities
A late Manx Shearwater migrated north past Lista, Vest-Agder 21 October, and a total of six Bewick's Swans were reported from middle and southern Norway in the period. The 3 CY male Steller's Eider at Brusand, Rogaland has spend the summer in the area, and enter its second winter at the spot (Steller's Eiders are rare in southern Norway). The only Common Kingfisher during the month was seen briefly at Ilene, Vestfold 30 October. About ten Richard's Pipits, twelve Black Redstarts, at least 17 Stonechats and three tristis Chiffchaffs were reported during the period, all in southern Norway. This part of the country did also host eight Arctic Redpolls as well as 17 Two-barred Crossbills. Single Little Buntings were seen at Titran, Sör-Tröndelag 23-24 October, Nordhassel, Vest-Agder 27 October and Bömyra, Rogaland 30 October.

Black Redstart © Anders Hangård
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros in Tönsberg, Vestfold 15 November 2004. Foto © Anders Hangård | Homepage

Eagle Owl caught in a mist-net!
At Titran Ornithological Station, Fröya, at the coast of middle Norway the crew randomly caught an Eagle Owl in a mist-net on 23 October. It was incredible that this large bird got stuck in the net, which was meant to catch migrating passerines. And, if that was not enough - the bird was already touched by man! It was ringed as a nestling at Fröya this summer. The Eagle Owl ringers in these areas have ringed 38 nestlings during the last years, and four have been retrieved. The Titran bird was the first to be controlled alive.

Eagle Owl © Kjetil Aa. Solbakken
Eagle Owl Bubo bubo just before release at Titran, Fröya 23 October 2004. Foto © Kjetil Aa. Solbakken | More pictures

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