Thursday, October 16, 2014

more Helgoland

Olive-backed Pipit, Ostklippe
More impression from last weekend, with nice weather, many birds and many birders. I dipped the Dipper and the day after I returned home there were Alpine Swift and Desert Wheatear. I might have a retry for the latter soon:-)
only a few Snow Buntings were seen, probably due to the warm weather

there were still many Northern Wheatears on the island

eastern Lesser Whitethroat @Nordseehalle
same bird showing tail and wing
this Blätterkönig found one of the few pine trees on the island
Belegfoto of Pomarine Skua, a good one on the birdrace
the Pectoral Sandpiper on Dune, only the fifth record on Helgoland
a superb Olive-backed Pipit gave a great show on Ostklippe
Blätterkönig again
the same bird
"arctic"-looking Willow Warbler
Yellowhammer @Sudhafengelande
Reed Bunting NOGelande
eastern Lesser Whitetroat @Unterland, photographed from my window
this "pale-legged" leaf-warbler caused come confusion @Bunte Kuh
Jack Snipe landing in not so typical habitat
large flock of Brambling and Chaffinch @Kringel
Shore Lark Dune
the Paddyfield-Booted-Garden Warbler @Kringel :-)
Blätterkönig again!
PecSand twitch

Monday, October 13, 2014

Helgoland - Ortolan mystery solved

Today was great, with mass arrival of Redwing and Songtrush, and many Goldcrest, finches and others. The bird of the day could have been an "ortolan", which was seen briefly at Nordstrand and later Sudhafengelande. The bird went missing during the rainy afternoon but just before darkness the weather improved and I made a last round on SHG. And there I flushed the ortolan, just a few meters in front of me! Pictures below are taken in last light (3200ISO, sorry for the quality), but they show that this bird must be indeed an Ortolan Bunting, a really late one. It should have been a much rarer bunting:-)

Unfortunately I was not able to solve my own mystery-warbler. This YB below looked rather pale in the field and shows a restricted upper wingbar, but I had only brief views. The bird did not reappear (Unterland).

Goldcrest - more pictures of this and others later!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Helgolander Vogeltage 2014

I believe it was appreciated that I tried to speak German in my pelagic-birding presentation, and I never came this close to winning the 1000+ euro Zeiss binoculairs in the mystery-bird competition (second...). There have been many good birds last days with Pectoral Sandpiper, Olive-backed Pipit, Little Buntings, eastern Lesser Whitethroat, Red-breasted Flycathers, Puffin and of course Yellow-browed Warblers!

More later, it looks promising for coming days and at the moment the nocturnal sky is full with calls of migrating Song Trushes, finally some riesen migration!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Yellow-browed Warbler and Helgoland

Succeeded today in what seemed impossible last weekend on Helgoland; a decent record-shot of a Yellow-browed Warbler. This one favoured a small garden in a village in Groningen.

Last weekend we found several Yellow-broweds and a Red-breasted Flycatcher on Helgoland but all were real skulkers. In contrast, the waders on Dune were very tame and approached to within a few meters.
Ringed Plover
and with a Sanderling

And some more images from Helgoland, other records included 2 MedGulls, Firecrest, Merlin, Arctic Skuas and Black Guillemots.

Sparrowhawk hunting along Kringel
Stonechat showing tail, for sure not a casp
best view of YB
exciting numbers of wagtails, pipits and wheatears at Kringel, all feeding on kelp-flies
Meadow Pipit
migrating Richard's Pipit at an area we used to know as Sudhafengelande