Røst – week 35

The first week of the fall season at Røst have been characterized by warm, dry weather and breeze between south and northeast – a little too nice to trigger any massive fall migration.

An awesome and photogenic juvenile Gyrfalcon was one of the highlights of the week; later in the week we found a second bird with a distinctively lighter plumage.

Also Merlins have arrived the island, terrorising the flocks of vaders.

Northern Hawk Owls are on the move, and the first one arrived the island this week.

Little migration of passerines so far, and the ringing has been slow with a total of 55 birds ringed over the week. The seasons third Wood Warbler and a Common Rosefinch are the highlights so far.

The first Citrine Wagtail of the year was a nice find midweeks.

A few Spotted Flycatchers have rested on the island during the week.

Waders have been on the move in good numbers, dominated by flocks of Ruffs, Dunlins and Ringed Plowers, with Little Stints and Curlew Sanpipers mixed in.

Ruffs and Dunlins:

Ringed Plower:

Little Stint:

Curleqw Sandpipers:

Spotted Redshanks showed up in good numbers in the start of the week, accompanied by a handful of Greenshanks.

Arctic Skuas have had low breeding success over the last years; at least one juvenile came on its wings this year, carefully watched over by its parents.

A boat-trip off Skomvær – the outermost island in the Røst Archipelago – resulted in some nice encounters with Fulmars on a mirror-blank sea.

On the way we spotted a strange-looking White-tailed Eagle, with a leucistic and very sun-bleached plumage. It was a 2nd calendar year bird. According to eagle-expert Alv-Ottar Folkestad, this is a genetic phenomenon that is regularly found in the population of the northern Baltic Sea. Young birds from this population migrate regularly to the coast of Northern Norway.