Røst – week 39

The appearance of the Yellow-browed Warbler at the end of last week, made us really optimistic about this week; week 39 is usually the very peek for rare vagrants during the fall migration.
Monday started well, with no less than three Olive-backed Pipits on the island.

But the optimism didn’t last long; Tuesday came up with rain and gale from north-west, and the only option was to sit in the shelter and watch seabirds. Not the most rewarding day, but a group of five Brent Geese landing just outside the shelter was a nice little bonus.

The female Shoveler was still hanging around with the three Gadwalls throughout the week.

Most waders are gone, but there are still a few Bar-tailed Godwits feeding in the wetlands.

Golden Plovers are found spread around the island, mostly young birds.

The flocks of Ruff have left, only single birds remaining.

The first Purple Sandpipers have arrived – in about a month they will be the dominating shorebird. These are Spitsbergen breeders that will stay here over the winter.

The big rush of passerines never reached the island, only Redwings and Bramblings came up in good numbers.

A few Goldcrests was found around, and a couple of new Lesser Whitethroats arrived. 

An odd catch in the mist nets was a couple of parrot crossbills – only the fourth record on the island.

A Tree Pipit was also awarded with a ring.

On Friday another Yellow-browed Warbler appeared. A total of only three of these most regular Siberian vagrants on Røst in September tells the story of a rather slow fall so far. Let’s hope for a good rush of late arrivals in this unusual mild autumn.

The week ended with a brief stop-over at Værøy from Saturday to Sunday. Saturday gave a Common Rosefinch in the north in the afternoon, and a very welcomed Red-breasted Flycatcher in the old wood in the south in the evening.

The flycatcher was still around Sunday morning, in addition to a late Redstart and a couple of Arctic Redpolls in the south. 

Now we take a pause from Røst for ten days, so the next blog will come from the main islands of Lofoten.