Herdla is an island some 40 kilometers NW of Bergen city. It is by far the most visited birding site in Hordaland county, and does also hold the longest species list for one location in the county (about 240 species recorded).
Yesterday my five year old son and a friend went together with me to the island to play in the ruins from the Luftwaffe-base from the second World War, and birdwatch. Just minutes after leaving our car, a totally unexpected young Pallid Harrier flew past us with a chain of Hooded Crows chasing it. The bird was seen well, but unfortunately the camera was hiding from the rain in my backpack at the time. The record will be the third for the county if accepted.
The weather cleared up and Herdla was packed with about 700 shorebirds (17 species) feeding on the wet fields. Most numerous were Golden Plovers and Ruffs with a minimum of 250 individuals of each. The shorebirds highlight was four first-winter Black-tailed Godwits. Three of them were classical Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits, and one wasn't... Not classical that is. It stood out from the others, and was judged it as pretty tall with a long tibia. However, I was not being able to judge the full leg-length because of the grass. The bill did not look very long (relatively). However, the tertials did not have the classical saw-tooth pattern, being more plain and with borders along the edges, and scattered pale marks towards the shaft. The wing coverts were rather uniform grey compared to the classical Icelandic birds, and it was way duller and colder in color tone on the underparts. I suppose it was an Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit, but it was different from first-winters I've seen before. Comments on subspecific ID are appreciated. A picture of one of the classical islandica's from today can be seen here.
The total species list contained 61 species, and the best birds were: Shelduck (2 juveniles), Pintail (1), Shoveler (1), White-tailed Sea-eagle (1), Pallid Harried (1), Kestrel (5), Merlin (1), Peregrine (1-2), Black-tailed Godwit (4) and Yellow Wagtail (1).
November 2018: Fieldwork in three IBA's in Nepal