Heading out to Mulstøa in Flakstad in the western part of Lofoten, Norway, my goal for the day was to spot a Pomarine Skua. Several have been seen in Lofoten the last week. I also wanted to get some numbers on wintering divers in the area. As I reach my target I heard several passerines; Great Tit, some Rock Pipits and several Redwings. A stroll along the beach seemed interesting!
After a while I noticed a Chiffchaff, probably of the subspecies tristis. It was on a cliff, feeding underneath the shelter of a rock. Here the ground was not covered with snow. I did not have my camera within reach, since I prioritized the spottingscope. I did manage to capture some pictures with my cellphone though. A minute later my binocular was pointing at an even more interesting bird - I immediately recognized it as a Bonellis´s Warbler!
The walk back to the car - let me refrase that - the run back to the car took me about 20 minutes, one way. As I reached back to the area the bird was still present. After an hour the Bonelli´s Warbler gave a call: "hi-it". The sound made me think of a Siskin or a Greenfinch, only far more Phylloscupus-like. It was very different from the two Eastern Bonelli´s Warblers (including the first for Norway) which I have seen and heard in Lofoten before. The Eastern Bonelli´s Warbler had more of a short, dry "chup", but it is said to have both sounds in the vocabulary.
The appearance of the bird as well as the sound, after my opinion, support the identification as a Western Bonelli´s Warbler, but I would like to receive comments and other experiences you out there might have.
9. record for Norway, and the first outside Rogaland county (located in southwest Norway).
This nice rarity follows a Oriental Turle Dove and a Hume´s Leaf Warbler in Flakstad - only the last week.
|From the location, snow fall coming in // Fra lokaliteten: Snøbyge på vei|
|The Western Bonelli´s Warbler together with the Chiffchaff // Eikesangeren sammen med gransangeren|
|Chiffchaff // gransanger|
|The birds were discovered around the cliffs in the front. // Fuglene ble oppdaget i forkant av stranda.|