Today I travelled with Per Christan Moan to particpate in the NOFOA autumn trip to Aurskog Høland. We left Oslo at 0730 whilst still dark and as we made our way to the meeting point at Fetsund it slowly became light revealing a frost covered countryside that didn't look particularly conducive to a goods day birding. After meeting up with the 15 or so other keen birders we drove on to our first stop of Haneborg. Along the way there were many Roe Deer although still few birds. At Haneborg there was no flooding and just bare fields with a Sparrowhawk overhead and a tailess Meadow Pipit in a field. Next stop was Kjelle where there was some flooding but it was all frozen so no waterbirds! A Great Grey Shrike here was the highlight of the trip along with fly over Waxwing and Goshawk.
Onto Bjørkelangsjøen where there was open water but no birds! A flock of 11 Long Tailed Tits errupting out of nearby were as always a good record.
On the way to Hellesjøvannet was a flock of 120 Canada Geese and 3 Whooper Swans in roadsode fields. Whilst watching these we picked up a distant Buzzard and another 4 Whooper Swans flew over. At Hellesjøvannet there was only ice around the edges but again few birds. In the fields were 10 Whooper Swans with 15 Canada and 1 Greylag Goose and on the water a Tufted and a handful of Goosander. Around the edges were 2 Snipe and a Reed Bunting. By now a northerly wind was blowing across the flat farmland and it was getting cold...very cold. A little walk and some food managed to warm me up a bit.
Final stop of the day was Hemnesjøvannet. At various stops around the lake we had a flock of 50 or so Starlings, another Buzzard, 300 Grelags, 4 Coot, Great Crested Grebes, Goldenye, Whooper Swan and Greylag Goose.
Autumn feels like it is nearly over. There will be probably be little productive birding in the coming months although records from further north in Norway and in Sweden suggest that an invasion of Pine Grosbeaks may be on the way which is a much needed tick.