Friday, 25 March 2011

A Lapwing doth not spring make....

....but maybe Starling and Skylark help.

A quick drive around Maridalen revealed my first Lapwing of the year sitting forlornly on a snow covered field on the way in and absent on the way back (given up and headed south?), singing Hawfinches at two separate sites and a group of 9 Crossbills. Otherwise very quiet.
Then onto Nordre Øyeren. First stop was Dynovika in Lillestrøm . Here there were a couple of Lapwings on some ice free mud, plus a Coot, a handful of Canada Geese, Mallard, Goldeneye, Goosander (first for the year) and a singing Marsh Tit (also year tick). It took me a while to locate the Marsh Tit which I had heard singing but could not see and I was unsure as to what I was listening to. It is probably over a decade since I last heard Marsh Tit singing and that was in England. The birds in Norway are a different race and a check on the internet showed that the song of these subspecies are quite different - so I didn't feel too bad for not having been able to ID on song alone!
On to Årnestangen where the river was free of ice and on this were 100 Whooper Swans making a lot of noise as they displayed to each other (interestingly there were no more than 10 young birds indicating a poor breeding season last year), 25 Canada Geese, a single Mute Swan and a scattering of Mallard and Goldeneye. 9 Lapwing flew north and in a field with some bare earth showing (due to it being on a southward facing slope) were another couple of Lapwing and a flock of 20 Starlings and an equal number of Skylarks. Three different spring migrants together in the same field surely has to be proof that spring is here...

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