Friday, 29 April 2011

Birding by bike

Yesterday I had some errands in town and managed to see the Black Redstart that has been present a few days. The view was very brief and backed up by 2 seconds of song but enough for the year list. I was there at 9am which is already a bit late for good views - it is best to be there around 7am before there is too much noise and traffic.
Close to the house I was very surprised to see 4 House Martins inspecting their breeding colony which seems to be very early especially as there have been few other records. I guess with the fantastic weather we have had they have been able to come straight to the breeding grounds without having to search for food at wetlands. If this hot weather continues I think they will really struggle to collect mud for their nests so we need some rain soon.
A trip around Maridalen produced my first Common Sandpiper of the year plus pairs ot Tufted Duck and Teal but no sign of Black throated Diver or Whooper Swans.

Today I cycled to Fornebu hoping for some signs of migration but little was happening. A singing Whitethroat was new for the year and a group of 5 Ringed Plovers were probably migrants. A male Kestrel sat close to a nest box where I assume the female was sitting on eggs. Highlight was my first Sand Martin for the year which was inspecting the nest site of the last few years which is a not particularly large pile of earth. The area of land where it is is to be developed and a new nesting site is being created a couple of hundred metres away whilst they flatten the old. A JCB was flattening the the old site whilst the Sand Martin flew around and actually landed on the remaining vertical areas (which will be gone by the end of the day). It will be interesting to see whether they find the new nesting site to their liking.

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