Sunday, 3 April 2011
Peering through the fog
This weekend was the AGM for the Norsk Ornithologisk Forening (Norwegian version of RSPB although a lot smaller with only around 10,000 members). It was being held in Oslo this year so I attended the formal meeting yesterday which turned into an 8 hour marathon session due to some rather contentious issues that were to de voted on. Today though was time for a field trip and I was a nominated driver. We visited a number of sites in Aurskøg Høland which should have been teeming with water birds (this time last year there were already hundreds of Whooper Swans and Cranes). However due to this years late spring many birds have not yet arrived due to there still being snow on the fields and ice on the lakes and to make matters worse we were cursed with thick fog all morning which meant we heard far more birds than we saw. We did hear Cranes and Whooper Swans calling in the fog, plus a couple of other new birds for the year: Mistle Thrush, Golden Plover. Birds seen which were also new for the year were Dunnock, Buzzard, Merlin, Redwing, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, Reed Bunting and a group of 5 Pink Footed Geese flying over and looking very lost. Otherwise there were small numbers of Lapwing, Fieldfare, Starling, Chaffinch, Brambling and Yellowhammer in the fields were there was some bare ground. Year list is now upto 80 - last year I had seen 96 species by 4 April. The hope is that when the thaw does set in that we will have a very intense migration with large flocks of many species moving through.