Friday, 22 April 2011

Sanity restored

Black-throated Diver

I needed a good days birding to restore my sanity (I'm sure I would make a good case study) and was up at 6am for a trip around Maridalen. Almost the first bird I saw was a Ring Ouzel and I felt a feeling of well beeing saturate my body. This is always a bird I struggle with each spring but seem to pull one out of the hat at the end of April and luckily this year was no exception. The lake is still 95% frozen although the ice looks very thin so I am confident it will be ice free by 1 May. 2 pairs of Black Throated Divers were on the open water at Hammeren and were calling which must be one of the most atmospheric calls of the birding world. A single bird was seen on another open patch and later heading north making five birds in total.
An Osprey searched for fish around the ice free edges before gaining height and heading south presumably to the fjord. My first Willow Warbler of the year sang once the sun came out and in total I had 6 birds alongside an equal number of Chiffchaffs. 3 male Blackcaps were too busy feeding to sing. I had Green Woodpeckers in 2 localities including a pair excavating a nest hole and also had 2 Snipe including 1 displaying bird in area where they are present every April. I have never noted their presence beyonf the beginning of May so don't know if they breed here. Otherwise good numbers of Wood Pigeons and Fieldfares in the fields and 4 Mistle Thrushes. Visibile migration was represented by a group of 6 Cormorants and small numbers of finches and Meadow Pipits heading north.
A Coot was only the second I have had here. There were also good numbers of frogs in most areas of shallow water with some spawn already laid and lots of croaking.
A family trip to Fornebu in the afternoon allowed me to do some incidental birding and I heard the Wryneck that was found yesterday and also noted Little Ringed Plover, Osprey, Stock Dove, Wheatear and Linnet. (I later found out that a pair of Garganey were also present which would have been nice to see but I guess have to be thankful I managed 2 birding trips today).
When we got home I checked out the nesting box on the veranda and found that the Great Tits have already constructed a nest! I quickly put the box up on the tree and later saw the tits checking it out although they did appear quite confused.

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