First stop was the estuary at Kurefjorden with its extensive mudflats and ideal habitat for migrating waders. Or that at least is what the books say. Excluding a handful of Oystercathers and Lapwings I was able to count the waders with my fingers: 4 Redshank, 2 Greenshank and a Curlew. Maybe it will be better in a couple of weeks time (it is a regular spot for Broad Billed Sandpiper at the end of May and hosted a pair of White Rumped Sandpipers last weekend so there must be some potential). Otherwise a pair of Shoveler were the only dabbling ducks and there were a few Shelducks and many Eiders and Red Breasted Mergansers. 6 Common Terns, 4 Swallows and an Osprey were also added to the list.
Second stop was Brentetangen which is a famed seawatching site on the Oslofjord. In my 45 minutes of watching from 11am (which I admit is not a particularly good time of the day) I notched up 2 Red Throated Divers with one going north and 2 going south plus a couple of Common Terns. Exciting stuff! There was some interest in the form of a couple of dolphins or porpoises but they were too distant for me to attempt to ID them.
A long drive to my third Østfold site of Kallaksjøen was punctuated by a stop at a promising looking wetland by the road which produced my first 4 House Martins of the year aswell as 3 Whoopers Swans and a Green Sandpiper. Kallaksjøen which is a small, shallow lake surrounded by farmland was the most productive site of the day. Amongst about 20 Teal were 3 Garganey, a pair and another male which you can just about make out in this picure appalling if you squint your eyes
Also 4 Wigeon, 7 Whoopers Swans, a Coot, a Little Ringed Plover, 25 Golden Plover over and Cranes calling in the distance. A pair of Hobbies were feeding quite actively although I could not make out what they were catching. Both Garganey and Hobby are good birds in Norway and were welcome additions to the year list.
For my next destination I crossed the border back into Akershus county and visited Hemnesjøvannet. This is a long lake which is particularly attractive to Red Throated Divers of which I saw 13 along with 1 Black Throated Diver and 6 Great Crested Grebes. 21 Pink-footed Geese were feeding by the lake and one had a particularly large white patch around the bill almost as large as on a White-fronted Goose.
I was running short of time now as I needed to head back to Oslo to pick up my daughter from after school club before it closed but managed a quick stop at Hellesjøvannet where the breeding pair of Marsh Harriers put on a nice show. Little else of note here.
In the evening I also managed a quick trip around Maridalen where the 3 Whooper Swans were still present alongside 4 Teal. A pair of Green Sandpipers were mating with the male displaying to the female with a raised tail and much calling before hopping on top of the female for over 10 second. Also a Wood Sandpiper which was my first of the year. The lake is now completely free of ice and only one pair of Black Throated Divers remains.
A long day with 10 year ticks taking me 128 for the year.