Friday, 13 May 2011


Yesterday was a long and good day. It started with me oversleeping and missing my 4am alarm call. I awoke at 6am which was probably just aswell as I needed some sleep otherwise I would become a menace on the road.
I arrived at Brentetangen at 0730 to be met with the message you should have been here 20 minutes ago. A pair of sandwich Terns had gone past and would have been a Norwegian tick for me. Frustration. The ensuing seawatch until 1000 in supposedly perfect SW winds was very disappointing with hardly a bird moving. The only birds worth of note were 3 Kittiwakes and a Long Tailed Duck. Saner people would have given up after half an hour but you need to persevere in this game.
I decided to view Kurefjorden from the bird tower/hide this time (and for the first time) and found that although the views were perhaps a bit more distant that the extra height was a distinct advantage. Still not much to see. A flock of 5 Temmincks Stints flew by and a handful of Whimbrel and a single Knot were the only waders of note with the 4 Gadwall and 5 Wigeon from yesterday still present. Highlight though and a sign that Lady Luck was shining on me came in the form of a HOOPOE which I picked up in the scope flying along the waters edge. Why it was I don't know but there is no mistaking a Hoopoe. It was obviously an unusual guest in these parts as it was mobbed by both Lapwing and Carrion Crow and also flushed the Knot. Hoopoe was a Norwegian tick for me and definitely left me with a hop to my stride.
Feeling content I headed back to Oslo and stopped off at Maridalen. The warning light telling me I was low on petrol had come on 40km before so I only dared make one stop which was in the bay at Kirkeby. And a good stop it turned out to be. The ever expanding mudflats hosted 2 Temminck's Stints. This was a patch tick and they allowed very close views. Also present a Little Ringed Plover, 2 Greenshank, 3 Wood Sandpipers, 2 Green Sandpipers, a Common Sandpiper and 3 Lapwings. It doesn't get much closer to wader heaven than this around Oslo! 5 fine Yellow Wagtails and a Whinchat were also present.
Temminck's Stint
Wood Sandpiper

The day wasn't finished though. In the evening Per Christian Moan and I made a trip to Borrevannet. The purpose was to hear the Spotted Crakes and Quail that had been reported recently plus hopefully discover some other nocturnal birds. It wasn't our day though and 2 singing Thrush Nightingales were the only birds of note, including this close bird (don't worry the video is supposed to be black as it was 11pm)

What a fantastic singer! Otherwise a handful of Reed Warblers singing and an owl glimpsed in the dusk that was most likely a Long Eared Owl. We also thought we heard a displaying Great Snipe but it was too distant and brief to be sure. Home after midnight and time for a quick shut eye before a new day.

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