BIRD GUIDING AROUND OSLO

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Crakes

Last night I made a trip up to Maridalen at midnight and managed to hear River Warbler, Marsh Warbler and Corncrake at the same spot. Also a Black Throated Diver calling from the lake added to the atmosphere. The Corncrake has only been present a couple of days and an article I have just read suggests there is a lot of movement among Norwegian birds with this bird very likely having come from western norway where its chosen field has probably recently been harvested. The article also painted a gloomy picture with nearly no proven breeding records over the last few years.

Today I paid a visit to Årnestangen in Nordre Øyeren. Water levels are still very high, so high in fact that there was flooding in the fields. A few waders were present with 3 Ruff, 2 Wood Sandpipers, 4 Curlew and 4 Oystercather alongside more numerous Lapwings. Ducks were in very short supply with a handful of Wigeon and Tufted Duck. Passerines were also not too numerous with a Reed Warbler singing from an area of bushes perhaps because the nearby area of reeds which normally holds a pair was flooded, only a single Yellow Wagtail and 3 Marsh Tits heard. A group of 3 Ospreys that flew around included one bird that was persistently calling and I took the group to be a pair of adults and a newly fledged youngster which has to be very early.
Highlight was a Spotted Crake which I heard calling from a flooded area with sedge grass. I painstakingly walked closer to it and at one stage was convinced it was calling only metres from me before I realised it was actually about 15m away on the other side of a ditch. Spotted Crakes and Corncrakes are both able to project their calls in a way that makes it very difficult to pinpoint where they are and the volume varies depending on which way they are looking.

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