Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Back in Oslo

We are back in Oslo after being in Bodø. Thankfully we were away when the act of pure evil devastated this city and the entire peace loving country of Norway. Today I walked around town and was very moved to see the physical damage that has been caused and touched by all the flowers that have been laid around the city and the crowds of people paying their respect. One of the most noticeable things was how quiet it was despite there being many people around -there was no music coming from shops or bars and people were talking in low voices.

Our trip to Bodø was birding-lite but I did have my first Twite of the year. Otherwise I went for a few fishing trips which allowed me to get close to some of the birds out on the fjord (aswell as catch a few cod). There were a few adult Puffins and Razorbills fishing quite a way up the fjord and a long way from their breeding colonies which suggests a poor breeding season and little food at sea. A close look at some terns (only adults and no sign of breeding on an island which held young last year) revealed a couple of Common Terns amongst the more usual Arctic. White-tailed Eagles were not as obvious as they usually are but Grey Herons were seen in good numbers in contrast to the Oslo area where they are currently quite scarce following the consecutive cold winters. A Peregrine was a nice sight (I am still to see Gyr around Bodø although they are said to breed close by). Redpolls seemed to be everywhere and from our cabin adult Red-throated Divers were nearly always to be seen fishing before flying off to their young on fresh water ponds somewhere closeby.

On opening the waiting post I was very pleasantly surprised to see my photo of the Spotted Crake at Østensjøvannet has been published in the local newspaper and I have to admit the picture looked pretty good. Here you can see a photo of the article:

Around Oslo there has been a strong passage of waders at Årnestangen with hundreds of Dunlin and Knot seen along with good numbers of other species such as Curlew Sandpiper and Wood Sandpiper along with smaller numbers of many other species and a single Broad-billed Sandpiper. All have been adults so surely made for quite a colourful sight. I might not be able to get up there until next week but hopefully numbers and variety will keep on increasing.

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