Wednesday, 31 August 2011

A year for owls

There has been little time for birding recently. I completed the famous Birkebeiner mountain bike ride at the weekend - 94km over the mountains from Rena to Lillehammer in central norway and despite going through fantastic habitat the only bird I noticed was a single Nutcracker. I think I was too focused on the road and trying to ignore the complaints I was receiving from my body to notice anything else.
Great news has just been published of at least 38 breeding pairs of Snowy Owls in northern norway this year. One report I read said it was teeming with them in Finnmark and implied you couldn't miss them. Well Per Christian and I certainly managed to miss them despite some dedicated searching. 14 breeding pairs of Great Grey Owls have also been discovered this year in a relatively small area of Hedmark so the "rodent year" has definitely resulted in good conditions for owls even if I haven't been so lucky.
Maybe as the autumn progresses there will be sightings of owls in unusual places as the young will certainly start wandering. Maybe I can turn up both Snowy and Great Grey Owls in Maridalen?

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