Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Pink-feets heading south

Warm, sunny weather was conducive to some pleasant birding and i chose to check out Maridalen. With the high water levels there was vety little to see on the lake although i did pick out 2 Black-throated Divers and 6 Goosanders. A flock of 120 Greylag Geese were feeding on unharvested wheat and were very skittish - frequently flying out on to the lake and when returning to the field they flew a couple of circuits before alighting. This behaviour is very unlike the local breeders so perhaps these birds are from northern Norway?
A flock of 50 Pink- footed Geese flew going south towards their wintering grounds in Denmark. It is only 4 months since birds were flying north on their way to breed in Svalbard!
With the warm, sunny weather i felt certain there would be a raptor or two to see and made a decision to not leave until I saw one. Almost immediately i picked up a distant bird heading purposely south but then lost it as i tried to watch it in the scope. I found it again after a minute and it was clearly a harrier and the white rump showed it to be a ringtail. It was distant but there was nothing to suggest it was nothing other than a Hen Harrier although there have been a number of Pallid Harriers seen in Norway this autumn. Unfortunately the only other raptor i found was a Sparrowhawk.

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