Tuesday, 24 April 2012


With reports of a Green-winged Teal and a possible Black-necked Grebe on Sunday, Rune and I decided to visit Mjøsa in Oppland, an hour and a half drive from Oslo.
On the drive up we had three different Kestrels which is a good sign of spring passage. Our first stop was Totenvika where the teal had been seen alongside just a handful of common Teal. Teal numbers had risen to 41 and there was no sign of their American cousin perhaps indicating that there has been a movement of birds. We did have 3 Little Ringed Plovers, single Swallow and House Martin, Osprey, Buzzard, male Common Scoter, Wheatear and both Black and Red-throated Divers here.
At Kapp Brygge, sight of the possible rare grebe, we had to be content with three summer plumaged Slavonian Grebes, a single LRP, both Divers, a few Teal and Wigeon and 4 distant Guillemots. Guillemots arrive here (Norway’s largest lake) after autumn gales and have survived a number of years. There are even suitable cliffs although as far as I know there has been no evidence of attempted breeding. We also had a smart hybrid male Mallard x Pintail.
Leaving Kapp we spotted a roadside Ring Ouzel which showed additional white feathering suggesting some sort of leucism.
Ring Ouzel

Further along the road we had a close Rough-legged Buzzard and another Kestrel. The buzzard was a pale adult male judging by the hooded head, limited black on the belly and tail barring and was similar to a Common Buzzard with a quick glance.
Adult male Rough-legged Buzzard
Einavannet which was still mostly frozen offered us a couple of male Gadwall, a Greenshank, two fly over Golden Plovers, a couple of Cranes and a large flock of Twite sitting on telegraph wires and making a lot of noise (a great sound). In the field I estimated there to be 200 but counting the birds in the photo revealed 300!
Twite but how many?
We drove back via Hurdalsjøen but had little along the way other than a couple more Kestrels, a few divers and a Crane.
We rounded that day off at Nordbytjerent, a small lake I have never previously visited but which despite being surrounded by a path held Great Crested Grebes, Tufted Ducks, Coot and Barnacle Geese.
A total of 74 species is a good sign that spring is here..
Female Siskin

Two male Siskins. The closest bird lacking a glossy black cap so probably a young bird (2k)

In the garden in the evening 5 male and 2 female Siskins added a splash of colour but the biggest surprise of the day came when I connected the nest box camera to the TV to show how well it worked and we saw this:
Great Tit on camera

I have not even seen Great Tits in the vicinity of the nest box so for them to have made the nest and for the female to be apparently sitting on eggs came as a huge surprise. I have created a new page where I will record the comings and goings in the nest box.

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