Easterly winds were forecast so I was hoping for Red Kite. As it turned out the wind was from the right direction but temperatures of only +3C and the odd snow shower were hardly conducive to raptor migration. That being said today did actually turn out to be good for raptors even if the target species was missing. We had 8 species of raptor with a single immature White-tailed Eagle, at least 5 Buzzards, 1 Goshawk, 3 Sparrowhawks, 2 Kestrels, 1 Merlin, 4 male Marsh Harriers and best of all a male Hen Harrier.
The day started at Kurefjorden where we had 6 distant Slavonian Grebes, a pair of Redshank (my first for the 2012) and a fly over W-t Eagle. As it was cold and sleeting here we decided to head inland to Kalaksjøen and Hellesjøvannet. On the drive we had Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. At Hærsetsjøen the 3 White-fronted Geese were still present but the 50 or so Teal did not contain anything rarer (Baikal Teal for example). Kalaksjøen had a huge female Goshawk and 4 Cranes but little else.
Driving north, Hemnesjøen held 9 Red-throated and 2 Black-throated Divers and best of all a resting male Marsh Harrier.
The days highlight though was Hellesjøvannet. As we drove towards the lake a male Hen Harrier gave a majestic flyby mobbed by Lapwings although it happened too quickly for a decent picture. Then with this bird still in view we saw 2 male Marsh Harriers and a Merlin and later had another male Marsh Harrier. The first 2 males seemed to be selecting nest sites and collecting nesting material although we saw no females and the third male was hunting over nearby fields. As if all this raptor excitement was not enough a single Swallow and House Martin were my first for the year and then as we drove away a mixed finch flock contained 200 Twites.
I failed miserably to take any decent pictures today but here are the best of three of the raptor species:
|Male Hen Harrier|
|Two male Marsh Harriers|