Sunday, 6 May 2012

Colourful starts and throats

Up at 0600 and off to Maridalen. The trick on Sundays is to be back before the kids wake up meaning I have to be back at 0730 but this gives me just over an hour in the field which leaves me happy that got out but can be very frustrating when there is lots of action.
Before I had even left the house I could hear singing Lesser Whitethroat and Willow Warbler in the garden. Leaving the house was an enormous contrast to yesterday: sun, blue skies, no wind, no snow, no rain...but it was cold and an overnight frost had left a layer of ice on puddles.
This sort of weather results in no obvious falls or movements of birds but at this time of year there will always be new migrants to see. Yesterday a number of Redstarts were seen around Oslo so I hoped to pick up my first of the year.
Few ducks on the lake, just 20 Goldeneye and 3 Teal and the only waders were 2 Wood Sandpipers alongside the now regular Common Sandpipers and Lapwing. On a frozen snipe marsh now 3 Common Snipe and one started displaying and flew over the area for a long time “bleating”. Still two pairs of Black-throated Divers each hanging around different islands so hopefully both will try to breed although water levels will have to remain high if they are to breed successfully.
Meadow Pipits were the most obvious migrant today with around 100 birds and a couple were also singing. Reed Buntings were also numerous and I suspect many were migrants rather than local breeders. Until around 7am there was little to see but then suddenly there was more life. Whether this was due to it warming up or whether birds were dropping in I don’t know. But suddenly there were Wheatears to see, a couple of fine male Whinchats, 2 Yellow Wagtails and best of all a male Bluethroat and a male Redstart – two of the most colourful birds you will come across in Norway (or Europe).

Bluethroat male Maridalen

Bluethroat as I first saw him

Update: a male Redstart singing in the garden!! A garden tick and a fine bird which has so far evaded the camera...

Update 2: I did get a picture :-)
Redstart in the garden!
 There were probably a couple of birds in the area as I heard a bird calling in a neighbours garden just seconds before I saw this bird in ours

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