Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Maridalen Double Red

Today was hot – so hot that my fair English skin ended up being sun burnt. I had a decent bike ride into Nordmarka, from Maridalen to Kikut and down into Sørkedalen. Still little life in the forest as it is still early in the season and indeed there was still patches of snow in sheltered areas. Best sightings were an adders which moved across the track so quickly that I couldn't take a pictures and a common lizard which was much more docile and just sat on the track allowing me to take this picture with my phone:
Komodo Dragon
On arrival in Maridalen with very tired legs a gaggle of around 130 Pink-footed Geese heading north east was a welcome sight with 15 Cormorants following close behind. At Bogstadvannet I had a Common Tern (why don’t I see them at Maridalsvannet?) and four male Wheatear on a newly ploughed field.
Arriving home in pieces and sunburnt I had a flock of 120 Pink-feet heading north – surely there was a movement on today. After recovering a bit I headed in the car to Maridalen and found to my surprise and delight a vocal flock of 450 Pink-footed Geese on the water.
450 Pink-footed Geese on Maridalsvannet

Also here 22 Tufted Ducks, 4 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 20 Goldeneye, 4 Black-throated Divers and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers. A few gulls close by aswell and they flew up onto a newly ploughed field by the old church where to my delight I refound the ringed 1st summer Mediterranean Gull.
The day seemed perfect for raptors but I had to be content with a single Common Buzzard which was the same very dark bird I saw yesterday at Dausjø and so is probably a local bird, and a Rough-legged Buzzrd heading north.
On the fields at Nes were two male Whinchat which were my first of the year and two more Wheatears. Swallows and House Martins were also seen regularly today.

Going back in the evening to Maridalen because the youngest wanted to see animals (a promising development) the geese were still present and closer to the road. I spent a bit more time looking through them than before and this time picked 3 Tundra (rossicus) Bean Geese easily identifiable by their think based orange bills with a narrow orange band. These birds are much more similar to Pink-footed in jizz/structure than their Taiga (fabalis) cousins and don’t stand out as obviously. These pictures show them well enough though:
The Bean Geese are at the back

3 Tundra Bean Geese at the back with Pink-footed Geese

Also 7 Greylag Geese which were new in and 20 Teal this time. Around 200 of the geese flew off noisly to the north at 1915 leaving the others sitting in a tight group in the middle of the lake.

The double red? Well, both Med Gull and Tundra Bean Goose appear in Red text in the artsobs reporting system.
Also good for Butterflies today with Orange Tip in the garden and on the bike ride Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Brimstone and (large?) White.


  1. Great pages you have Simon!
    I am excited to see your bird knowledge! Having seen a couple of Siberian Jays today, I am although very impressed by your RED-FOOTED Falcon photo - nearly missed with a flat battery.

    Br Ketil K

    1. Thanks Ketil. I have changed my camera settings after our chat at Fornebu and it has definitely helped!