Thursday, 24 May 2012

Maridalen in the heat

Last night Per Christian and I went for the season’s inaugural “night singer” trip. The main purpose of the trip for me was to hear a Grasshopper Warbler (gresshoppersanger) reported earlier in the day at Årnestangen. Never an easy bird in these parts I thought it would be good to strike while the iron was hot. Well we didn’t hear a peep from it and it was generally very quiet – more will certainly come in the next 2 weeks. We did hear the Corncrake (åkerriske) that I found on Monday although it had moved about 500m but otherwise the only sounds on a still, warm night were a few Snipe (enkeltbekkasin) calling and displaying and a single Whinchat (buskskvett) doing his best not to sound like a Whinchat. A little more accommodating was the Thrush Nightingale (nattergal) at Stilla, Lillestrøm that sand loudly, if distantly just before midnight.

Today temperatures are around 28C and I needed some exercise so chose to cycle around Maridalen. Lots of warblers in song now with Whitethroat (tornsanger), Lesser Whitethroat (møller), Garden Warbler (hagesanger), Blackcap (munk), Icterine Warbler (gulsanger), Willow Warbler (løvsanger), Chiffchaff (gransanger) and Wood Warbler (bøksager) all to be heard. Also both Pied (svarthvit fluesnapper) and Spotted (grå..) Flycatchers and many Tree Pipits.
The Red-backed Shrike (tornskate) pair were still present and unobtrusive so have already started breeding I guess. They are in an easy to observe area so it will be fun to keep tracks on them.
Male Red-backed Shrike in Maridalen

Another easy to observe bird, the breeding Wrynecks (vendehals), were also on show with one bird hanging out of the nest hole both times I cycled past.
A pair of Whooper Swans (sangsvane) feeding on a field at Skjerven farm had me assuming that the breeding pair from Dausjøen had failed this year but when I cycled up there I was met by the fantastic sight of the pair with 6 small but active youngsters!
Whooper Swan family in Maridalen

It is great that such a majestic bird has become a regular part of the bird life of Maridalen. On Maridalsvannet the Canada Goose (kanadagås) pair had 5 day old youngsters in tow . This year has seen the first successful breeding of both Canada and Greylag Goose (grågås) here.

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