Saturday, 5 May 2012


Snow, Oslo 5 May!!

An early morning trip with Kjetil Johannessen to Svellet wasn’t quite a planned. Rain had been forecast in the early morning which should be good for forcing down migrants but what greeted us as we drove up was snow and lots of it. It kept snowing until gone 8am leaving the higher areas white and making viewing conditions difficult to say the least aswell as it being cold (on Wednesday it was 22C, today it was 2C).
There were slightly few waders to see with about 450 Wood Sandpipers and 150 Greenshank but Ruff had risen to 40. Otherwise a single Spotted Redshank, the Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers from yesterday and a few Curlew and Whimbrel. A flock of 100 Golden Plover repeatedly flew over the area but didn’t pluck up the courage to land.
At Snekkervika there was still 100+ Teal with a few Wigeon and just a handful of waders (it is interesting how Svellet attracts waders and Snekkervika ducks).
On the drive back we had a single Rough-legged Buzzard in hunting mode by the road. We dropped in to Maridalen to see if there had been an arrival of ducks or waders – there hadn’t. But, in a 10 minute spell it felt like we were a Falsterbo. We had a total of 5 Kestrels, a Buzzard and a Rough-legged Buzzard. Not huge numbers I know but for those 10 minutes there were raptors everywhere!. Two of the Kestrels were perched but three of them were headed south as were the two buzzards. I have a theory that due to the crash in rodents (which has caused the near complete absence of singing owls) that raptors are already heading away from the mountains looking for suitable breeding areas in the south of Scandinavia. I certainly have never before seen so many Kestrels in this part of Norway as I have the last week or so.

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