Thursday, 10 May 2012

Still more good birds

Out with Rune again for a  short and relaxed trip. Starting in Maridalen we saw both the Wrynecks leaving the nest hole one after the other. I really hope that we have successful breeding and can follow the progress of these fascinating birds. On the lake eight Tufted Ducks and a group of four Red-throated Divers were clearly new in (and on an evening drive-by there were also a pair of Great Crested Grebes that were swimming towards some reeds – will they also breed?).
At Svellet still about 100 metres of mud at the northern end and new arrivals today. Highlight was a fine summer plumaged Little Stint which is a scarce spring bird in these parts where Temminck’s is more normal.
Summer plumaged Little Stint

Also a single red Bar-tailed Godwit, up to seven Dunlin and 21 Ringed Plovers and around 500 Wood Sandpipers. Greenshank numbers less than 100 now but Ruff had increased to 25 with only 10 males – last week there were more males present but it looks like they have moved onto the breeding sites and the females are now following.
summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit

Wood Sandpiper, Dunlin & Little Stint

Wood Sandpipers in flight

Swifts are now obviously back with 13 overhead alongside 10 Sand Martins. A 1st summer gull attracted my intention here as it appeared slightly larger and larger headed than the adult Common Gulls it was with. Just a Common Gull but worthy of a second look althought we didn't get to see it as well as I would have liked before it flew off.
1st summer Common Gull that required a second look

At Tuentangen we witnessed a great areal encounter between a Short-eared Owl and a Marsh Harrier. The owl glided in quite high and then dropped down into hunting mood over rough grassland. As we followed it taking pictures a female Marsh Harrier suddenly appeared and the two tussled briefly. I failed to capture that in focus but did get a picture of the two together. They proceeded to fly together for a few minutes and gained height before going there separate ways.
Short-eared Owl and Marsh Harrier

Also here a 1st summer female Ring Ouzel which only had the faintest white crescent on the breast.

At Snekkervika there was little of note although we did see all three Sandpipers. In total we had 15 species of wader today so things are starting to warm up!

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