I am not much of a twitcher but if a bird hangs around then I eventually make an effort to see it. Øra (a large rubbish dump that was made in the middle of a bird rich estuary by Fredrikstad) is only an hour and a half from Oslo and has since Sunday held male Blue-winged Teal (blåvingeand) and male Kentish Plover (hvitbrystlo) which would both be Norwegian ticks for me. Rune and I decided to make this the destination for our trip today. On the way down just after sighting a male Marsh Harrier (sivhauk) by the road we received a message that the plover had been seen but not the teal which in addition had been seen flying south last night. Oh well, I don’t like things too easy.
We got to Øra at 1015 and the haze and distance already made viewing conditions difficult but after 5 minutes we discovered a small group of Ringed Plover (sandlo) and Dunlin (myrsnipe) and there amongst them was the male Kentish Plover. Not exactly frame filling views but good enough. Little else to see here and no dabbling duck at all except for a female Mallard (stokkand) with ducklings. We went for a walk around the area and clocked up 2 hunting Ospreys (fiskeørn), single Marsh Harrier, calling Bearded Tit (skjeggmeis), singing Marsh Warbler (myrsanger), Reed Warbler (rørsanger), Whitethroat (tornsanger) and Lesser Whitethroat (møller). Rune was getting itchy feet but I persuaded him to hang in there. The small waders had disappeared when we got back from our wander and were not to be seen by us again. At 1140 however a summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit (svarthalespove) flew in and then at around 1200 some ducks started to appear. First around 10 male Mallard, then a single Teal (krikkand) then two more Teal and then a group of nine Teal. Just then a couple of birders turned up and asked if we had seen the Blue-winged Teal. “No” (or “nei”) I replied and before I took a breath I changed that to “JA” (no translation needed) as suddenly there he was!! Where the ducks appeared from I can’t be sure but they had probably been on the back side of a small island of reeds. Our patience was definitely rewarded.
No pictures of any note although this one might go into the category bad documentation photo:
|Male Blue-winged Teal|
Checking Sorgenfrigropa we had great views of a singing Marsh Warbler out in the open in the middle of the day. Unfortunately not close enough for a good picture but here you can see some diagnostic features although at this time of the year song is the best.
|Singing Marsh Warbler. Note long primary projection, pale tips to the primaries and an olive tone to the plumage|
When the birds sing so vigorously in the middle of the day I assume they are newly arrived. A Reed Warbler sang close to the Marsh Warbler allowing their songs to be compared. With all the mimicry in the Marsh Warblers’s song they are actually very different. Also here a single summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe (horndykker) and seven Great Crested Grebes (toppdykker).
Driving back we had a female Marsh Harrier and two Ospreys at Skinnerflo (where we had seen a male Marsh Harrier on the way down).Ovenbukt in Kurefjorden had no waders of note but this adult male Peregrine Falcon (vandrefalk) gave good views.
Nearby we had 2 Buzzards (musvåk) including one that dived from great height into a forest, presumably part of a display, and a Hobby (lerkefalk).