Friday, 25 May 2012

White-billed Diver

At the end of May there is small passage of Brent Geese (ringgås) from Denmark up the Oslo fjord. I have never witnessed this movement before and after reports of the first flocks following the normal route up the west coast of Norway yesterday I thought today would be a good  chance to try to see if any birds were migrating past Brentetangen.
I gave it 4 hours from 0525 to 0925 without any Brent Geese but I did have some compensation in the form of a summer plumaged White-billed Diver (gulnebblom) flying north at 0625. It was on my side of the fjord but too far away for picture. This is actually the first time I have seen one of the large divers in summer plumage and what a smart bird it was especially with that enormous white bill! A single dark phase Arctic Skua (tyvjo) flew close by and chased a Common Terne (makrellterne), 54 Red-throated Divers (smålom) flew north, 5 Little Gulls (dvergmåke) lingered in the middle of the fjord, 10 Arctic Terns (rødnebbterne) flew north in a flock, a single male Scaup flew north and a flock of 80 Common Scoter (svartand) sat offshore (I scrutinised them for something rarer with no joy). A flock of 15 Parrot Crossbills (furukorsnebb) migrated north and landed briefly in the pine trees where I was singing with one even singing – it appears that a small movement of crossbills is just starting.
Arctic Skua chasing Common Tern

Continuing around Kurefjorden it was clear that spring wader passage is nearly over with just 9 Greenshank (gluttsnipe). Passerines were decent though with two male Red-backed Shrikes (tornskate) and single singing Marsh Warbler (myrsanger) and Thrush Nightingale (nattergal). Four local Buzzards were also in the air.
Common Buzzard

A whistle stop trip around Maridalen revealed the male Red-backed Shrike and a single Wryneck (vendehals) and alarm calling thrushes enticed me into the small wood with the Tawny Owl (kattugle) nestbox. When I entered the wood a bird started calling and it was sat right out in the open until I lifted the camera when it moved higher up. I assume the young are ready to leave the nest soon and the adults are nervous (the young have also recently been ringed which may have caused them some anxiety).
concerned Tawny Owl

Wryneck in a new pose

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