Wednesday, 27 June 2012
We walked today in the hills above Beitostølen passing through the tree line. Bluethroats (blåstrupe) and Redshank (rødstilk) were noticeable through their absence when we would normally expect to see many here. Is this due to the late spring or other factors? Ring Ouzels (ringtrost) though were obvious with at least 5 birds, Willow Warblers (løvsanger) were everywhere, a pair of Lesser Whitethroats (møller) were collecting food for their nestlings, a Cuckoo (gjøk) sang and then flew past us, Bramblings (bjørkefink) were singing in the birch woodland, a Kestrel (tårnfalk) was hovering above the treeline and a couple of male Tufted Duck (toppand) were on a small lake. Butterflies were also very noticeable through their absence with just a single Small Tortoiseshell (neslesommerfugl) and a few Mountain Ringlets. The days undoubted highlight was also completely unexpected or at least so in the middle of the day. As we walked down through the tree line and followed a path alongside a downhill ski track where there was areas of both dry Nand wet grass I heard a sound that could only be a Great Snipe (dobbeltbekkasin) - but in the middle of the afternoon 15:50) on a sunny day and under a skilift? Then Fieldfares (gråtrost) began scolding and I began to doubt myself. But there it was again. As we walked towards where we thought the noise came from (it is difficult to pinpoint) a Great Snipe exploded from an area of dwarf birch trees showing off its white tail feathers. Then shortly after another bird started "singing" close by. We couldn't locate this bird but I will be back this evening! I have long suspected that there are Great Snipe around Beitostølen but had never expected to find my first one displaying mid afternoon literally under a skilift!