Thursday, 14 June 2012

Long-tailed Ducks

Last night I couldn’t stop myself from another nocturnal visit to Maridalen even though sleep would have been the best option. I will have to wait a bit before finding Blyth’s Reed (busksanger) on the patch and had to make do with the Grasshopper Warbler (gresshoppersanger) and Marsh Warbler (myrsanger) which has now moved to Skjerven Gård and was singing right by the farm buildings. I also heard begging baby Tawny Owls so they have survived and are just well hidden in the wood.
Today I got on my bike as my body has been feeling a bit neglected recently. Very little to hear in the woods with only 2 Tree Pipits (trepiplerke), 2 Wrens (gjerdesmett) and 2 Wood Warblers (bøksanger) of any note. Last year the forests were heaving with Tree Pipits and Spotted Flycatchers (gråfluesnapper) so I fear that there may have been a population crash. A male Black Grouse (orrfugl) flying over the track in front of me was as always a nice sight.
The water levels are falling at Maridalsvannet and a feeding Wood Sandpiper (grønnstilk) may have been an early returning bird or possibly a local breeder (there are a few scattered pairs in the forests around Oslo).
With some fresh southerly winds yesterday and a bit of rain I thought I would check the fjord from Fornebu hoping for a Little Gull (dvergmåke). Nothing that exciting but a fine pair of Long-tailed Ducks (havelle) feeding close to the shore was good compensation. Initially sitting a couple of hundred metres offshore a boat caused them to fly and they joined a group of mother and young Eiders right in front of me. The male lacks a long tail and is I assume a 1st summer.
pair of Long-tailed Ducks

They were actively feeding and often came up with something in their bill

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