Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Some auks at least.....

Well the winds blew and myself and Rune were postioned at Brentetangen at 7am on the dot. There were at least some birds this time with auks being the predominant species with around 50 individuals observed. All the close ones we saw, which were heading south, were Guillemots (lomvi) whilst the ones heading north at speed due to the tail wind were not possible to identify. We had two skuas, the first a dark juv Arctic (tyvjo) heading south and the second a pale juv chasing a gull at distance but it disappeared (probably sat on the water) before identification could be made. We held out for over two and a half hours which was an admirable effort for turbo-charged Rune!
A few calidris waders moving south mostly too far out to identify but we did ID 3 Knot (polarsnipe) and finally my first Sanderling (sandløper) of the year.
We tried unsuccessfully to locate a Med Gull (svartehavsmakes) that has been frequenting a field in Moss and then headed for Lysakersmoa. This site proved again to be a little gem. There were still many Greylag Geese (grågås) – ca.1000 and this time we located the White-fronted Goose (tundragås) that was first seen a few weeks ago. Fewer waders this time with a Bar-tailed Godwit (lappspove) and 3 Ruff (brushane) the highlights. Ducks were not very numerous but the Mallard (stokkand) and Teal (krikkand) did have a few Wigeon (brunnakke) and best of all 3 Pintail (stjertand) and 2 Shoveler (skjeand) amongst them.
Perhaps the highlight here was 84 Cranes (trane), many of which arrived whilst we were there. Interestingly there was only one juvenile amongst them. 
Part of the large gathering of Cranes at Lysakermoa. The lone juvenile is just to the right of centre
 Raptors were represented by single Marsh Harrier (sivhauk) and Buzzard (musvåk) and 2 Sparrowhawks (spurvehauk). Lysakermoa really deserves more attention as it chronically underwatched but looks like it could really deliver the goods.
Continuing north we stopped at Hærsetersjøen. Most interesting here was a pair of Whooper Swans (sangsvane) and two juvenile Cranes which gave the impression of being a family group. There were no adult Cranes in the vicinity and the youngsters were keeping close to the swans. Maybe they had been “adopted”? It is my understanding the juvenile Cranes stick with their parents for the autumn migration which definitely wasn’t the case here. Maybe they had lost their parents at some stage and just started tagging along with the Whooper Swans?
Adoptive parents? A pair of adult Whooper Swans with 2 juvenile Cranes

Back in Akershus, Hellesjøvannet held 48 Pochard (taffeland) which is a huge count for these parts aswell as a single juvenile Marsh Harrier. The valley north of Bjørkelangen held a Hobby (lerkefalk), Kestrel (tårnfalk),  4 Ruff and 13 fly over Cranes of which the closest group of six contained 2 youngsters (compare with 1 out of 84 at Lysakermoa and 2 out of  2 at Hærsetersjøen).
6 Cranes flying over Haneborg with juvenile birds 1st and 4th from the left

Not a bad day in the end and it was also nice and warm (we are experiencing a late summer).

an obliging White Wagtail (1st winter)

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