Wednesday, 24 October 2012

No owls today

Today saw me in Østfold again and today in the pleasant company of Per Buertange. We tried unsuccessfully for the Hawk Owl (haukugle) and no one else has reported it today so it has probably moved away, or maybe passed away. .....yesterday, it was apparently nearly hit by cars on a couple of occasions as it hunted voles right by the side of the road. Slight compensation was provided by a Great Grey Shrike (varsler).

We moved onto Kurefjorden where little wind and good light gave us good views of the resting wildfowl and grebes although as usual it was ‘scope views only so no pictures. On the way a stop to scan fields gave us a juvenile Peregrine (vandrefalk) taking a Fieldfare (gråtrost) and then devouring it on the ground.
Amongst 50 or so Great Crested Grebes (toppdykker) were 12 Slavonian Grebes (horndykker) and a single Red-necked Grebe (gråstrupedykker). Seas ducks highlights were 90 Common Scoter (svartand), 28 Velvet Scoter (sjøorre) and nine Scaup (Bergand). Amongst 500+ Greylag Geese was a single, probably 2cy, White-fronted Goose (tundragås). Whilst watching this in the ‘scope I saw three orange birds land in the reeds behind it. Focusing on the reeds I realised they were Bearded Tits (skjeggmeis) and five then flew out and landed again a couple of hundred metres away!

At the mouth of the fjord the islands held 3 Rough-legged Buzzards (fjellvåk), all perched and presumably having no problem getting food. A nice surprise was a flock of 100 Snow Buntings (snøspurv) briefly in flight over one of the offshore islands.
The closest Rough-legged Buzzard - only 800 metres away!

I didn’t visit Maridalen today so it was a bit annoying to see that a Short-eared Owl (jordugle) was seen which would have been a patch tick for me.

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