Wednesday, 16 January 2013

More Grosbeaks in Maridalen

One of Østfold’s finest, Per Buertange, made a visit to Maridalen today for some Grosbeak action so it was only polite (as well as enjoyable) to join him and try to find some. We began in the area where I had them yesterday but after an hour and a half had nothing to show for our efforts other than a Pygmy Owl and Green Woodpecker which isn’t too bad but not the target species. As we made our way back to the cars and were passing Maridalen School what flew over our heads? A flock of Pine Grosbeaks (konglebit) of course! 22 in total and they called softly as they flew low over the forest and seemed to land but we were unable to relocate them despite searching. Per seemed fairly happy with this brief encounter but I know that Maridalen can do better than this. We split up and searched different areas of Maridalen. As I drove down the snow covered road to Sandermosen train station what flew over the road? I think you know the answer! I rang Per and he came with Rune Z who was also now in Maridalen. We enjoyed good views of a flock of 9 Grosbeaks feeding in spruce about 30 metres from the road. These birds moved quickly from tree to tree and after 15 minutes disappeared away into the forest leaving three happy birders in their wake.

By now the sun had come out so I again set out to see if I could find a photogenic Hawk Owl. Today I only located the bird at Frogn School but it was even more distant today. I tried to of the other regular birds without luck although I suspect they are still present and yet again had to be content with a Great Grey Shrike (varsler). I got my fix though :-)
a rather lazy Coal Tit that likes to sit down to eat

5 of the 9 grosbeaks we saw feeding. Three red adult males, one orange young male and a female

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