Thursday, 14 March 2013

Frontier birding - eat your heart out Garner (or perhaps not)

Rune and I felt like some Frontier birding and decided to repeat our trip of last year to Fjellsjøkampen. This area promises so much yet constantly delivers so little!!
The vast relatively undisturbed spruce forests promise much and records of breeding Siberian Jays (lavskrike), Hawk Owl (haukugle), Rough-legged Buzzard (fjellvåk) plus all the grouse species not to mention Three-toed Woodpecker (tretåspett) and crossbills (korsnebber) and possibility for Golden Eagle (kongeørn) makes this a compelling area but I don't think I will visit many more times unless I find something half decent.
We strapped on the skis under lovely blue skies and temperatures of around -7C (although on the valley floor it was below -10C). I must admit my hopes were high as I thought there would be singing birds and drumming woodpeckers. It is good to look on the positive side but you do risk being disappointed. 10km of skiing (or in my case 9km skiing and 1km walking when I wasn't brave enough to ski the narrow, steep downhill section) resulted in 6 species with a single Black Woodpecker the undoubted highlight.

Trying to salvage something from the day we headed south along the Vorma and Glomma river valleys but there is still far too much ice and snow so there are still no geese and very few swans to be seen. No raptors either, or even a Hawk Owl. I did get some much needed exercise though so there was something positive although I will probably pay for it this evening when I have my weekly two hours of tennis....

Late garden update:
a rat under the feeders was an unwanted sighting but as we ate dinner I saw a Wood Pigeon (ringdue) fly down onto the hedge by the feeders closely followed by another pigeon/dove but this second bird was a Stock Dove (skogdue). Incredibly after seeing one in Frognerparken two days ago there was now one in the garden which is of course a garden tick. Incredibly I suspect the two birds to be the same as both have had very poorly marked black wing bars. Here is a picture of the dove after it flew up onto a wire (I will not be showing pictures of the ugly rodent).
Stock Dove (skogdue) - a very unexpected garden tick

doing its best Hawk Owl impression

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