BIRD GUIDING AROUND OSLO

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

It's flooding


my first Wheatear (steinskvett)of the year

Southerly winds continued today and now there is nothing stopping the birds. There were no huge flocks or visible waves of migrating birds but all through the day when one looked up into the sky (providing there wasn’t fog!) there were small groups of thrushes, finches, Wood Pigeons and other birds to be seen heading north. The movement seemed to increase in the afternoon when it became warmer but it was also easier to see as low cloud and fog was a feature of the morning.

male Ring Ouzel (ringtrost) in Maridalen
When there is such active migration it becomes quite stressful as one isn’t sure where to be and it becomes a trade off between checking as many locations as possible or staying put and seeing what comes to you.
I started off early in Maridalen where there was thick fog but already in the first fields as I left the city there were thrushes. In fact I had all 6 thrushes in Maridalen with a good total of 6 Ring Ouzels (ringtrost). There was also an arrival of White Wagtails (linerle) and Meadow Pipits (heipiplerke) aswell as good numbers of Chaffinches (bokfinker) which were all feeding in the small snow free areas which were often beside the road.

The scene at Kjelle with flood water and many wildfowl including displaying Teal (krikkender)

the large lake, Hemnessjøen is still frozen but standing water on nearby stubble fields proved popular to this flock of Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås) and Whooper Swans (sangsvane)
I wasn’t sure where to go next but chose Aurskøg-Høland where I was yesterday. Birds are clearly arriving as witnessed by the Teal numbers at Kjelle. On Sunday 4 were reported from here, yesterday I saw 43 and today 190! It is looking really promising at this site and if it remains flooded until the end of May then some really good birds could turn up. The Shoveler (skjeand) of yesterday was gone but a new bird was a female hybrid duck. More difficult to identify than male hybrids this bird seemed most likely to be a hybrid between Shoveler and Pintail (stjertand) which seems an unlikely pairing but was the best I could come up with. The pictures I have are awful and don’t really help but my reasoning for Pintail was that basically its bill was grey as in  a pintail, it was a pale duck as in a Pintail, smaller and slimmer than a Mallard as in a Pintail. Reason for Shoveler influence was that the bill had the form of a Shoveler’s bill although not the extreme size. The bird also had white tail sides which suit both Mallard and Shoveler and I also believe I saw the same bird in flight where I noted the speculum was greenish which would suit Shoveler.

the hybrid duck is to the right. The dark bill can be seen with a Shoveler shape

Here the long dark bill can again be seen as well as size slighty smaller than Mallards
There were also more Cranes (trane) in the valley with an absolute minimum of 74.

Raptors showed themselves in the afternoon once it warmed up and I had single Marsh Harrier (sivhauk), Osprey (fiskeørn), Kestrel (tårnfalk), Merlin (dvergfalk), 3 Sparrowhawks (spurvehauk) and at least 5 Buzzards (musvåk).

In addition to the arriving thrushes and finches there were also White Wagtails and Meadow Pipits in many places and best of all I had my first two Wheatears of the year.

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