Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Knock knock

I have become used to receiving messages from Per Buertange telling me what birds he is seeing in Oslo whilst I am eating breakfast and getting the kids ready for school. Today though he had to resort to banging on the front door at 8.15am. He had forgotten his mobile, had found a really rare bird and was very out of breath!! He showed me on his camera and there was a Purple Heron (purpurhegre). The pictures were at very long range in fight but allowed the ID to be confirmed. Congratulations Per!

We looked for it at Fornebu, in which direction it had flown, but could see no sign of it in the reedbeds at either Storøykilen or Koksa. Hopefully it will be found again but is most likely long gone. We did have singing Lesser Whitethroat (møller) and Redstart (rødstjert) plus the usual Fornebu species whilst we looked for it.

early Lesser Whitethroat (møller) trying to find some insects amongst the catkins

When Per had seen the heron he had been seawatching from Huk, Bygdøy and had seen a number of Kittikwakes and scoter. We therefore had a look over the sea from Rolfstangen but by this time the winds had died down and there was no sign of these birds. A pair of Slavonian Grebes (horndykker) in breeding plumage was a nice compensation and a Rough-legged Buzzard (fjellvåk) headed purposefully north overhead.

We had thought that the weather could be good for raptors today so with the buzzard still in our sites headed for Maridalen in which direction it was headed. It was not a big raptor day in Maridalen but over nearly 4 hours there were 7 different raptors of 5 different species: 2 Goshawks (hønsehauk), 2 Sparrowhawks (spurvehauk), a Merlin (dvergfalk), a Rough-legged Buzzard which was hunting and best of all and unfortunately after Per had left, a female Hen Harrier (myrhauk) which was circling at some height and heading north. With all the recent reports of Pallid Harriers (steppehauk) recently I studied the bird as best as I could in the scope. Although it was distant and I was unable to count the primary fingers it was a large broad winged bird and there was nothing to suggest it wasn’t “just” a Hen Harrier.

Ring Ouzels are still hanging around with a minimum of seven and there were also 26 Teal still and an increase to five Black-throated Divers. House Martins have now returned on cue with a flock feeding at Nes which grew from 4 to 12 birds over the course of a couple of hours.

Teal (krikkand) and Black-throated Diver (storlom) on Maridalsvannet
The Wryneck is also still present but took a long time to first hear and eventually see.
nothing wrong with another picture of the Wryneck (vendehals) when it is such a smart bird.
This pair of Nuthatches (spettmeis) were displaying and the male was almost dancing for the female - swaying its body and dropping its wings. We didn't see if he got his reward.

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