Sunday, 21 April 2013

Rumbling stomach

I dragged myself out of bed early this morning for a pre breakfast session in Maridalen.

Unfortunately there was no sign of active migration when I was there with an overnight frost and low cloud (although thankfully not fog) probably the reason for this. As ever though at this time of year there were birds to see and one of the first birds I saw as I drove in was a genuine Oslo rarity in the form of a Rook (kornkråke) which is reported less than annually. It was sat right by the road but as I raised the camera flew off to nearby wires. It was a 2cy bird so lacked the pale bill of an adult but there was never any thought that it could be a Carrion Crow (svartkråke) as it was with 2 Crows (kråke) and was clearly slighter than them, had the high forehead of a Rook and the bill was starting to become pale so looked different to a Crows.
Oslo rarity: Rook (kornkråke)

The edges of the lake are starting to melt although the frost had put a thin layer of ice on them. Never-the-less the first Teal (krikkand) for the spring were there and the Whooper Swan pair were feeding along a stream right by the road. A Kestrel is still hanging around as were 4 Ring Ouzels and a few Mistle Thrushes.
The dawn chorus is getting more varied with Dunnocks (jernspurv), Robins (rødstrupe), Redwings (rødvingtrost), Blackbirds (svarttrost), and Chaffinches (bokfink) in good voice but still no warblers and surprisingly I have yet to hear a singing Wren (gjerdesmett) which is a bad time and suggests that once again they have suffered during the winter.

Magpie (skjære)

Roe Deer (rådyr)

It's not just Hawk Owls that like telegraph poles. Here a male Great Spotted Woodpecker (flaggspett)

The Maridalen Whooper Swan (sangsvane) pair
Back at home with a rumbling stomach, the first Hawfinch (kjernebiter) of the year flew over (they breed close by) and a Dunnock was also in the garden.

A pair of Greenfinches (grønnfink) are in the garden and here the female posed for a picture
The satellite tagged Bean Geese are on the move and two have now turned up in Sweden and one further north in Norway. The two in Sweden look to be in suitable breeding habitat although it is still early in the season and they might just be resting. If this is the breeding grounds it would appear to be much further south than the mapped breeding range.  Here is a link to a new website showing the migration and with a bit of narrative.

In the afternoon we had a family day at Fornebu which coincided with the largest Pink-footed Goose (kortnebbgås) migration so far this year (the cloud had by now burnt off and it was a warm sunny day with a strong southerly breeze). Without really looking I had ca.700 birds in 3 hours plus Little Ringed Plover (dverglo) and Osprey (fiskeørn).
230 Pink-footed Geese in the background and 15 Greylags in the foreground heading north over Fornebu

Little Ringed Plover (dverglo)

Post postscript:
We went looking for beavers in Maridalen this evening. One was seen but only by mum and dad and not the girls who the trip was for ;-( It was a fantastic evening though with little wind and great light and we were treated to displaying Goldeneyes as we waited for the beaver
Dad did get some additional birding in though with the Rook still present, the first Swallow (låvesvale) of the year in Maridalen and best of all a pair of Kestrels (tårnfalk). There was interaction between them although it was more the female chasing the male off and they were hanging around some farm buildings which may be a possible breeding site - if they do breed then this will be the first occasion in Maridalen that I am aware of.
bad picture but the first Swallow does a spring make, or something like that

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