Thursday, 4 April 2013

Spring starts in Maridalen..kind of

Yellowhammer (gulspurv) is a common bird in Maridalen year round

Just a little time available for birding today and I chose to see if there was any signs of migration in Maridalen – my first viz mig trip there this year.

On the little area of open water at Hammeren 2 pairs of Goldeneye (kvinand) and a pair of Greylag Geese (grågås) were a welcome sign and a pair of Nuthatches (spettmeis) were inspecting a nest hole (the same one they used last year).

At Nes I stood and watched for two hours and was joined by Jarl and Asbjørn. There was some evidence of migration but it was slender pickings. 16 Wood Pigeons (ringdue) and 5 Jackdaws (kaie) heading north were definitely on migration but 2 Wood Pigeons flying south I’m not so sure about. A couple of Chaffinches (bokfink) were in the area and a Skylark (spurvehauk) flew over – both species new for my Oslo list this year. Three species of raptor is a good sign of things to come: Sparrowhawk (spurvehauk) and Goshawk (hønsehauk) are most likely breeding birds but an Osprey (fiskeørn) was an early migrant and will find no food here just yet. I was the only one to see this bird as it flew quickly down looking like it was going to land but then disappeared behind some trees and wasn’t relocated.

An interesting sighting was a pair of Waxwings (sidensvans). I have often wondered what they feed on in the spring when berries have been eaten and before insects are available. Well I now have an answer to that question: lichen. Incredibly these birds were eating lichen off the trunk of a tree. BWP mentions this as a food source and also mentions them taking bark but this may be roughage rather than food.
close up of a Waxwing (sidensvans) showing it taking the lichen

this is how usually expect to see a Waxwing...

..not like this picking at a tree trunk

both birds enjoying some particularly tasty pickings


  1. Flotte bilder!
    Våren og tjelden er inntatt Bergen!City!
    Fanget parringsleken med kamera i dag!

  2. You are spot on with vis mig I hsve seen all sorts today starling lapwing . Glad to hear the peregrines are still in Brighton I lived and worked in Sussex 18yrs cuckmere haven was my local patch. Your photos of eagle owl really capture behaviour. I so enjoy using your posts keep it up mvh mitch