Monday, 29 April 2013

Waders descend on Maridalen

Last night it nearly blew a gale from the south and there was heavy rain the whole night. The wind was less strong this morning but the rain continued. Rain in the early morning can often cause a fall of migrants but given that the rain had started yesterday evening I assumed that no birds would try to migrate and therefore there would be no fall. I was wrong!

Maridalen this morning had loads of birds. Even though the lake is still frozen except for at the outlets of the three streams there were good numbers of waders and ducks. The counts of waders are, for me at least, record counts at the site. Greenshanks (gluttsnipe) numbered at least 16 although there could have been more as there was movement between two sites and Redshanks (rødstilk) nine. There were also two Curlew (storspove), at least 10 Green Sandpipers (gluttsnipe), 2 Common Sandpipers (strandsnipe) and a few Lapwings (vipe). The area around Kirkeby was the best with many of the waders resting on the ice here and also some feeding on the nearby fields. These fields in addition held a couple of hundred Meadow Pipits (heipiplerke), a Wheatear (steinskvett) and three Ring Ouzels (ringtrost). That the waders had been forced down by the rain was made clear by the fact that after the rain stopped in mid morning that they moved on looking for more suitable places to feed.

Redshanks (rødstilk) and Greenshank (gluttsnipe) standing on the ice and braving the rain in Maridalen this morning
Green Sandpiper (skogsnipe)

Ducks were represented by over 50 Teal (krikkand) but nothing rarer (it is probably asking too much for me to find yet another cousin from across the lake). There were also in total six Whooper Swans (sangsvane) on the lake today.

The Wryneck (vendehals) showed again and sang briefly but looked very miserable in the rain. It was also very cold today and some cars driving down from inner Maridalen were covered in snow!
Wryneck (vendehals)

Given the fall of waders in Maridalen I paid a visit to Svellet. There was still a lot of mud but unbelievably fewer waders than in Maridalen. Ten Curlews and six Greenshanks was all there was on offer but a House Martin (taksvale) was a nice year tick.

An evening trip with the girls to Maridalen revealed three Black-throated Divers and an Osprey, the Teal still present but no sign of any Whooper Swans.

The weather forecast for the rest of the week doesn’t suggest any large falls of migrants but there will certainly be a trickle of new migrants. I look forward to seeing my first Redstarts (rødstjert) and Pied Flycatchers (svarthvitfluesnapper) of the year.

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