Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Oslo bird guiding

 Today I had the pleasant company of Hildy Morgan from Colorado who I was guiding around Oslo. We spent the day in Maridalen and at Østwnsjøvannet and despite a bit of rain at the end of the day were blessed with nice weather although the wind at times made hearing birds a touch difficult.

Maridalen showed off its best side with all the specialities I could hope to see being present. The Thrush Nightingale (nattergal) sang although only briefly, Marsh Warblers (myrsanger) sang their hearts out, a Common Rosefinch (rosenfink) said "pleased to see you", two male Red-backed Shrikes (tornskate) sat side by side in a roadside bush but frustratingly flew off before pictures could be taken and Hildy found a Wryneck at a new site. Best of all we had excellent views of Dipper. Hildy had told me she really wanted to see this species but when I checked last week I found none at any of my usual sites and therefore enlisted the help of the local bird club mailing list to find alternate sites. I had a great response and had a plan A, plan B and plan C but didn't need any of them as a bird showed at Hammeren. He was clearly feeding young in a nest just upstream from the bridge and flew back and forth with a bill full of food.

Dipper (fossekal) in Maridalen

Østensjøvannet had the usual waterbirds and the Black-headed Gull (hettemåke) colony seems to be large this year. 14 Common Terns (Makrellterne) didn’t seem to be nesting but it would be great if they did make an attempt. Also two Marsh Warblers singing here. Three pairs of Mute Swans (knoppsvane) were nesting at the southern end and seemingly getting on amicably without any squabbles whilst we were there. One male though constantly swam around with his wings arched in a display of dominance.

male Mute Swan (knoppsvane) leaving you in no doubt that he is the boss

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