Thursday, 9 May 2013

Taking a sabbatical from all the excitement

 In the middle of prime migration time and with rain guaranteed to cause falls of birds I decided it was time for a well earned sabatical from birding so have gone with the family to Strandebarm on Hardangerfjord. The nine hour drive took us through some great Norwegian scenery including over the mighty Hardangervidda. Here there were already some small patches of snow free ground although the only birds noted during 40minutes were one Crow (kråke) and one Raven (ravn). In the valleys below though there were a number of birds resting and waiting to be able to go up into the mountains to breed. On Strandefjorden before Geilo a flock of 170 Tufted Duck (toppand) is the largest flock I can remember having seen in Norway and I felt sure that I would find something rarer amongst them but proved unable to. We also saw some roadside Cranes (trane) looking majestic as usual.

Driving through the valleys it felt like spring had come further than in Oslo with leaves appearing on the trees and swallows flying over barns.

In Strandebarm there is not too much birdlife but a calling woodpecker had me out of bed at 0630 as I felt certain that I could now hear a Grey-headed (gråspett) but it was just a Green....
My only real target here is to find a White-backed Woodpecker (hvitryggspett) which should be in the area and remains the most glaring gap on my norwegian list.

I am so glad I have taken this trip because I would have hated to be the one who found the male Citrine Wagtail (sitronerle) at Svellet today - far better to allow Kjetil J that honour - and I most definitely wouldn't have wanted to be the one to find Dotterels in the fields I checked only two days ago near Kurefjorden. No,  I can safely say I am not jealous one bit........

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