Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Greenish Warbler

The Greenish Warbler (østsanger) that was found on Saturday in Asker was on the cards today and Per B picked me up at 9am. Greenish Warbler is a surprisingly rare bird in Norway especially when you consider that it breeds in Finland and Sweden but could very well be overlooked. However in the last week there has been a record “invasion” with this bird, another found singing even closer to Oslo this afternoon, one singing in Vestfold last week, a non singing bird seen close to Oslo plus a bird heard singing by Per in Maridalen but not seen and therefore not claimed. The site of today’s bird is not exactly frequented by birders and is similar to much of Nordmarka so there could be many more out there. I’ll have to find my own one in Maridalen!

On the 10 minute walk up to the site we passed a wet and unhappy KAJ who had stood there in the rain and not heard it but others had heard it earlier in the morning. As we continued up and just a precious few minutes later we heard the bird!

I knew the song from having listened to recordings but for me it is the sort of song you could easily hear but not pay any real attention to. It isn't too my ears particularly warbler like and has a bit of Coal Tit and Treecreeper about it. There was something familiar about the song and I do have a feeling that I have heard it before but perhaps not realised what it was.....

It was singing from the top of spruce trees above a steep area of scree and there was also a good mix of decidous trees. Views however were limited to seeing a small bird fly out of a tree but I did manage to capture the song on video. On the video you can hear Pied Flycatcher (svarthvit fluesnapper), Chiffchaff (gransanger), rain and water in a stream but if you filter all this out then the song of the Greenish Warbler is quite easy to hear (it can be heard 4 times).

It sang well for 30 minutes or so but some rain caused it and all birds to stop singing and it remained silent from 10:15 until we left at noon. Also in the area Wood Warbler (bøksanger), Chiffchaff (gransanger), Willow Warbler (løvsanger), Grey Wagtail (vintererle), Blackcap (munk), Pied Flycatcher (svarthvit fluesnapper) and a large flock of Crossbills (grankorsnebb) that flew over. Crossbills have been exceptionally scarce this year so this is perhaps a sign of a new invasion starting?

At 1245 as we were searching for a reported Black-necked Grebe on Tyrifjorden came the message that it was singing again and showing in the tree tops. I would have loved to see the bird and studied it properly but I now have an excuse for another visit or with the other records more like an incentive to find my own?
Here is a link to a picture that Kjetil Johannassen took later in the day. I am not jealous at all.....

Our search for the rare Grebe didn't turn up trumps but we did see a few common waterbirds including breeding Great Crested Grebes (toppdykker) and Coot (sothøne).

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