Sunday, 26 May 2013

The sweet sound of Maridalen

Yesterday we visited Tusenfryd, the local amusement park. It has a number of quite extreme roller coasters but due to the children I had to content myself with less dangerous rides although to be honest they were extreme enough for me, although the 4 year old found them all exciting but very tame. This was all far too much adrenalin and excitement for me so I chose sleep instead of a night singer tour and planned for a pre-breakfast trip around Maridalen. Before I went to bed I had to read reports of Bittern (rørdrum) and River Warbler (elvesanger) in Akershus but when you don’t find them yourself who cares.....?

I awoke just after 4am to see that Per had sent me a message at 1am to say there was a singing Thrush Nightingale (nattergal) in Maridalen. An Oslo and, of course, Maridalen tick was waiting for me. I donned clothes and was out of the house in 5 minutes

The nightingale was pretty much the first bird I heard when I stopped at my first usual place and you would need to be deaf not to have heard the racket the bird was making even though it was a good 100 metres away. I came very close but it was singing two thirds up a birch tree and I only glimpsed it once as it just wouldn't sit in the open. No problem in making a recording of its song though.
At the same site two singing Marsh Warblers (myrsanger), two Icterine Warblers (gulsanger) and Garden (hagesanger) and Willow Warblers (løvsanger). Pure warbler heaven! The Marsh Warblers were singing only 25 metres from each other and a third bird in the area which was being chased was I assume a female. I managed slightly better views of these birds and also recorded the song.
singing Marsh Warbler (myrsanger) in the early morning sun. Shame it sat on the wrong side of the stem

Continuing into Maridalen I finally found the bird that officially makes it a Maridalen summer. A male Red-backed Shrike (tornskate) and after a while I noted also a secretive female. They were a definite pair and I believe are already in breeding modus. It will be a pleasure to follow their progress over the coming weeks.
undoubtedly one of my favourite birds is finally back in Maridalen- Red-backed Shrike (tornskate)

Maridalen wasn’t finished with these great birds though. The Wryneck (vendehals) sang and showed well, three brown Rosefinches (rosenfink) turned out to be two 2c.y males and a female with an obvious pair and an additional male. I finally saw (as opposed to just hearing) Long-tailed Tit (stjertmeis) this year, had more Iccy Warblers, a singing Wood Warbler (bokfink) and a bried but good view of a Honey Buzzard. The bird flew low over me as I was walking with trees on either side. I managed some pictures and then ran 300metres to try to relocate it without any trees obstructing my view but it was gone. On top of all this there were still some late migrants with four Pink-footed Geese (kortbebbgås) and three Cormorants (storskarv) heading north two months after the first of their kin began the northward migration.
female Honey Buzzard (vepsevåk). Sexed due to the borwn heads and more dark barring on the white flight feathers than a male would have

finally I saw a Long-tailed Tit in 2013 and got probably my best ever picture of the species

this is a pair of Common Rosefinch (rosenfink). The two birds were quite different in plumage with the foremost bird having a distinct white throat. It also had a veryt funny gait and my initial thought on seeing it was actually Bluethroat! The bird in the back sang so is a 2 cy male due to it still being brown rather than the fine red plumage an adult male has
This was MARIDALEN AT ITS BEST! No real rarities but a number of scarce summer visitors and smart birds all on the outskirts of Oslo.
This video captures the scene today. The soundtrack that accompanies the still photos was recorded on my telephone so the sound is a bit low unless you use loudspeakers.

I was then home by 9am and able to eat breakfast in the garden for the first time this year. What a great way to start the day. As we ate I could hear singing Pied Flycatcher (svarthvit fluesnapper) and Blackcap (munk) and watch the Great Tits (kjøttmeis) taking food to their hatched and noisy young. I also noticed that the willow tree in the garden where the female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (dvergspett) had been drumming on March 26 had three fresh small woodpecker holes in it. Undoubtedly the work of the same birds none of the holes were complete so were presumably just attempts before a decision was made that this tree was not suitable. What amazes me though is that they have been able to work away at these holes without me being aware – what sort of birder am I?!

In the afternoon we were at Fornebu participating in Biomangfold Dagen (biodiversity day). A very good day was had and there were some birds with singing Rosefinch and Marsh Warbler here aswell.

Today I also managed some good flight shots of Lapwing (vipe) for the first time.

Lapwing (vipe)

it's difficult not to like a Swallow (låvesvale)

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