Wednesday, 19 June 2013


I've had no chance to work on the Finnmark trip report or videos yet as I have been away with my youngest daughters kindergarten on a camping trip . They have been doing a bird project this spring so this camping trip to Øyungen lake north of Maridalen was supposed to give everyone some close encounters with birds and me as the tour guide. We did see a few with very tame Chaffinches (bokfink) looking for food around the tents, moulting male Mallards (stokkand) loafing by the lake and two Canada Goose ( kanadagås) families each consisting of only two young. There were two very small Goldeneye (kvinand) youngsters on the lake which were calling a lot. Although there were three different female Goldeneyes that I saw none of them was interested in the youngsters who took to following the (very uninterested male Mallards). Every winter there are Goldeneyes who hang out on Akerselva with Mallards and act as though they think they are Mallards. I assume that these are birds that have lost their mother and latched onto the only other ducks they could find: Mallards.
There was also a single Black-throated Diver (storlom) on the lake and three Whooper Swans (sangsvane) departed at dawn. I had expected to hear Black Grouse (orrfugl) but heard none, however a close-by calling (not singing) owl just before 4am woke me from light sleep (9 kids aged 2-6 do not give one the chance of a deep sleep...) and  I glimpsed it briefly in flight and its size corresponded with Tengmalm's (perleugle) as did the call.

Driving back through Maridalen the male Red-backed Shrike was perched up on wires at his usual place. I will have to spend some time with him to get that ultimate picture when he has a big juicy big in his bill.

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