It is only now after a long soak and scrub that I feel able to write about today’s events. I have been in England for the last two days so haven’t been able to go to the Great Rubbish Dump to look for the Trumpeter Finch (trompeterfink). When I awoke this morning I was far from sure that I would go today but in the end decided that I was man (word check rather appropriately wants me to write mad!) enough to visit Øra and by not leaving particularly early I would be certain that others had done the hard work and already found the bird. Therefore it would be a quick surgical strike – in and out and nobody gets hurt.
Well that was the theory. In practice I arrived at 1030 to find a handful of other birders, some who had already been there since dawn, looking glum and dejected. Well it’s always good with some new blood and I set off searching the same places as everyone else had searched and succeeded only in getting dusty, being plagued by flies and starting to feel nauseous from the reeking piles of festering garbage (I may have exaggerated just slightly). I was really starting to wonder what I was doing here but at least I had only driven an hour and 20 minutes and not flown in from Stavanger!
After nearly two and a half hours I had succeeded in only seeing 3 Marsh Harriers (sivhauk) and hearing some Bearded Tits (skjeggmeis) so decided I needed some action. A lone female plumaged House Sparrow (gråspurv) amongst a flock of Tree Sparrows (pilfink) had me trying to remember the clinching characteristics for female Spanish Sparrow (middelhavsspurv) but luckily I didn’t need to pursue that line of enquiry any further when at 12:50 a sandy coloured bird with a hint of pink flew by me. I saw that it landed but not exactly where and instead of trying to locate it I set about waving, shouting and fumbling with my telephone to alert the remaining birders that I had found IT. Everyone assembled but it took a nervous 10 minutes before it was found again and then a long time before everyone got to see it well. Over the next hour and a half though it showed well on and off and at times quite closely
|male Trumpeter Finch (trompetfink). A first for Norway and well worth a visit to my least favourite birding location|
|it was seen with a flock of Tree Sparrows but seemed to keep mostly to itself|
I must admit to being happy with how the day turned out and it was a great bird, some good company and some acceptable pictures but the Great Rubbish Dump did get its revenge when I fell whilst scrambling over a pile of rubble and bashed my camera.