Sunday, 23 March 2014

Pre breakfast birding

I really like the Sunday mornings when I can have a pre-breakfast birding trip in Maridalen and be home before everyone else has woken up.

Today I awoke at 6am to be surprised by it already being light outside and I could hear my first Redwing (rødvingetrost) of the year singing.

There was lowish cloud over Maridalen and a southerly wind which gave it a good feeling but it is still too early for a really big day. Never-the-less there were a lot more birds than last week.

Over 400 Chaffinch (bokfink) and a single Brambling (bjørkefink) made thmselves known. I had my first Snipe (enkeltbekksin), Redwing and Dunnocks (jernspurv) of the year. Mistle Thrushes (duetrost), migrating Wood Pigeons (ringdue), Reed Bunting (sivspurv), a few Hawfinches (kjernebiter), Grey Wagtail (vintererle) and a couple of Snow Buntings (snøspurv) were all good birds.

The lake is now holding more wildfowl with Canada and Greylag Geese, Whooper Swan, Tufted Duck (toppand), Goosander (laksand), Goldeneye (kvinand) and Mallard (stokkand). All but the Tufted will probably breed. The Mute Swan pair that had been acting territorially have moved on so won't be added to Maridalen’s list of breeding species this year at least.

There were still 8 Lapwings (vipe) on the field at Skjerven and another 9 resting on an island in the lake. The 8 would therefore appear to be this year’s breeding population and the 9 were resting migrants heading further north.

As the morning progressed there was a slight increase in numbers of finches and thrushes on the ground as overflying migrants decided to land probably encouraged by some snow that started falling!

There is a pair of Goshawks (hønsehauk) that breed in Maridalen. I have never gone searching for the nest but have seen a large but old nest and found newly fledged young last year. Today though I heard a bird calling and followed the call to disturb the bird from a low perch. Nearby was an obvious Goshawk nest but much smaller than the old nest. This nest cannot have been used often and was also directly over a (little used) path. It will be very interesting to see if this is used this year.

Back home whilst eating breakfast Oslo Birder jr jr excitedly pointed to a bird outside. I suspected a Magpie (skjære) but was pleasantly surprised that she was pointing to a flock of 70 Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås) flying north - good girl!

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