Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Hard going

I was undecided as to whether to head for Kurefjorden to chase an Avocet seen yesterday or go to Nordre Øyeren. In the end I drove far more kilometres than I intended and visited both and also Hellesjøvannet and all this after a pre-breakfast Maridalen trip – you have to love the expectation that spring brings even if the result more often than not does not live upto expectations.

Maridalen was very quiet on the migration front although I did entice a female Three-toed Woodpecker (tretåspett) to briefly show herself so there is still the chance of a breeding pair.

Kurefjorden did not have an Avocet to offer as I had expected and was painfully quiet. Not a single dabbling duck and only 5 Ringed Plovers (sandlot) and 2 Curlew (storspove) of any interest on the wader front. An Osprey (fiskeørn) was my first of the year though and Greylag Geese (grågås) already had small fluffy young on the water.

Driving to Hellesjøvannet I hoped to find an interesting duck or wader. Instead I just found what has been hanging around recently minus the Green-winged Teal (amerikakrikkand). Best of all were a pair of Marsh Harriers (sivhauk) performing their “sky dance” display very high up accompanied by a lot of calling. A group of 4, also calling, Buzzards (musvåk) and a Kestrel (tårnfalk) joined them at one point to almost make me believe I was somewhere else. A 1st summer White-fronted Goose (tundragås) is with the Greylags here and the female Smew (lappfiskand) and male Common Scoter (svartand) are also hanging on.
I stopped at Svindal which gives a view over Årnestangen and Nordre Øyeren and could see that there are enormous mudflats which seem even larger than they normally are at this time of year. Birds were all very distant but I could see there were some large groups of dabbling ducks. The only raptors I picked up were three Ospreys.

Svellet still has a lot of Teal (krikkand), 2200 today which is a huge count for Norway. Amongst them still 6 Wigeon (brunnakke) and my first 2 Shoveler (skjeand) of the year. Curlew numbers have fallen to 31 with no new waders to replace them.
male Marsh Harrier


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