Saturday, 26 April 2014

The dentist

The day started quietly, painfully quietly. Even before 7am I was thinking of which similie I could best use to sum up the feeling and settled on pulling teeth.

Just then though I saw a bird that made the whole experience worthwhile: a Maridalen tick in the form of a pair of Pintail (stjertand). This is what makes birding so much fun as there is always the chance of something unexpected.

But after that excitement the teeth pulling did continue...

I had started by heading into the centre of Oslo at 6am hoping to find the first Black Redstart (svartrødstjert) of the year. I failed on that score but the street cleaners and down and outs whose company I shared, if only fleetingly, did have 2 Common Crossbills (grankorsnebb) and a Meadow Pipit (heipiplerke) flying over plus White Wagtail (linberle), House Sparrow (gråspurv), Fieldfare (gråtrost) and Great Tit (kjøttmeis).

Maridalen apart from the afore mentioned tick was as quiet as it gets. Hopefully this is a case of the lull before the storm but next week’s rain has now disappeared from the forecast so I fear it may remain like this for a while. There are of course birds though and the dawn chorus is loud now but consists only of thrushes, Robin (rødstrupe), Dunnock (jernspurv), Wren (gjerdesmett) and Chaffinch (bokfink) with the just odd Chiffchaff (gransanger) and Willow Warbler (løvsanger) so far.

I wrote the above on my phone whilst in the field – gives another idea of how quiet it was. As the thought of breakfast became overpowering I drove out of Maridalen and stopped at the lake one last time and now found three Teal (krikkand), a Tufted Duck (toppand) and 4 Canada Geese had arrived so maybe there has been some movement of wildfowl today. There may also have been a movement of waders as I put up two Common (enkeltbekkasin) and two Jack Snipe (kvartbekkasin) from a tiny marsh which at best has held a single Common Snipe before. Their tell tale droppings were easy to see and I kick myself for having left the camera in the car as the Jack Snipe flew around me in great light..... maybe they'll hang around though and give me another chance.

News from yesterday and today is of a Black-necked Grebe (svarthalsdykker) which is a real rarity in Norway found at exactly the spot where Rune and I searched for White-billed Diver on Thursday in Hedmark. We did have 5 Slavonian Grebes (horndykker) but I wonder if we missed something?
male Pintail

pintail pair

female Yellowhammer (gulspurv)

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