Monday, 28 April 2014


No points for guessing how my day began. Maridalen was quiet and the mittle marsh which had held the Jack Snipe (kvartbekkasin) on Saturday was now empty so I felt a bit of a fool after having tiptoed around it staring 2 metres in front of me.

The one good observation was finding a Black Woodpecker (svartspett) nest. I was driving along when I suddenly noticed a large hole in a tree that i have never seen before. I we t up to it thinking it was an old nest and having a hope that I could scratch on the tree and see an owls head stick out. When I got to the tree though I saw chippings on the ground showing it to be a new hole. Scratching on the trunk caused a Black Woodpecker to stick its head out! This species had been difficult to find in Maridalen this year and I have not suspected their presence at this location before now which just shows how difficult woodpeckers can be. The three-toeds didn't show for me and may well be busy excavating their nest hole.

After breakfast I headed for Svellet. The water level has risen noticeably here which is annoying. There is clearly still. Lot of melt water flowing down which is also evident at Maridalsvannet which is very high at the moment. Teal (krikkand) numbers have fallen to 500 with 10 Wigeon (brunnakke), 6 Shoveler (skjeand), 1 male Garganey (knekkand) and new in a pair of Gadwall (snadderand). Finally some action on the wader front with 21 Greenshank (gluttsnipe), 10 Oystercatcher (tjeld), 6 Curlew (storspove), a Whimbrel (småspove), a Redshank (rødstilk) and a Little Ringed Plover (dverglo). There had been some male Ruff (brushane) here at the weekend but they have now moved on. Overflying Yellow Wagtail (gulerle) and Tree Pipit (trepiplerke) were new for the year.

Lunch was spent sitting at Hellesjøvannet where only some of the regular goodies were showing. No Green-winged Teal (amerikakrikkand) today but a pair of Garganey and a Wood Sandpiper (gronnstilk) showed briefly, a pair of Common Terns (Makrellterne) spent most of their time swimming in the middle of the lake and two male Marsh Harriers (sivhauk) were in the area displaying over the reedbeds.

Driving home I stopped at Kjelle where there is still some water which held 5 Wood Sandpipiers and further up the valley a corner of a set aside fields held 5 male Wheatears (steinskvett)and 2 male Whinchats (buskskvett).

The sound of singing Willow Warblers (løvsanger) is now a regular part of the bird orchestra and I had Swallows (låvesvale) and House Martins (taksvale) at a few sites.

I'm still waiting for a big day though.
Black Woodpecker


my first Whimbrel of the year

male Whinchat - are they normally this bright?

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