Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Double dobbel

There were a few times today when I thought things weren’t working out as planned but in the end I have to be happy with the day. What annoyed me was my inability to find any Dotterel and no birds moving on the sea. The worst thing with the Dotterel is that I now see that a pair was seen at a sight which I visited twice including just 20 minutes before they were reported so I must just have not had my Dotterel glasses on today.

It carried on raining today and there was a general increase in birds especially waders. The title of this post refers to my finding of not one but two different Great Snipes – dobbeltbekkasin in Norwegian – both of which “sang” for me. The first bird was in a damp field by Kurefjorden at 10am and the second in Maridalen at 1.30pm. Of course the Maridalen bird was most satisfying and I managed pictures this time. The bird flew up from the same damp patch that has held both Common and Jack Snipe in April so this tiny area can now really be called Snipe Marsh II (I already had another area I called Snipe Marsh but that area has not lived up to its name so far this year so will maybe bcome known as the Marsh that formerly held snipe...). As usual I didn’t see the bird until it flew up silently and at quite close range. It gave a fly-by when I was able to take a couple of pictures before dropping down by a ditch. I walked over to the area and played the sound of displaying Great Snipes and bingo it replied!

The bird at Kurefjorden announced its presence by singing on it owns accord as I got out of my car. One has to wonder how many more Great Snipe are out there just now if I can just bump into two so easily.

The day started at 0610 staring out to sea at Brentetangen, but yet again there was no passage of note and after an hour I moved on to Kurefjorden. Here there were finally waders with over 60 Greenshank, 20 Redshank, 4 Spotted Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ringed Plover and Whimbrel although it is still too early for calidris waders. There were also a few duck with a pair of Garganey and three Pintail the undoubted highlights. This spring is exceptionally good for Garganey so maybe one will even turn up in Maridalen... My first Whitethroat of the year sang in bushes behind the watchpoint at Kurefjorden. The best bird in Kurefjorden gave the worst views but a summer plumaged Red-necked Grebe materialised in the middle of the fjord at x 50 magnification.

I reported the Great Snipe at Kurefjorden on the Bird Alarm system and soon had a phone call asking where it was and also informing me of a probable Lesser Grey Shrike seen from a car earlier in the day. I checked out the area where this was seen to no avail.

On good days like this I feel drawn to Maridalen and made my way back to Oslo already at noon. Maridalen had more birds than yesterday with, in addition to the Great Snipe, 6 Greenshank, 3 Wood Sandpipers, a flyover Redshank, 3 Ring Ouzels and Wrynecks singing at two locations. I also had my first Pied Flycatcher of the year.

I like days like today and the rain is forecast to continue!

the Kurefjorden Great Snipe. Obviously the picture is pants but the white wing bars and outer tail feathers that seperate it from Common Snipe are visible

a better picture, this one of the Maridalen bird

the Maridalen Great Snipe disappearing over a ridge

Pied Flycatcher (svarthvit fluesnapper) - can't work out whether this is a old and hence dark female or a young male but favour it being an old female

same bird

male Ring Ouzel (ringtrost)

female Ring Ouzel

2 Greenshank (gluttsnipe) and 4 Spotted Redshank (sotsnipe) - it is difficult to get better pictures than this at Kurefjorden

two Whimbrel (småspove)

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