Friday, 2 May 2014

Maridalen warming up

I was very remiss yesterday: no blog entry and no pre-breakfast trip. Well, today it is back to business as usual. It is still sunny but the northerly wind abated this morning and there was more life at Maridalen than of late. Willow Warblers (løvsanger) are now everywhere although most were just feeding and not singing. I had Wrynecks (vendehals) at two places and was able to notice the difference in the territorial “song” of males and females with a pair duetting at the traditional breeding site and a male singing at another site. This made me realise that it was a female I had here a few days ago (I reacted to the song being a bit “off”) but hopefully with them now being a pair they will settle down.

Also a couple of Whinchats (buskskvett), a drumming Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (dvergspett), Tree Pipits (trepiplerke) are various places as well  as losts of Meadow Pipits (heipiplerke), 2 resting Whimbrel (småspove), 3 Red-breasted Mergansers (siland), 6 Teal (krikkand), a couple of territorial Common Snipe (enkeltbekkasin) which seem to be benfitting from the very high water levels and best of all my third snipe species in Maridalen this year: I very unexpectedly scared up a Great Snipe (dobbeltbekkasin) from a field edge which then flew a few hundred metres and looked like it went down in a field behind some trees but I was unable to relocate it. This is a very rare Oslo species and I have only seen it once before in Maridalen and that bird was colour ringed and most likely originated from one of the studied populations in mid-Norway. In the spring when birds stop off they can often perform their display which I have heard at Fornebu on a couple of occasions – maybe some evening trips to Maridalen will also reveal this spectacle.

540 Greenshank (gluttsnipe) were reported from Svellet this morning so the conditions are clearly still suitable there even though the water level has risen a further 30cm since Wednesday.

a couple of Whimbrel (småspove) taking a rest on their spring migration

a less well marked male Whinchat (buskskvett)

male Wryneck singing - you can't as far as I know seperate the sexes on plumage but their song, if you can call a shreek that, is slightly different

one of at least two territorial Common Snipe (enkeltbekkasin) that seem to be benefitting from the very high water levels in Maridalen

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