There are various pleasurable ways one can be woken up. For a birder (who is sleeping alone) then I guess the sound of a scarce bird outside the bedroom window must rank quite high up there and is certainly better than the vibrating of a phone with a message that someone else has seen a rare bird. I have been woken by the sound of singing Pied Flycatcher (svarthvit fluesnapper) in the garden and last March a drumming pair of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers (dvergspett).
Today it was again a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and this time a male drumming on a lamppost. He seemed to be alone and to be drumming so late in the spring suggests an unmated male who is searching for a mate. I pulled some clothes and went out armed with my 500mm (better than being seen naked in the garden with only your 500mm to cover your pride) but only managed a couple of bad pictures before it flew into a tree and vanished for me.
After this I had a quick Tour de Maridalen where I finally scored with Red-backed Shrike (tornskate) although in heavy rain it was just brief encounter. My bird was a lone female at the 2012 breeding site. Most records reported so far have been of singing males and I realised I have never heard this species singing before - all the birds I have found breeding in Maridalen have already been paired and it would seem that the male has no need to sing after this. Hopefully though a male will find this female soon and there will be song in the first few days. An unseen singing Common Rosefinch (rosenfink) and a displaying Snipe (enkeltbekkasin) also made themselves known in the rain but there were no obvious grounded migrants.
In the afternoon a swimming trip with the girls allowed me a 5 minute stop at Fornebu which gave me a pair of Red-backed Shrikes looking like they are already settling down to breed and singing Wryneck (vendehals), Whitethroat (tornsanger), Garden Warbler (hagesanger) and Spotted Flycatcher (gråfluesnapper) – one of my better 5 minutes (although according to the girls it was 9...)
Today’s photos do down in the why does he bother category...
|this might fall into the category "doc photo" or maybe not. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker|
|I've been going on about this species for a while so had to show a photo. When you don't have a camera with you a telephone camera through binoculars sometimes works and sometimes not. Red-backed Shrike male|