Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Tawny Owl

Just a couple of hours birding today. At Svellet the number of waders was further reduced today. 330 Wood Sandpipers (grønnstilk) now make up over half the total number with just 110 Greenshank (gluttsnipe), 15 Redshank (rødstilk) and only a single Ruff (brushane), 2 Bar-tailed Godwits (lappspove) and 2 Temminck’s Stints left. Even though numbers are falling there is still the chance for some exciting species here if the water levels remain as they are – a Broad-billed Sandpiper (fjellmyrløper) would be nice.

In Maridalen I was surprised to find a female Ring Ouzel (ringtrost) still on the fields at Kirkeby. The middle of May is getting to be quite late for this species to still be on passage around Oslo. A pleasant surprise was finally finding Tawny Owl (kattugle) in Maridalen this year. As usual I have not heard any singing but today as I entered the wood where one of the nest boxes is I heard an owl. I saw a feather caught on the hole of the nesting box which is my first sign of it being occupied. I then searched diligently thinking I would find fledged youngsters in the trees but after a bit I found an adult watching me intently. A trip back there this evening might reveal the youngsters.

The Wrynecks (vendehals) are proving difficult to locate with the hole I thought they were going to nest in not being occupied but I did eventually hear and then see a singing male. Pied Flycatchers (svarthvit fluesnapper) were more obvious than they have previously been and I had the rare (Maridalen) sight of a thermalling Buzzard (musvåk) – even though they would appear to be a breeding species here they are rarely seen and normally in low flight.

Close to the house today I had a group of Tree Sparrows (pilfink) and a single female House Sparrow (gråspurv). With them was a single recently fledged (early) youngster that was begging for food from both the House Sparrow and a Tree Sparrow. Without bins I couldn’t see the youngster well enough to see if it was a hybrid or just a confused individual. Also a singing Spotted Flycatcher (gråfluesnapper) and the first House Martin (taksvale) over the colony which is two days earlier than last year but two weeks later than 2012.

adult Tawny Owl in Maridalen

female Ring Ouzel

the day's obligatory Wryneck photo is becoming more difficult to obtain

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