After my near orgasmic encounter of the Rustic variety yesterday I drove a mountain road. A roadside lake held nesting Black-throated Divers (storlom) and Arctic Terns (rødnebbterne) with the diver nesting very close to the road and giving good photo opps.
After dining on a petrol station hamburger (actually quite good) I settled into Le Hotel VW Touran for a fitful 4 hours sleep. When the alarm went off at 0330 it was raining and I hit the snooze button. 10 minutes later I realised it sounded much worse than it was so forced myself up and out of the car. I had a 2.5km walk to the start of my TOVE route and then immediately a 150m ascent over the course of about 500m - I was not a happy man and to top that the mozzies are now here in force - they were so bad that it was difficult to hear bird song above their buzzing. Today's route was yet another monotonous forest route although this one did have some marshes with breeding Greenshank (gluttsnipe). The undoubted highlight was a close but brief encounter of the Hawkie variety.
After a breakfast of sorts I headed towards Nekmyrene with a roadside stop for some distant Little Gulls (dvergmåke) that were breeding amongst a colony of Black-headed Gulls (hettemåke). Nekmyrene are touted as the best place in Southern Norway for breeding Broad-billed Sandpiper (fjellmyrløper) and my visit last year did give three birds flying over although no display which I really want to experience. It is also one of the last sites for lekking Ruff (brushane) in the south.
Arriving at midday was never going to be the best time for displaying waders and a fresh breeze which mercifully kept the mozzies down was also not good. This probably was the reason I did 't find any broad bills although i did have 7 male and 2 female Ruff although there wasn't a full blown lek, 5 Red-necked Phalaropes (svømmesnipe) unfortunately beyond photo range and 4 Dunlin (myrsnipe) including one displaying where by all rights a Broad bill should have been.
I had only one raptor, a Kestrel during the day suggesting that it isn't a rodent year in these parts although I have heard that further west there a legions of lemmings.
I spent the night sleeping under open skies at 1000m to get a quick start on the next TOVE route rsther than having another 2.5km walk before 4am.
The walk up in the late evening was quite eventful as I stummbled upon nesting Hawk Owls and got dive bombed by dad. Of course I didn't have my camera as I was carrying sleeping bag and camping stove. Tomorrow morning though I'll be back!