I'm up in Hedmark again doing TOVE. On the way up I looked for Hawk Owl. I could 't see any sign of hawkie when I got to the site but after much scanning I heard what I thought could be one a bit further on. I went out to an exposed mound which I thought would give me a good view of the area but found nothing. Then just as I was about to leave I looked up and found an adult Hawk Owl in the closest tree - oops! It was finding shade by standing close to the trunk as it was a very hot day. In typical Hawk Owl style it did very little except sleep, yawn and occasionally stretch and preen. Life must be easy here. I saw no fledged young and the bird later flew to a tree close to the nest hole so the young may still be inside. Also a male Red-backed Shrike (tornskate), a calling Wryneck (vendehals) and breeding Yellow Wagtails (gulerle).
I tried again for Rustic Buntings (vierspurv) but had to accept that I won't get to enjoy good views of this species this year. Or will I? I wrote the above an hour and a half after getting to the bunting site and as is my wont I decided to transcribe my thoughts onto my mobile phone whilst waiting for some birdy birdy action. I had staked out the area where I had the singing male last week which was also where I had the pair last year. Thinking that this was probably not the best strategy as 6 hours last week had given only two brief encounters I wandered around the area. A bird flying up from a nest got me briefly excited but turned out to be a Spotted Flycatcher (gråfluesnapper) with four eggs. A couple of times I thought I heard the contact call of Rustic Bunting very quietly but ended up convincing myself I was hearing things. Then as I wandered I found a Three-toed Woodpecker (tretåspett) - surprsing that I had not had one last week as there is lots of evidence of them here. I enjoyed fairly good views of the bird as well as a male Brambling (bjørkefink) that was scolding it when I heard what I was sure was the call of the bunting close by but I found no bird and didn't hear it again so convinced if I had heard a Spotted Fly or a Brambling. As I searched to see if I could find the nest hole of the woodpecker a bird flew silently into a tree close by. Expecting it to be a. Brambling as every other such encounter had turned out to be previously I was, to put it mildy, delighted to see a male Rustic Bunting with a caterpillar in his beak. This obviously suggested the nest was close by and as I moved to try to take a picture of the male the female appeared calling. I was then treated to both birds calling and giving very good views. I was obviously too close so I moved away a safe distance, sat down and enjoyed those good views that I had previously lamented I wouldn't have this year. ABSOLUTELY BLOODY MARVELOUS.
I can't upload pictures to the blog via my phone but have put a piccy on Facebook (simon rix)