Wednesday, 20 August 2014


Årnestangen is always a good bet in August and better coverage would most certainly turn up the odd rarity or two. I took my bike in the car and therefore shaved an hour off the return trip out to the end of the peninsula. When I first got out there I was glad for it as I struggled initially to find any waders although there were about 400 Cormorants (storskarv) resting and also two Peregrines (vandrefalk) which could well have scared off the waders just before I arrived. However over the course of the next couple of hours small numbers of waders came and went although numbers were never large. Best birds were a single juv. Curlew Sandpiper (tundrasnipe) which was feeding amongst grass close to the observation platform and gave a rare photo opportunity at this location where a telescope is normally required. A single Little Stint (dvergsnipe) was in addition to the Curlew Sand a year tick but this bird vanished soon after I arrived to be replaced later by 4 Temminck’s Stints which just appeared from nowhere. Ruff (brushane) were the most numerous with 31 birds with 12 Ringed Plover (sandlo) and 10 Dunlin (myrsnipe) being much fewer than had been seen recently. All the Dunlin were juveniles but there were a couple of adult Ringed Plovers.

Raptors put on a good show with three different Marsh Harriers (sivhauk), 5 Common Buzzards (musvåk), 4 Sparrowhawks (spurvehauk), 2 Ospreys (fiskeørn) and a Honey Buzzard (vepsevåk) in addition to the 2 Peregrines.

My rural idyll at Årnestangen was brutally disturbed three times by messages concerning what would appear to a new Caspian Gull in Oslo and therefore the third in three days. The last message said simply “mugged” – nice to know someone reads this blog! With so many birds in Oslo and only a few hundred Herring Gulls to go through I feel that a quick surgical strike may be possible. I am therefore already starting my psychological preparations for a quick in and out trip tomorrow. I have a map ready showing all places where I may find passerines, clean air or see the horizon in case I need to suddenly make a break for freedom.
one of the smartest juvenile waders - Curlew Sandpiper (tundrasnipe)

juvenile Marsh Harrier (sivhauk) - it can be aged due its very fresh plumage

juvenile Ringed Plover (sandlo) - this small individual caused me a few problems especially as it was beside a larger and more typical bird.

some of the hundreds of Cormorants (storskarv). Initially all resting on the mudbanks they took off in small groups and found a shoal of fish which they hunted as a flock

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