Sunday, 17 August 2014

Spotted Redshank

A pre breakfast trip around Fornebu finally gave me my first migrant Bluethroats (blåstrupe) of the autumn with five birds giving themselves up. All were flushed from chest high vegetation and were probably just a fraction of the total birds present. Four of them were in small area along with three Red-backed Shrike (tornskate) and an alarm calling Marsh Warbler (myrsanger) carrying food to unseen young (a second brood?). We had Marsh Warblers at two other sites suggesting a good year for this species.

With rain clouds building up it was perhaps not surprising we had some waders. First we heard a wader that was probably a Golden Plover (heilo) although it didn't seem quite right. We went towards where we thought it was (although it may well have been flying over) and first flushed two silent Snipe (enkeltbekkasin) from an ornamental stream. Whilst trying to relocate them a juvenile Spotted Redshank (sotsnipe) walked out in front of us and gave me my best ever views of this species. Clearly newly arrived and tired it allowed close approach as it rested its head under its wing.

In the muddy bays where one would expect waders we had a few Lapwing (vipe), Snipe, a single Dunlin (myrsnipe) and a Ruff (brushane).

With this good wader showing (for the location) I was wondering what we would have seen out at Årnestangen but Rune Z took a trip out there and saw surprisingly little - birds can be strange creatures.

There were a number of silvia warblers calling from berry bushes but very few showed themselves and there was no suggestion of a Barred Warbler (hauksanger) which are starting to turn up now in Norway and is a near annual vagrant here although most often pulled from a ringing net.

A whirlwind tour of Maridalen revealed still one Red-backed Shrike and a constant stream of Swifts (tårnseiler) heading south with over 100 seen in just 1 minute.

young Spotted Redshank (sotsnipe) probably newly arrived from the arctic taiga breeding grounds

sleeping was high on its priorities

finally a Bluethroat (blåstrupe) this autumn. This was the only one of 5 birds that perched up, here showing off its distinctive red tail

this juvenile Skylark (sanglerke) was very smart but had me wondering what it was when I first flushed it

finally a half acceptable picture of a Whinchat (buskskvett)

Tree Pipit (trepiplerke) - not always easy to separate from Meadow Pipit but the short hind claw of this bird is a absolute character compared to the long claw of a Meadow

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