I checked out the Udenes/Horgen area later and found no birds here although a small flock of Whooper Swans (sangsvane) were on the fields and the sandbank is exposed on the river so everything looks ready for them. Last year first observation here was 7 March, in 2013 30 March (late) and 19 March in 2012 (already a large flock as may have been around a while).So the day started off very excitingly! I also had Great Grey Shrike (varsler), Stock Dove (skogdue) and Snow Bunting (snøspurv) in the Haneborg/Haugrim area plus singing Skylarks (sanglerke) so the atmosphere was good! When I got to Kjelle School there were good numbers of Whooper Swans on the floodwaters but no White-front but a phone call from Sig informed he was watching it now a kilometre away. And 2 minutes later so was I. It was amongst a flock of Canada Geese and was a well-marked adult albifrons. I wonder if this was one of the 2 birds that accompanied the Bean Geese last year? The area around Kjelle is great for birds and is a welcome example (and rare in Norway) of active nature management. Stig teaches nature management at the school and they are actively working to improve the wetland for both passage and breeding birds –exciting stuff!
So spring migration has no officially started as far as I am concerned and will only keep on getting better although falling snow at times today did still give a wintery feel.I had good numbers of Whooper Swans during the day with a number of flock feeding on stubble fields. The largest flock was 152 birds and in total I had 408 birds but unfortunately no Berwick’s (dvergsvane) amongst them.
|Taiga Bean Geese with their characteristic long necks and long slender bills|
|adult White-fronted Goose|
|a number of Whooper Swans today were heavily stained. It might be possible to work out where they have been wintering|