Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Spring takes a pause

Signs of avian spring have pretty much dried up at least in Maridalen. Today was a nice sunny, warm, and nearly windless day and I had high hopes. The birds are clearly reading the weather forecast though and know that snow is forecast tomorrow and Thursday so are not getting ahead of themselves. I had hoped that today’s weather would encourage woodpeckers to drum throughout Maridalen but that just goes to show how little I understand what makes a woodpecker tick. I had just a single drumming Great Spot (flaggspett). Cleary it is still too early for much activity or at least I hope that is the reason. A flyover crossbill today had a deep call and was quite possibly a Parrot Crossbill (furukorsnebb) but did not allow itself to be viewed.

A couple of long-tailed Tits were acting rather strangely and being uncharacteristically quiet and gave the impression they were prospecting for a nest site – one bird kept going into a bush and looked like it was trying different places out for size. A bee of some description was a first for the year and my sinuses are detecting pollen but this in no way makes up for lack of birds! And where were the raptors? A single high flying, thermalling Raven was not what I was searching the skies for.

A trip out to Nordre Øyeren revealed great looking mudflats at Svellet which held two species of wader: Oystercatcher (tjeld) and Lapwing (vipe) so wader season has arrived! The next two months will be very exciting as long as the water levels do not rise too quickly. Teal (krikkand) and Mallard (stokkand) numbers have risen with the Teal being very vocal and groups of males chasing unpaired females around as they try to pair up before continuing their migration to the breeding grounds.
montage of the same Long-tailed Tit (stjertmeis) in Maridalen today

and now for something different. The moon last night taken from the house. Jupiter and two of its moon plus Venus were also visible although we couldn't min Mars which should have been visible but was probably to close to the horison

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