Sunday, 19 April 2015

More Maridalen and always a joy

Yesterday I received a message that a pair of Slavonian Grebes (horndykker) were on Maridalsvannet. In recent years it seems that a pair makes an annual guest appearance for one day and one day only in April. They are obviously migrants but maybe are breeding not too far away. I saw them at great distance but would have loved to be close enough for pictures of this beautiful bird. The Great Crested Grebes (toppdykker) were also still present yesterday but both grebes were gone this morning when I gave Maridalen a serious session from 0550 to 0930. There was little wind and a high thin cloud cover and although there was evidence of a light overnight frost it was pleasant to sit at the waters edge and enjoy the day breaking.

Migration was not very strong today but a few Red-throated Divers (smålom) flew north calling very early and during the morning a few hundred geese went north and more than 75% of these were Greylag (grågås). This caused me to reappraise the 4 geese flocks I had high over the house yesterday which I saw without optical aids and just assumed to be Pink-footed (grey goose sp. is what they are now).
The best migrants were in total 25 Curlew (storspove) that flew north with 5 briefly stopping at the waters edge. This is clearly the peak migration time now and I expect the flock in Svellet to peak around 400 birds soon.
On the lake there were 6 Black throated Divers (storlom) with another heading north plus an unusual couple of mute Swans (knoppsvane) that didn't hang around long and a male Red-breasted Merganser (siland).

Raptors were not a prominent feature of today but there was a fly over Osprey (fiskeørn). I did have a falcon which when I first saw it flying fast, at range and in silhouette looked as though it was going to be something rare but when I got my bins on it and it flew closer I saw that it was "only" a Kestrel (tårnfalk) but then again any falcon in Maridalen is an exciting find.

Curlews (storspove) migrating north

these 3 Curlews were part of a group of 5 that briefly landed at the waters edge
a pair of the local Greylag Geese flying in formation

this Canada Goose pair was angry about the presence of another pair on a clearly disputed part of the lake


male Red-breasted Merganser (island) with one of the bird world coolest haircuts

four Tufted Ducks (toppand) and a male Teal (krikkand)

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