BIRD GUIDING AROUND OSLO

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Petrol head

The VW garage in an effort to make amends for the E Golf and the fact that my car was still not ready (they had ordered the wrong part…) gave me a petrol Golf with a free tank of petrol today. Would be a good to cover some ground then! In the end I curtailed my ambitions and decided to actually enjoy the birding rather than trying to see every good bird reported in SE Norway which meant I let a Green Winged Teal (amerikakrikkand) go but hopefully I'll be as lucky this year as the last two and find my own soon.

I left early hoping to get to the Bean Goose (sædgås) roost on the Glomma River before dawn to see if there were any still there. I was too late though as I saw a flock of geese in flight in the half light as I drove. I followed them to this year’s favoured field and counted 34 Beans coming into land. They started feeding voraciously straightaway and I was viewing them in the scope trying to see if any had neck rings when I realised there was also a flock of 15 Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås) in the same field. These held themselves separately at first although the flocks did later merge. Further groups of 4 and then 6 Bean Geese flew whilst I was there giving a total of 44 and showing that over two-thirds of the flock has now moved on exactly a month after the first birds arrived (which was a flock of 45 which also like todays flock contained no birds with neck collars  - coincidence?).

I went down to the river after this and there were no straggling geese to be seen here although I did have my first Red-throated (smålom) and Black-throated Divers storlom) of the year. I really should have stayed longer at the river as there was clearly some movement of birds following the river north but I had too itchy feet so headed off south east into Aurskog-Høland. The valley at Bjørkelangen is now dry and there were correspondingly no wildfowl to be seen at all which is a crying shame!
Hellesjøvannet was nice and wet though – it is a lake after all. It wasn’t teeming with birds but a male and a female Smew (lappfiskand) were quality. The female has been reported for a week but the male was new in. Initially they were together but the female showed how little she thought of him and they ended up at opposite ends of the lake.

I continued over the border into Østfold and had distant views of the Bewick’s Swan (dvergsvane) that has been at Hærsetersjøen for a few days. I had intended to then drive down to Kurefjorden for the Green-winged Teal found yesterday but it was now I decided to slow things down a bit and enjoy the birding. I retraced my steps and had a few raptors which suddenly showed around noon plus good numbers of Cranes (trane). At Svellet there was an increase in waders from yesterday with now 62 Curlew (storspove) and 43 Lapwings (vipe) but without some rain or increase in the water level the mudflats are in great risk of becoming too dry.
One of today’s highlights was migrating Pink-footed Geese which I noticed throughout the day including in the evening low over Oslo. It looks like today’s passage was even bigger than Sunday and Monday with many, many thousands migrating. Single Red-breasted (rødhalsgås) and Snow Geese (snøgås) have turned up in Trøndelag with the Pink-footed Geese and these have most likely passed unseen over Oslo – possibly even over Maridalen or ven my house….

very grainy picture at 0630 of Bean Geese at the back with Pink-footed Geese in the front

The Bewick's Swan with Whooper Swans

lots of Cranes today including some unusually close to the road

all those decorative feathers look very impractical for a long distance migrant

a nice garden tick


two heads, 4 legs, 1 body

Curlews at Svelley

a Panorma of Svellet from the eastern side
male and female Smew - honestly

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