Thursday, 23 April 2015

Rewarding morning in Maridalen

There was a change in the weather today. It was still sunny but it was now very windy but with it coming from the west it was not likely to produce much but a change is a change and over the next four days we might even get southerly winds and rain – whoopee!!

I gave Maridalen a good try today and did get rewarded with one good bird and a number of close experiences of the natural kind that make such days memorable. Starting with the goodies first, I had only the fourth Marsh Harrier (sivhauk) to be recorded in the Dale. The views were distant as it thermalled east of the valley but was at least some reward for the hours of sky gazing I put in. I had hoped there would be more raptors as there had been a clear arrival of Kestrels (tårnfalk) but these birds were feeding and not migrating as the conditions were presumably not suitable.

My memorable natural experiences came with a female Great Spotted Woodpecker (flaggspet) who was too occupied with a pine cone to bother about me standing 5 metres away, a Black Woodpecker (svartspett) peering out its nest hole at me and frogs.

Ring Ouzels (ringtrost) are still to be found with a total of six birds today.
male - note the full red crown - Black Woodpecker wondering who was standing at the base of his tree
the same bird. This one is nesting in a north east facing hole in a pine tree (hole also used last year) whilst the one I took pictures of on Monday is nesting in a south facing hole in a birch tree only 1.5km away


female Great Spotted Woodpecker (flaggspett)

I was actually trying to get this (or a similar) result by using a slow shutter speed but it didn't end up quite as arty as I had hoped

male Kestrel (tårnfalk)
same Kestrel

one of at least 2 Ospreys (fiskeørn) fishing over Maridalsvannet
Ring Ouzels are never easy to photograph. This female showed closely on the church ruins but was back lit
this male was in bright sunlight but did not allow close approach


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