Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Getting better

No rain today but it was still cloudy and again I had hopes that there would be some arrivals of migrants. Starting the day in Maridalen gave little evidence though of that being the case. I did have a Whimbrel (småspove) which was definitely new in but the 6 Wheatears (steinskvett)), 1 Whinchat (buskskvett) and a Wryneck (vendehals) were most likely birds that have been around a few days. I got to grips with a Redpoll that showed itself to be of the lesser variety (brunsisik) and records from the last couple of years suggests they are establishing themselves as a breeding species here.

Moving on to Nordre Øyeren, I first checked out Merkja. Here there was a definite increase in Wood Sandpiper (grønnstilk) numbers to 29 and there was a Yellow Wagtail of the Scandinavian race thunbergi whereas the ones we had at Jæren were all of the European rave flava. Svellet was great today though. There was a noticeable increase in the number of birds and the water level is still low. Teal (krikkand) numbered 590 and today had company of a pair of Garganey (knekkand), 2 male Gadwall (snadderand) and still 2 pairs of Pintail (stjertand) although the Shoveler (skjeand) were gone. Waders though had doubled in numbers. Amongst 210 Greenshank (gluttsnipe) were 5 summer plumaged Spotted Redshank (sotsnipe), 25 Redshank (rødstilk), 2 male Ruff (brushane), 2 Whimbrel (småspove), 10 Oystercatcher (tjeld) and 60 Wood Sandpipers. 25 actively fishing Common Terns (makrellterne) were clearly also fresh arrivals and a high count. Also here I heard my first Lesser Whitethroat (møller) of the year.

 At Snekkervika the low water levels make viewing conditions here very difficult but there were at least 600 Teal mostly out towards Årnestangen and a small number of waders which included 7 Ruff. In the rough fields behind the bay there were 6 Yellow Wagtails of which a male and probably a female were flava which is very scarce here. Also 2 singing Whinchats and many Meadow Pipits helped gave a real spring feeling.
Blue-headed (flava) Yellow Wagtail on the right and a Grey-headed (thunbergi) on the left
male Blue-headed, male Grey-headed (with a slight white supercilium) and a female probable Blue-headed
singing male Whinchat (buskskvett) at Snekkervika that suddenly popped up beside me as I tried to take pictures of the Yellow Wagtails
male Whinchat in Maridalen

Wryneck (vendehals) in Maridalen
Garganey (knekkand) pair at Svellet
6 Black-throated Divers (storlom) on Maridalsannet having some kind of meeting
Lesser Redpoll (brunsisik) in Maridalen


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