BIRD GUIDING AROUND OSLO

Sunday, 10 May 2015

I'm birding in the rain

With overnight rain it is not a surprise if I say that I had sky high expectations for this morning. When I awoke at 0530 it was raining harder than I had expected and I didn’t rush to get out. Never-the-less I was in place in Maridalen by 6am with a thermos of coffee and three hours of pre-breakfast birding at my disposition.

The rain didn’t stop until about 0730 and it exciting to follow the changes that occur as the morning develops and the weather changes. Whilst it was raining there was little activity and it is the time to find anything that has been forced down. The fields held a number of bedraggled Wheatears that were standing still and doing little but best of all were three Golden Plover (heilo). This is a species I have had a few times flying over here but this is I think the first time I have had them on the deck. In the rain it was too dark for any decent pictures and I hoped they would hang around until the rain stopped. However, a hunting female Merlin (dvergfalk) spooked them and they vanished. I saw the Merlin again about an hour later this time having a go at a House Martin (taksvale). Apart from the three sandpiper species and Lapwing (vipe) and Snipe (enkeltbekkasin) which all breed in the valley the only other waders I had were 4 Greenshank (gluttsnipe) migrating north although did hear a wader call that I couldn’t quite place.

As the rain started easing there was more activity on the fields and a lot of Chaffinches (bokfink) were feeding with a few White Wagtails (linerle) and Reed Buntings (sivspurv) plus around 80 Meadow Pipits (heipiplerke). Best though were two male thunbergi Yellow Wagtails (gulerle) and the female Piedish Wagtail (svartryggerle) which was still present.

I had hoped for some ducks on the lake and a flock of 9 Tufted Ducks (toppand) arrived whilst I was there but otherwise the female Common Scoter (svartand) and Great Crested Grebe (toppdykker) were still present. A pair of Barnacle Geese (hvitkinngås) were new in and probably the breeding pair from last year.

After the rain stopped warblers became more active with a Lesser Whitethroat (møller) singing and Redstarts (rødstjert) also popped up with 2 males and 2 females at Kirkeby. One of the males sang and one of the females was very brightly plumaged.

I had a pair of Wrynecks (vendehals) today with both “singing” and the slight difference in their songs being audible. I still hope to locate their breeding hole.
 

Non-birders are continuing their run of beating the birders at finding the best birds around Oslo this spring. I have already mentioned a Pallid Harrier and Hoopoe and this week there was another Hoopoe found and yesterday a magical record (with supporting close range photos) of a male Citrine Wagtail in Oslo by Akerselva. This area is one I have often walked past but have never thought of Citrine Wagtail! I stopped in here on the way home (less than 1km from Maridalen) and 5 forlorn looking birders told me the unsurprising news that it had not been seen today. It is sighting like this though that keep the motivation levels up. One day I will have a male Pallid Harrier catching a male Citrine Wagtail in Maridalen J
Golden Plover (heilo) in the rain - a Maridalen "rare"
Wheatear (steinskvett) and male Redstart (rødstjert)
female Redstart

This Redstart is a bit more difficult to sex but I take it to be a well coloured female rather than a poorly coloured male

a sodden Whinchat (buskskvett) sitting in a field during the rain

Wood Sandpiper (grønnstilk)
 
Wryneck (vendehals)

the two male Yellow Wagtails (gulerle) in Maridalen but sadly no Citrine
 

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