Friday, 8 May 2015

Østfold disappoints whilst the hood delivers

Østfold was supposed to deliver on 3 fronts: interesting passage from Brentetangen, a great array of waders at Kurefjorden and Dotterels and harriers on the fields behind Kurefjorden. Well Østfold delivered on half a front, namely Dotterels. An hour at Brentetangen from 0530-0630 was amazingly quiet with no real sign of passage. There were 60 odd Common Terns (makrellterne) and a couple of Arctic Terns (rødnebbterne) feeding offshore but they were not moving. 100+ Common Scoter (svartand), 5 Velvet Scoter (sjøorre) and 3 Long-tailed Ducks (havelle) were likewise just flying around and landing on the sea. 2 Gannets (havsule) had me thinking something was happening but they were a red herring. Behind me in the wood though there was some action with singing Redstart (rødstjert) and Wood Warbler (bøksanger) and loads of Willow Warblers (løvsanger).

Kurefjorden was completely and utterly dead. 2 Greenshank (gluttsnipe), 5 Redshank (rødstilk) and 2 Ringed Plovers (sandlo) is not what you expect in May!

A trip of 5 Dotterel (boltit) in the company of 40 Golden Plovers (heilo) was nice but views in the rain were not exactly good.

By 0900 I had given up on Østfold and headed for Svellet. Here the water level has risen a lot probably a result of two days of rain and I fear the wader season may now be over in a matter of days. Whilst it lasts though it must be enjoyed. 11 Knot (polarsnipe) are a very good spring bird and Greenshank have risen to 320 although other waders were little changed from two days ago. There were only 3 Common Terns today but with them was a single Arctic. Dabbling ducks however have now vanished and 30 Tufted Ducks (toppand) were the most numerous duck with only 20 Teal (krikkand) down from 590 two days ago! Raptors were represent by a Peregrine (vandrefalk) hunting Wood Sandpipers (grønnstilk) and a female Kestrel (tårnfalk) that sought shelter from the rain on a balcony on some flats.

Snekkervika had a few birds including a singing Wryneck (vendehals) and Whitethroat (tornsanger) and displaying Common Snipe (enkeltbekkasin) but no Great Snipe as I had hoped.

Arriving in Maridalen early afternoon it was bucketing down but just after the rain stopped it was dripping with birds. At Kirkeby there were 40 odd Wheatears (steinskvett), 15 Whinchat (buskskvett), 3 male Redstarts and amongst a few White Wagtails (linerle) was a good candidate for a female Pied Wagtail (svartryggerle) but probably actually a male bird and therefore some sort of integrade/hybrid. I also had a singing Wryneck.

On the lake there was a large flock of non-breeding Goldeneye (kvinand) and whilst I was there other ducks just appeared on the lake: 21 Tufted and 9 Red-breasted Merganser (island) which is probably an unprecedented number here. The female Common Scoter was still present and preferred the company of the Goldeneye rather than a group of another three of her own species that were sleeping in the middle of the lake. The only divers I had were a pair of Black-throated (storlom) and a single Whooper Swan (sangsvane) that flew in calling was an interesting record with regards possible breeding in the neighbourhood.
all five of the Dotterel together with a Golden Plover
Wryneck in Maridalen

singing male Twite (bergirisk) Maridalen

male Redstart in Maridalen

and another

6 Wheatears in Maridalen part of a large fall

male White Wagtail (linerle) left and a bird with a lot (if not 100%) genes from a Pied Wagtail (svartryggerle)

montage of the Piedish wagtail
Whooper Swan

female Common Scoter with immature Goldeneyes

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