Monday, 22 June 2015

Breeding time

Yesterday evening and this morning I was attempting to ascertain the breeding status of Oslo’s two rarest breeding birds. Starting in Sørkedalen I hoped to find the nest of the Red-breasted Flycatcher (dvergfluesnapper) pair and therefore prove breeding in Oslo for the first time (as far as I know). The male as usual showed well in a very small area and a couple of times gave warning calls but the female did not show. An hour and a half of waiting and I eventually located an old woodpecker hole close to where the male was frequently perching and scratching on the tree caused a small brown bird to shoot out. I saw little more than the brown colour although thought I could see a red throat/breast which seemed strange given that it is the female that sits on the eggs. Waiting and watching did not reveal a bird returning to the nest and although I felt I was a very safe distance from the nest I was worried I was putting the parents off. The male was still in the area but so were a couple of Robins one of which perched right up next to the nest hole without going in. I decided to see if I could take a picture in the nest with my mobile and the leave the area. I managed to take a blurred picture of some newly hatched young and a couple of eggs and comparing these with literature I reckon it is a Robin's nest although a further visit is clearly needed to get to the bottom of this mystery - how common is it for Robins to nest in old Woodpecker holes? It was two weeks ago that the flycatchers were discovered and behaviour already then suggested that the female was on the nest. But with a 14 day incubation period that begins when the clutch is finished it could be that she was only on egg 1 at that time. By the end of this week though the young should definitely have hatched and then finding the nest will have to be much easier.

In Maridalen only one Corncrake (åkerrikse) was singing both at 1030pm yesterday and 6am this morning and it was right out in the middle of the field. I believe this male to be unpaired but it is well possible that the other male is breeding and has gone silent.
Another species that has gone silent are the Blyth’s Reed Warblers (busksanger). It took a long time to see them this morning and apart from contact/alarm calls a couple of times they made no noise and were not interested in playback. I saw both birds together and everything suggests they are breeding. Cool and another Oslo breeding first!

The Marsh Warbler (myrsanger) at Bakken is clearly still unpaired and was singing his heart out. The Quail (vaktel) was also still singing at 7am but irregularly. At the Wryneck (vendehals) nest after a long wait one of the adults looked out of the nest and eventually flew out at which point I could hear youngsters calling in the nest. I believe them to be only recently hatched and the adult is still brooding them in the nest.
I heard a couple of singing Rosefinches, one if which showed itself. I also saw another very red finch which I initially assumed was going to be a Rosefinch but was actually a very well coloured male Lesser Redpoll (brunsisik). A good showing as usual in Maridalen J

the male Red-breasted Flycatcher (dvergfluesnapper)
the nest hole and its contents which I at first believed to be the R-b Fly but turned out to be most likely a Robin but needs following up.
Blyth's Reed Warbler - the damaged tail shows this to the male
Blyth's Reed Warbler with a full tail making this bird the female

male Common Rosefinch
male Lesser Redpoll

Spotted Flycatcher prospecting for nest site


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