Friday, 19 June 2015

Mari I love you!

After my unfaithful behaviour yesterday I had to show Mari how much I loved her and she in turn showed me her love. I had the company of Trond Ove from Stavanger who was in Oslo for the day and first stop was the Blyth's Reed Warbler (busksanger). Some pishing worked wonders. First a bird gave a couple of song notes, then we saw a bird and then we heard song again but not from the bird we were watching. Two birds and judging by behaviour a pair. There have only been 10 or so singing Blyth's Reeds reported so far this year in Norway so it is pretty impressive that this one has found a mate. We also saw the male in a song flight which I have not noticed before.

Both Common Rosefinch (rosenfink) and Marsh Warbler (myrsanger) sang and showed well, Willow Warblers (løvsanger) and Great Spotted Woodpeckers (flaggspett) were feeding young and there was generally lots of bird activity despite it being hot and sunny. We are also experiencing the beginnings of a Common Crossbill (grankorsnebb) invasion. After a lack of spruce cones for the last couple of years (during which the other two crossbill species have been easier to see around Oslo) there is now a bumper crop of cones and as if by magic the Common Crossbills are arriving.
Most birds are flying over but at tree top height so are clearly looking for food. There are presumably also still Parrot Crossbills (furukorsnebb) in the area but separating them on call is a risky sport.

A calling young Great Spotted Woodpecker had sounded like a Wryneck (vendehals) but not long after this a silent brown bird flew over and this was a Wryneck. This is the first time I have seen one in Maridalen for over three weeks and this time it led me straight to the nest. As I hadn't found the nest before and adults become almost silent after egg laying Wryneck has been a species I hadn't been able to show clients so far this spring. The really annoying thing is that the nest is in the exact same dead birch tree which I have always suspected it to be in and whose bark I have scratched on a number of occasions without a response. It is also a tree I have walked past probably three times every week. Well never mind I know where they are now. Despite having found the nest though it was no easy job seeing the birds and although one adult came with food in its beak I think this was for to feed the other adult which stack its head out of the hole rather than young as if there were young I would have expected to hear them plus a greater frequency of visits from the adult (only came once during an hour of watching).
Another pleasant surprise was seeing three young Goshawks in the nest as I previously I had noted only two. They are now large although still white and downy and the nest again had fresh green material on it - I wonder if the parents do this to cover up all the droppings that must fill the nest? There is a clear size difference between the young and the smallest bird didn’t look like it was doing too well.

presumably the male Wryeck who was bringing food to his mate who was in the nesting hole
the other adult sticking her head out of the nest hole.

the non singing and presumed female Blyth's Reed Warber. Very much a documentation picture but should do although it does also look very much like a Booted Warbler in this picture......

the young Goshawks are getting large now but still have maybe 2 months before fledging

the only picture I managed with all 3 heads showing. Judging by size they are also standing in age order

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