Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Slavonian Grebes

Slavonian Grebes (horndykker) breed fairly commonly on small ponds in Hedmark just over 100km from Oslo but in Oslo and Akershus it remains a very scarce breeding species with just a handful of pairs on ponds around Gardermoen airport. The species seems to be in expansion though and the now annual sightings of a pair on Maridalsvannet has hinted that there may be breeding not too far away. The discovery of a pair on a pond in Nittedal which is the (much larger) valet to the east of Maridalen seems to confirm this (this record was in fact the first record ever of any type of grebe in Nittedal). With heavy rain forecast today from 10am I thought I would head out after the girls had left for school. I avoided the heavy rain but it was gloomy which was a real shame as I had a fantastic time with the pair which came close although I was not close to their nest and in better light could have taken award winning pictures?! It really was gloomy and I just couldn’t get a high enough shutter speed to capture them with an acceptably low ISO as they were nearly always moving. Will need to revisit in better light…

This pond has previously held summering Whooper Swans (sangsvane) and one can hope that the two locations that Whooper Swans have favoured for breeding in Maridalen may one day also host Slavonian Grebes.

As the drizzle started a number of Swallows and House Martins fed low over the water and perched on waterside trees – again in better light and with better equipment I could have taken some mind blowing pictures – instead I took a load of cr*p ;-). I also had Great Spotted Woodpecker nesting right by the path and Grey Wagtails and Spotted Flycatchers – a great site!
Slavonian Grebe (horndykker). This is presumably the male and often swan with the ear tufts erect and wings hunched up like it was wearing a shawl

the female

Swallows (låvesvale) and House Martins (taksvale) taking a rest during the rain

White Wagtail (linerle), House Martin and 3 Swallows
Dipper with loads of lovely food for its youngsters

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