Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Red-backed Shrike, again.......

The heat wave continues and today there was not a cloud in the sky which hardly makes searching for raptors easier but that wasn’t going to stop me. I started though at Storøykilen, Fornebu where I hoped to find that elusive Bluethroat. I wasn’t going to be so lucky and there was no sign of any new birds having arrived. The three young Red-backed Shrikes were still going strong and seem to be finding plenty of bumblebees to eat. Three Willow Warblers in the same field of view had me hoping that there were finally good numbers of them but they were the only ones I had!

One of the shrikes allowed me to approach it closely and I even managed a picture of it with a bumblebee. It was however nothing like as good as this picture taken by young birder Bjørn Penk.
Up in Maridalen I didn’t even last 2 hours in the heat but raptors were less obvious than yesterday. The first raptor was a Honey Buzzard which I picked up on call. After having heard a bird calling on Monday I felt that the call I heard was from a Honey Buzzard but I needed to see the bird to confirm it and it took a while to pick it out against the blue sky. It was a bird I saw yesterday that is lacking primaries in both wings and I later also saw the bird that is lacking a primary in its left wing showing that the at least some of the birds I am seeing are local birds. I also had a group of 3 distant raptors that I was unable to ID but were also most likely Honies. I only had singles of Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk today plus a distant Hobby.

Red-backed Shrike (tornskate) with bumblebee which seem to be common this summer unlike wasps

swallowing the bumblebee

note the long hairs by the bill. I'm not sure of the purpose of these

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