Thursday, 20 August 2015

The Guide is hot!

A very enjoyable half day guiding John and Ed today resulted in a number of desired birds being seen even if we did all nearly wilt due to heat stroke in the process. Temperatures reached 25C but there was next to no wind and it started getting uncomfortable after noon (it’s no coincidence that I chose to live in a country where such temperatures are rare).

We started at Fornebu where 3 Red-backed Shrikes performed admirably including one which caught a grasshopper and flew up with both the grasshopper and the grass it had been sitting on in its beak. Birds such as Yellowhammer, Sisken, Lesser Redpoll, Tree Pipit and Willow Warbler also showed well.

Nutcracker was a highly desired species so I chose to visit the “guaranteed” site of Vestre Gravlund cemetery knowing that we would also have a chance in Maridalen. Guarantees are not worth more than the paper they are written on unfortunately but an adult female and young Hawfinch showed very well.

Maridalen did produce the goods though with a couple of Nutcrackers although unfortunately only seen in flight plus another 2 Red-backed Shrikes and Whinchats. One of the shrikes was perched no less than 10 metres from us and flew down to take a bug from the ground right in front of us – what a picture that would have made! We did gaze skywards a bit but a single Sparrowhawk was the only raptor to see. It was mobbed by a group of Swallows and we commented that this was a dangerous game the swallows were playing and sure enough the hawk did launch into an aerial pursuit of one its mobbers but the swallow survived to reconsider its actions.
male Yellowhammer (gulspurv). This species is still relatively common in Norway but has declined terribly in the UK
a Red-backed Shrike (tornskate) is obligatory but here it's more of a scenic shot
I'd love to know what this beetle(?) is called. And....thank you Håvard Hauer it is called moskusbukk in Norwegian and according to google is called musk beetle (Aromia moschata) in English and is a member of the longhorn beetle family

1 comment:

  1. Oslo Birder is to be highly recommended to anyone visiting Oslo. I will post a shot of the Red-backed shrike with grasshopper when I have processed the raw image back home... Unfortunately my internet connection is down so I am using my mobile tethered to my PC at present so I am keeping this short and snappy for now.