On the walk out I had Hen Harrier and Marsh Harrier which were also still present 4 hours later on the way back. Both were adult (or near adult) females. Raptors were the highlight of the day with Kestrel, Buzzard and 3 Peregrines also noted. The Peregrines were busy scaring off all the waders when I arrived at the viewing platform and are a real menace in the autumn. I had one juvenile trying its hand at anything that moved: first Lesser Black-backed Gulls before singling out a Ringed Plover which it chased unsuccessfully for a long time. Then one of the adults (probably mum based on size difference) turned up with a wader in her talons and gave the youngster a hunting lesson. The youngster chased her screaming for the food and mum performed all manner of aerial pursuits allowing the youngster to nearly take the prey on a number of occasions before powering off. After a while another larger juvenile joined them and there was a lot of noise from some trees where they later landed out of sight and I imagine tht one of the youngsters was given the prey.
Waders were much less numerous and diverse than last week with only 14 species versus the exceptional 23 but I did have two new ones: Golden Plover and Lapwing plus Ruff numbers were higher. Rarest birds of the day were two juvenile Little Gulls that have been present for a few days now.
A stop in Maridalen revealed three young Shrikes along with dad. He will move off soon and leave them to their own devices. A feeding male Common Rosefinch was a rare autumn sighting of a species that seems to vanish once the males stop singing. Highlight though was what I think may be a behavioural first for me namely a perched Honey Buzzard. I can never remember having seen this species perched before and although the views were poor as it was drizzling and distant I was able to enjoy it. I later saw her flying low over treetops staring downwards. They hunt by following wasps back to their nest and digging out the nest which must be a very time consuming activity although presumably rewarding if the nest is large. This year though there just do not seem to be any wasps around so I imagine they are having a really hard time. I also had a Blyth’s Reed Warbler which was calling loudly from among some raspberry plants and eventually showed briefly.
|hunting low over the tree tops looking for wasps|
|young Peregrine (vandrefalk) having a go at a Lesser Black-backed Gull (sildemåke)|
|adult Pergrine with a wader sp. in its talons giving the youngster hunting practice|
|male Red-backed Shrike (tornskate)|
|this Red-throated Diver (smålom) flew off with this fish from Maridalsvannet to take to its young somewhere in Maridalen|
|the Hen Harrier (myrhauk)|
very poor video of the Honey Buzzard (but I did use a tripod):