Sunday, 4 October 2015

Back in the hood

The last week has been spent in Mallorca on a family holiday and not birding during primetime in Norway which means that it was not me but rather Håvard Eggen who discovered a second for Norway (and a very rare WP bird) in the form of a Baltimore Oriole on, yes you’ve guessed it Værøy! It goes to show that timing and weather mean everything with island birding in the autumn – the obvious solution would be to move there..

Back in Oslo today I took Oslo Birder Jr on a cycle ride to Maridalen where we twitched the valleys only second ever Shovelers and best of all had a Pygmy Owl. I heard a bunch of very irritated passerines and knew they were mobbing an owl. We walked up to them and stood under the tree where all the commotion was going on. I was thinking Tawny Owl and was therefore looking for something big and it too me a looong time to notice the tiny yellow eyed predator sitting just 5 metres above me on a small branch. I managed two poor photos before it flew off with a Brambling nipping at its tail.
this Pygmy Owl was perched very close in good light but unfortunately it flew off right after I got this picture. It didn't help that I was desperately trying to get Jr onto the bird
Our week in Mallorca involved little birding despite us staying in a hotel on the edge of the fantastic S’Albufeira wetland nature reserve. I birded very little and had no ‘scope and only took the old 70-300mm lens. There was a small hide overlooking a pool only 5 minutes walk from the hotel so I did of course visit that every day J

Best record was a flock of 32 Marbled Teal which I think originate from reintroduced birds as do the couple of Purple Gallinules I saw. In addition there were Black-winged Stilts, Flamingo, Audoin’s Gulls, Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagle, Stonechat, Fan-tailed, Cetti’s and Sardinian Warblers, Firecrest, Serin, Eleanora’s Falcon, Stone Curlew, Kingfisher plus plus so not too bad for a non-birding trip.
the smartest of the large gulls - Audouin's Gull (middelhavsmåke)

Black-winged Stilts (stylteløper)

a distant flock of egrets and a couple of Eleanora's Falcons against the distant mountains

Fan-tailed Warbler/Zitting Cisticola (cistussanger)

Two firecrests (rødtoppfuglekonge) - can you spot them?

young Flamingo


Alien sex

Kingfisher (isfugl)

Little Egrets (silkehegre) in the rain

Marbled Teal (marmorand) with Mallards

flock of Marbled Teal and Mallards

same flock in the rain

Marsh Harriers (sivhauk) were common

Purple Gallinule/Swamphen (sultanhøne)

using its feet to hold the reeds it eats

Speckled Wood butterflies look different here

Stone Curlew (triel

male Stonechat (svartstrupe)


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