Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Fornebu Strikes Back!

Some days ends up by surprising you, don't they?

I arrived at Fornebu at 9am to be greeted by windless blue skies and the first frost of the autumn. Not many birds though. The finch flock that livened things up yesterday was not to be found and as I walked around there was hardly a bird to see. I found a few Meadow Pipits and amongst them heard the trill of a Lapland Bunting. It took a while to find it but it eventually landed in the open before moving to a weedy area where it was incredibly difficult to see so the pictures are no real improvement on yesterdays.

Feeling happy with one good bird I had a real adrenalin surge when I heard a distant Yellow-browed Warbler. If I was on Værøy that call would have been enough but here I needed more. I stood, I waited, and I played the call but not another sound and no sign of a warbler - one that got away.... But standing there waiting did have an upside. I found a national rarity although in these parts actually a commoner bird than the warbler - a Serin.

I heard a trill call and immediately thought it was the Lapland Bunting but when I saw the bird which was flying fairly low towards me I realised it was too small and when I saw the greeny/yellow rump all the bricks fell into place! It unfortunately did not land although was flying so low that there is a good chance it is in the area. It was calling constantly although it all happened too fast for me to think of recording the call. I raised the camera but realised I would not manage a picture and instead focused on watching it in the bins for another few seconds to record as much detail for an old fashioned written description. I even made a sketch!

Anders Simonsen walked by shortly afterwards and we made an attempt at relocating the Serin but to no avail and I then tried again for the Yellow browed but also here without luck.

The day did have another twist though. As I approached Storøykilen I heard a Kingfisher but again felt I needed more to report it. I searched the areas of open water but saw nothing and heard nothing more except a Robin alarm calling in a similar way and began questioning myself but then I heard the call again and glimpsed a flash of blue!! It was a Kingfisher. The bird proved INCREDIBLY difficult to get to grips with and perched unseen out in the reedbed only very occasionally making any noise although at one stage there was a real burst of calls and I wondered if there were 2 birds here. Kingfisher was reported here 3 weeks ago but not since despite a fair number of birders having walked by. Judging by today though it would not surprise me if the bird has been here all along.

I wonder if this was Fornebu’s swansong before it disappears under concrete?
The day's most colourful bird a Kingfisher (isfugl). The all dark bill shows it to be a male

not easy to find as it perched up the birch trees in the reedbed

even at range it shines in the autumn sunlight
I never was to good at art
the red nape and boldly marked breast show this bird to be different to yesterdays

I got close but the grass got closer

Wheatear (steinskvett)

This female Teal (krikkand) was dabbling in the radioactive water of Storøykilen reedbed


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