Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The Oslo Islands

I took Oslo island hopping to a new personal level with 3 islands in 3 hours. With the boat running once an hour then this is express option. I visited Gressholmen, Nakholmen and Lindøya and was able to confirm what others have told me before namely that Lindøya has the best potential for turning up a good passerine. There are a lot of small cabins on the island and the gardens and some areas of woodland have a fantastic potential if the island cold be relocated to the west coast of Norway.

Today was yet again not the day that I would find an Oslo Yellow-browed Warbler but with a few Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs then it felt like there was a good chance and twice I did think I heard a distant Yellow-browed but think that my mind was playing tricks on me. The fjord was very quiet today with nothing exciting and no migrant sea ducks at all.

Maridalen had soe sea duck though with a sleeping group of 6 Common Scoters. Highlight of the day though was seeing that the Whooper Swan family had made it to the main lake. I would love to know how they did it. I am sure that they would have not managed to walk there so would have had to make a very hazardous first flight. The youngters did seem to be very pleased with themselves and were flapping wings amd preening as though they  couldn’t wait for their next flight!

I started feeidng in the garden yesterday and already today could note 8 species including a smart male Brambling. There is an elder bush in the garden which usually attracts multiple Blackcaps each autumn. This autumn I have not seen a single bird and there is no evidence that any of the berries (and there are many) have been eaten – further proof, as if it was needed, that 2015 has been a terrible breeding year for warblers.

The successful family. Whooper Swans first bred in Maridalen (and Oslo) in 2010 when 2 young hatched and 1 fledged. In 2011 they had 4 small young in June but were not seen again so presumably failed. In 2012 they raised 4 young from 6 hatched. In 2013 they were on eggs but failed and in 2014 birds were present but there was no sign of  breeding. They chose a new breeding site this year which may have been a factor in the return to successful breeding.

a male House Sparrow (gråspurv). Interestingly the two islands with cabins (Nakholemen and Lindøya) had House Sparrows whereas uninhabited Gressholmen had Tree Sparrows (pilfink)

todays Goldcrests also responded to pishing

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