Wednesday, 30 December 2015

The Return of the Birder - 2015 the year that was Part III

The start of July usually sees us in the mountains around Beitostølen 4 hours north of Oslo and this year was no different. There was an awful lot of snow at higher levels - more than we have ever seen at this time of the year before but lower down it was nice and green.
Cuckoo in the mountains near Beitostølen where the species seems to still be doing well

male Lapland Bunting near Beitostølen
In the middle of July we move north of the Arctic Circle and this year I drove with the intention of birding along the way. Crossing the Arctic Circle at Saltfjellet is always exciting as the mountains here are particularly bird rich.
male Bluethroat onSaltfjellet
There were a number of territorial Long-tailed Skuas on Saltfjellet which allowed close approach although yet you know when it was close enough

This summer saw me find my rarest bird to date with a male White-winged/Stejnegers Scoter close to our cabin near Bodø. This was only the third Norwegian record (only one of the others has been accepted so far) and was twitched from across the country.

Black Guillemot

Back in Oslo August saw regular encounters with multiple Honey Buzzards in Maridalen. I have never experienced this before but 2015 was a very poor year for wasps and the birds may have been forced to travel further afield to find food. This male is carrying a wasps nest back to the nest and I did see young birds on the wing later in the autumn.

I had few encounters with Red-backed Shrikes in the breeding season but in August there were lots of youngsters to see both at Maridalen and Fornebu
The poor summer hit warblers exceptionally hard and they were hardly to see on autumn migrations although this Willow Warbler did pose well
The middle of September finds me on Værøy hoping to find rarities. This year was no so rewarding for me but birds such as Yellow-browed Warbler, Citrine Wagtail, Barred Warbler and Arctic Redpoll mean I will of course be going back

Arctic Redpoll

Citrine Wagtal

Yellow-browed Warbler

White-tailed Eagle
Back in Oslo I sneaked in an Oslo tick in the form of a Red-necked Grebe

No comments:

Post a comment