Thursday, 31 March 2016

Good stuff

Yesterday was cloudy and warm(ish) but clear skies overnight with a resulting heavy frost were going to cause a big change in bird activity this morning. The fields and marsh areas in Maridalen were covered in ice and there was hardly a thrush to see. With the clear skies any viz mig was so high that it was only mig. During the course of a morning and afternoon visit though I did chalk up a fair few species. I heard my first Dunnock of the year, a flock of 12 Twite flew over, 3 Meadow Pipits were feeding on the stubble fields at Kirkeby and rarest of all two Rock Pipits flew low over calling whilst heading north.

It clouded over during the afternoon and there even was a flurry of snow but this didn’t stop Pink-footed Geese migrating with 6 flocks totalling 880 during the course of half an hour. I also had three Buzzards up in the air and a 2cy Goshawk hunting Wood Pigeons (this was different to yesterday’s bird as it was not missing a primary).

I also revisited Østensjøvannet and connected with the male Pochard this time – probably helped that the frost had caused a significant reduction in the areas of open water.
One of 8 Lapwings (vipe) in Maridalen today. This one is a male. In the morning four territorial birds were on the fields at Skjerven and another four were on the ice nearby. In the afternoon seven of the birds were feeding on the fields at Kirkeby

and a female

here three males together
one of today's 6 flocks of Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås)
the male Pochard (taffeland) at Østensjøvannet with 2 male Teal (krikkand)
Tree Sparrow (pilfink) in Maridalen

can you see the Wood Pigeon taken through the snow flurry? Taken with 500mm
the same view using the camera on my phone - the snow is barely noticeable
the fields at Kirkeby in the rain. There are yet to be any large numbers of birds here
male Common Crossbill (grankorsnebb)
a female down on the road - looking for grit?

the stain on the breast of the shrike suggests he had just had a bloody breakfast

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