Friday, 11 March 2016

Hawkie still available

Unreliable birds and the weather are factors that make guiding a risky business. I was guiding Ed from Surrey today and things started off well with the Hawk Owl although fog initially made finding it a bit tricky. Presterødkilen which last week was completely frozen over seemed to have some areas of open water and birds today but thick fog meant we couldn’t see them and suddenly things were looking a bit dodgy! To cut our losses we headed straight back towards Oslo where we knew there was no fog and here under blue skies we were able to enjoy the first Ringed Plovers of the year plus Velvet Scoter, Long-tailed Tits, Willow Tit (yes they were easy to find today), Great Grey Shrike, Shelducks, Eiders and quite a few other birds to make it a good days birding.

Today's dose of Hawkie
for once he was very interested in his human admirers. I wonder if he has become used to photographers throwing mice his way?

can you spot Hawkie?
a flock of Long-tailed Tits (stjertmeis) were a nice sight in Maridalen
the Maridalen Great Grey Shrike (varsler) had wandered quite a way from his usual fields today - a sign that food is becoming harder to find with all the snow on the ground

Oslo and Akershus's first Ringed Plover (sandlo) of the year. There were three on this rock and these are probably local breeding birds. Normally Ringed Plovers don't turn up before May and these are birds heading to the mountains to breed. However in recent years a small population of coastal breeding birds has established itself and these turn up 1-2 months earlier. As far as I know all these birds are regarded as the same subspecies but as they have such different breeding habitats and migration timings  I suspect they represent two quite separate populations that may warrant subspecific recognition

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