Wednesday, 30 March 2016

It's happening

It was very exciting getting out on the patch this morning. The last 6 days have brought real changes with almost all of the snow gone and the ground getting wet and muddy although the lake itself is still over 99% frozen. There was some viz mig to see with finches (most likely Chaffinch) going north at height and amongst a small group of Wood Pigeons I had a single Stock Dove. It was thrushes though that were the most noticeable migrant especially Mistle Thrushes and one group of 30 birds is the largest flock I have seen in Norway. After Mistle Thrush, Fieldfares were the next most abundant with Blackbirds, then Redwings and a handful of Song Thrushes – so we are just missing Ring Ouzels. I had my first White Wagtail of the year and three species of raptor with Goshawk, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard. 10 Teal were on the lake and the Whooper Swan pair were back on their nesting pond. There were 9 Lapwings of which 4 seemed to be resting migrants rather than the local breeders. The Great Grey Shrike is still present and now in nearly adult plumage with a dark bill and black lores.

Pink-footed Geese were also moving today with 180 over Maridalen and 220 over the house.

I paid a visit to Østensjøvannet where Smew and Pochard have been seen recently. Despite there still being over 50% ice it was surprisingly hard work finding things and I was the only one of 4 observers who have reported on ArtsObs to see the Smew today whereas one other observer managed to see the Pochard. Two Chiffchaffs in waterside sallows were my first of the year.

I managed a quick stop at Fornebu. There was no sign of the Bearded Tits although I didn’t give it long enough to be sure they aren’t there but Chiffchaffs were also here and the biggest surprise was a flyover Rock Pipit. This species is a scarce spring migrant in inland areas but has been almost abundant this spring.
female Smew (lappfiskand) Østensjøvannet

Mistle Thursh (duetrost) Maridalen

Mistle Thrush and  first Redwings (rødvingetrost) of the year

first  Song Thrush (måltrost) of the year

migrating Stock Dove (skogdue) with Wood Pigeons (ringdue)

first White Wagtail (linerle) of the year

the picture doesn't quite capture the intense pink flush on this Black-headed Gull (hettemåke)

and my first Chiffchaff (gransanger)

three male Goosanders (laksand)

a 2cy Goshawk (hønsehauk)

when I first saw this bird I initially thought it was a male Goshawk but soon saw it was a large female Sparrowhawk
the 2cy male (it sings) Great Grey Shrike (varsler) is now attaining adult plumage

it went down on the floor a couple of times and may have captured small insects

Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås) over Maridalen

and over the house

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