Saturday, 30 April 2016

And more snow. Tomorrow it's May!

I awoke at 0530 to sleet outside of the window and by the time I entered Maridalen at 0600 I was watching a wintery white landscape. The field that had held all the Rouzels yesterday was white and thrush free. Driving over the bridge at Hammeren I saw something in the water and backed up and had a beaver at quite close range that I also saw swimming underwater. My attempts to take pictures in the relative dark were futile and it was very difficult to focus but switching to video and everything became light and the automatic focusing had no problems – why is that???

All the action today was at Kirkeby where I was briefly joined by Halvard H before he had to return as it was his daughter’s birthday and an SMS told him she had awoken much earlier than was the plan…

There were shed loads of birds! Just around Kirkeby there were at least 400 each of Fieldfares and Bramblings plus 100 Mipits and amongst them at least 12 Rouzels. Yet again though there was nothing scarce and I think many of the birds were the same as yesterday except maybe for the Bramblings which I hardly noticed yesterday. In the whole valley there were easily 1000+ of both Brambling and Fieldfare.

The main action was on the lake. As I have noticed before in similar conditions – lots of precipitation at the end of April – there was a good arrival of ducks. I had 81 Teal, 5 Wigeon, 31 Tufted and 20 Goldeneyes. Unlike previous years there were few waders (still too cold) but my first four Greenshank of the year rested briefly on a rock in the lake. Both Pink-footed Geese were present today with one obviously injured – how long will they stay?

With the snow falling all the time it was cold but especially on my hands where my gloves got soaked through but luckily today there was hardly any wind otherwise it could have been much worse.

The forecast for tomorrow morning is for it to be overcast until around 11am with some precipitation around 3am and warmer temperatures than today. I think that could make for very good conditions and there are southerly winds forecast all next week so it will be exciting times.
Greenshanks (gluttnsipe) - honestly!
2 Snipe (enkeltbekkasin) and a Mipit (heipiplerke) where I had the Shore Larks on Tuesday

entering Maridalen at 0600

THE fields at Kirkeby 0700
the view over the lake from the north at 0818

In the lack of any decent picture here are videos from Tuesday of the Kingfisher and Shore Lark



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