Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Marsh Harriers

It's difficult to know whether birds are yet to come or whether they've already been and gone without stopping in my neck of the woods. With the warm sunny weather many birds are surely just migrating right over the Oslo area without stopping. Tomorrow offers a change in the weather conditions with overcast skies and some chance of rain forecast but otherwise it is just sun, sun, sun that is forecast. Let’s hope tomorrow delivers the bacon then.

I set out into Aurskog-Høland again but didn't see the hoped for build-up of ducks, and especially Teal, that I was hoping for. I did find a single male Garganey at Kjelle amongst 150 Teal and it looks like this year will be mine for this species. In 2013 I scanned Teal flocks looking for Garganey and instead found three separate Green-winged Teal. This year I am looking for Green-wings but keep find Garganey instead!

Svellet is looking very good now and Teal numbers are at least building up here with 740 today. Little else amongst them with only 4 Pintail and 5 Wigeon. I counted 140 Curlew before a helicopter scattered them.

At Hellesjøvannet there were yet again remarkably few birds but Marsh Harriers were back. Two males were being very industrious and nest building at different ends of the lake. There was no sign of any females being present and I believe the males were building nests to show off to a prospective mate when one, hopefully, turns up in the next few days.

I also stopped at the Nittelva river near Lillestrøm where a whopping 8 Little Ringed Plovers were seen yesterday. I only had 4 today but what a great locality! I have never been here before but remember that the area has had singing Spotted Crakes before and I could imagine why (had to imagine the water levels higher and now brown sedge vegetation turning green).

I had time for a quick stop in Maridalen where I was hoping to find a Ring Ouzel (which is a completely essential part of my spring birding experience) but three male Lapland Bunting were a very pleasant if distant sight as they flew low over and looked to go down in a stubble field but were not to be refound although I did have 7 Twite.

I have a good feeling about tomorrow.....
male Marsh Harrier (sivhauk) with nesting material

the two different male. Male 1 (same as above) on left. Male 2 was also much lighter on the upperside of the tail and the upperside of the secondaries which can be seen in the video

male 2

male 2

and a video showing both the birds collecting nesting material.

male Garganey (knekkand)  with pair of Teal (krikkand)

Crane (trane)

Curlew (storspove)

first Little Ringed Plover (dverglo) of the year

the habitat where the LRPs were and which has held singing Spotted Crakes later in the year

Svellet - looking good and bird numbers building up

male White Wagtail (linerle)

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