Monday, 11 April 2016

Stick to the patch

I remember now why I prefer finding my own birds rather than twitching: if you bird your patch and find nothing then at least you feel that you’ve tried and the fact there was nothing interesting has some significance in terms of understanding what weather conditions etc cause arrivals of migrants. If you twitch and see nothing then you just feel like you wasted your time. My twitch today was to try to see the Steller’s Eider again and in much better light hopefully get some better pictures. I was also interested in seeing what it was up to as it has been reported to be consorting with a male Common Eider and trying to imitate the Common Eiders song. Well I didn’t see the Steller’s and things were made worse when I got a message that it had suddenly appeared half an hour after I left.

Nearby I did have a singing and drumming male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.

I did find a few birds after this though which made me feel a bit better with myself. At Svellet, water levels look to have gone down a bit and everything is looking good. Teal had increased to 454 although there were only 60 odd Curlew (after over 100 having been seen yesterday). It is now things start getting very exciting here.

Over on the other side of Øyeren I stopped in at Snekkervika. Here I had a pair of Garganey. I heard them first and started looking up for a Mistle Thrush. I didn’t make my own recording of the song but here is a link to the call I heard (for some reason I'm not able to embed the file as I would like). They were not easy to see but I did get a picture of the male.

In Maridalen the Black-throated Divers have now increased to four birds but under a warm sun there were very few passerines on the fields (e.g Meadow Pipits down to 2 birds from 120 on Saturday).
male Garganey (knekkand)

Great Grey Shrike (varsler) Årnestangen

male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Moorhen - not a bird I see often in Akershus

Small Tortoiseshell (neslesommerfugl) in Maridalen

looking over Nordre Øyeren towards Årnestangen - lots of mudflats
 Here is a video of the male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. I my inimitable style it is shaky and handheld but with the new camera much less shaky than normal. I filmed some of it at 60 fps and have tried slowing down the video to show slow motion drumming - definitely work in progress.


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