Sunday, 1 May 2016

1st May - spring is here and there's no going back

1st May can’t fail to deliver a good days birding in Maridalen and I wasn’t alone in thinking that.  I was the first on the patch at 0555 to be soon joined by Halvard and PC but during the morning there were at least another six birders in the dale. Almost the first bird after Halvard arrived was a fly over flock of 12 Golden Plovers which I had initially dismissed as pigeons – this is not an annual species here. The fields at Kirkeby were again alive with birds, mostly Fieldfares (400+) but with at least 28 Rouzel. The lake held 10 Common Scoters and yesterday’s Tufteds and Goldeneyes but Teal were down to eight birds. The undoubted highlight came when Halvard asked for confirmation that he had Common Eider in his scope. There has been one record before so this was something special but he hadn’t just found one bird – it was a flock of 5!!! Four adult males and a female. One can only speculate what they were doing but maybe the males had been pursuing the female who in a desperate attempt to avoid them chose to head inland? Around 0820 they disappeared without us unfortunately noting in which direction.

Summer migrants were suddenly more noticeable. I had a Willow Warbler singing outside the house and two in Maridalen. Three Tree Pipits flew over, a couple of Blackcaps sang and there was a single Swallow. Observations from others later in the day included both House and Sand Martins.

Raptors were limited to Osprey, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel.

An afternoon family trip to Fornebu revealed a singing Wryneck which has been there a while plus more Willow Warblers and a Greenshank.
if there can be any doubt about the quality of Maridalen here is the 2016 league table from ArtsObservasjoner. Maridalen currently is the 11th best birding location in Norway and ahead of Utsira!!! Of the 115 species observed I have seen 109

here are the 10 Common Scoter (svartand) on Maridalsvannet with the 5 Eider behind them
The Eiders were at 3km range but this picture almost counts as a record shot. The female is the dark sopt on the left
various wildfowl and Black-throated Diver on the completely calm lake

Cranes (trane) are still migrating - these three flew over Fornebu

a Mute Swan pair at Fornebu included a particularly impressive male. All Mute Swans around Oslo are vigorously pursued by the blingers and we know the male was ringed in 2008 as a 2cy and he bred at the same location last year. Whether this bird or any of the other Mute Swans have provided any important information is unknown to me

his mate has pale legs and was presumably a "Polish Swan" as a youngter although is not the same as the bird (27E)  I observed on Fornebu on 22 March although I would expect them to have the same parents. Y368 is a year older than 27E

the male was very aggressive towards Greylags

yet again lots of Rouzels (ringtrost) in Maridalen

this Rouzel had a white tail feather

I had my Tree Pipit (trepiplerke) of the year today

singing Wryneck (vendehals) Forneb

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