Tuesday, 24 May 2016


I don't visit Gressholmen often enough to deserve to find anything too special there but with it bucketing down and Broad-billed Sandpipers turning up all over the place I thought a visit yesterday would give me a good chance of an interesting wader - to be honest a Dunlin would have made my day. Well there were some waders with there being a flock of 8 Ringed Plovers in addition to the breeding pair and 4 each of Redshank and Greenshank. I also had 2 Ringed Plovers on a small island from the boat where Turnstone would have been more appropriate so it was a bit gutting later to see that one had been seen on another island (would have been an Oslo tick).

My ability to predict good birds but just get the date wrong came with 2 Little Gulls being seen at Østensjøvannet on Saturday (after I had visited on Friday). One was still present today but was a scruffy 2cy instead of the very smart 3cy that had also been seen. Surprisingly with all the rain there were no hirundines at Østensjøvannet - there was presumably too much rain.

Up in Maridalen I had a male and female Kestrel who clearly thought there was too much rain and were seeking shelter under the eaves of a house and on the church ruins. This is a late date for Kestrels in Maridalen and will be interesting to see if they hang around and are thinking of breeding. All the rain had caused large pools to form on some fields which attracted all three sandpipers but nothing else. A late evening visit in the rain but with no wind produced the now rarely heard song of a Cuckoo plus Woodcocks but no other nocturnal birds although Marsh Warblers should turn up soon and hopefully also Corncrakes.
a male Kestrel (tårnfalk) sheltering from the rain in Maridalen

close up - this bird was soaked through

and a female

the male also chose to rest on the sheltered side of the church ruins

2cy Little Gull (dvergmåke) at Østensjøvannet

6 of the 8 migrating Ringed Plovers (sandlo) at Gressholmen

the view from the boat stop at Gressholmen

Ringed Plover nest right by the path. I suspect this is a second brood after a failed first attempt as they have been here for a couple of months now. The location of the current nest is very close to the main path on the island and the birds started giving distraction display when I was 20 metres from the nest and until I was 20 metres away from the nest. With so many people who use the island at the weekends (although rain this weekend may have meant few people) it is a wonder they chose this spot and it will also be a miracle if they breed successfully

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