Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Hazel Grouse guiding

I was guiding to my newly found Hazel Grouse site this morning. The target was to get a picture but with this species that is never an easy task (I doubt I will ever again get pictures approaching those I managed on Monday). There was no problem finding the grouse. A male started singing ca.400m before we got to where I had the bird on Monday and showed well in flight and on the ground but never for more than a few seconds at a time and there was lots of vegetation here such that one had to be very quick with the camera and hope that the autofocus would lock on but an acceptable picture was taken! We continued up to where I had the bird two days ago but didn’t find one here. Walking back again we had another bird singing between the two sites. It would appear that the noise we made triggers the bird to sing. When Hazel Grouse fly they make quite a lot of noise and I have also noticed that when walking on the ground they are quite noisy so I wonder if they use and respond to noise as a way of locating each other. Continuing we also had a bird singing where we got the picture so here were two males holding territory very close to each other.

I didn’t stop for much more birding in Maridalen but three 2cy Whooper Swans were on the lake. These have been seen at a few other sites around Oslo recently and I assume they are last year’s youngsters from Maridalen. I have been unable to locate the breeding pair in the last couple of weeks and they have either found a very secluded breeding site or have perhaps have found it necessary to leave the Dale?

Despite the sun and heat (only 27C today in the shade but just as hot in the sun) I went to Svellet. The water has risen by 10cm since yesterday and despite there still being lots of sandbanks the birds had clearly been affected by this. Instead of being in the north where they were yesterday they had moved to the south and were frequently flying around. The exposed mud/sand banks have become very dry and I assume that when they are covered in water that it actually will take a few days before they become a source of food. It is therefore important that the water does not rise too quickly. Number of Greenshank (50) and Wood Sandpiper (300) have fallen as had Ruff (down to 61) but Spotted Redshanks were up to 4 and there were 6 Curlew and a Whimbrel. A Spot Red was also on Merkja and along the river just north of Svellet I found 2 Temminck’s Stint so the first calidris have arrived! The possibility of some rain tomorrow evening and heavy cloud on Friday evening gives the chance of some interesting birds showing up (one can always hope…)
my first Temminck's Stint of the year. This does count as a record shot :-)

some of the waders at Svellet today

Wood Sandpipers (grønnstilk)

Wood Sand

Wood Sand (left) with Redshank (rødstilk) giving a good size comparison


Ruff (brushane) - 5 males and 12 females

more distant Ruff. Here you can see that some of the males are strutting their stuff and displaying

Spotted Redshank (sotsnipe) at Merkja. There were also 4 on Svellet

4 Greenshank (gluttsnipe) and 2 Curlew (storspove). These two species were able to feed in deeper water than the Wood Sands and Ruff
This Wood Warbler (bøksanger) showed very well in Maridalen but unfortunately I had managed to set the ISO to 3200 so the picture quality is far from what it should have been
all seems to be going well with one of at least 3 pairs of Goshawks that breed in Maridalen
Green Hairstreak butterfly - only the second time I have seen this specie

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