Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Suddenly sun, sun, sun

Today was hot and guess what there were few birds…. Spring does this to us, one week all cloud and rain and then the next week all sun (temperatures are forecast to breach 20C). It would so much better if we could have a day of rain, a day of sun, a day of rain and so on.

The warm weather will mean that a lot of summer migrants will start arriving but there will be no big falls and viewing conditions at places such as Årnestangen will be challenging.
Today I had my first Whinchats in Maridalen and at Årnestangen. I took a trip up into Nittedal hoping to find the Slavonian Grebes that attempted to breed last year but their lake was full of flood water and didn’t look too attractive for them. The valley often has flood water which can be good for birds but I could see that farmers have done a lot of work to “improve” their fields so there was no water and the few Lapwings I saw looked as though they were having problems breeding.

At Svellet Greenshanks have just breached the 100 barrier (103) but there were fewer other waders. The water level actually fell 2cm yesterday and with just sun and warm weather forecast we can maybe hope for a gentle rise in water levels with Svellet remaining attractive to waders for at least two more weeks (fingers crossed).

The best birding of the day came sat down underneath Årnes Gård looking out over Snekkervika. Despite shallow water and lots of mud there were no waders or ducks here so my attentions were focused skywards. Six species of raptors were the result with 3 + Common Buzzards, 2 Ospreys, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Hen Harrier and Hobby. The Hen Harrier was hunting over distant farmland and was a ringtail but not necessarily the 2cy birds I saw yesterday. The Hobby was an early bird and my and Akershus’s first of the year. I was alerted to its presence by alarm calling Great Tits and found it directly over my head but failed to get anything other than a blurred picture.

I now have the bazooka back and must give praise to Sigma who repaired it free of charge under the extended guarantee given under Norwegian law. The small print spoke of any faults not being covered if the lens showed signs of external damage or dampness inside and given how well used the lens is I was fully expecting Sigma to draw the Get Out of Jail Free card but to their credit they didn’t. I will now try to do some direct comparison shots with the bazooka and the superzoom and compare them properly.
Svellet today and too blue skies
the first Whinchat (busksvett) of the year playing hide and seek unsuccessfully

Hobby (lerkefalk). JULES - does this count as a record shot?

The Lapwings (vipe) in Maridalen look like they have chosen a nest site
but I saw three of these beast roaming in the area so the odds are stacked against them what with farmers ploughing up their nest and the farmers cats eating their offspring
Maridalen and THE field today

Little Ringed Plover (dverglo) near Lillestrøm

golf playing Ring Ouzel in Nittedalen

Sparrowhawk at Årnes

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