Friday, 3 June 2016

Maridalen nocturnal warblers

Before I get around to sorting through my many pictures and videos from Hedmark and digitalising my thoughts from the trip I can report on some current birding.
Whilst in Hedmark I received an SMS from Halvard H saying he thought he had heard a Grasshopper Warbler in Maridalen on Wednesday but due to distance couldn't rule out it being just an age related ringing in his ears ;-)
Despite being very tired I hauled myself up into Maridalen a bit after 11pm. As usual there was still a lot of noise from thrushes, Robins and cars that meant that it wasn't until after midnight that the "nightsingers" became easily audible.
And sure enough there was a Gropper reeling away but not only that he was sandwiched between two, yes 2, singing Blyth's Reed Warblers (busksanger) who were singing about 200m from each other. One of the Blyth's had mimicry of Green Sandpiper in its repertoire and the bird last year mimicked Common Sandpiper - I assume this is something they pick up in Maridalen. Maridalen at its finest! I also had Marsh Warblers singing at two locations but no Corncrakes or Quail which are both very scarce throughout Norway so far this year (which gives evidence to the case that the variable population of Corncrakes breeding/singing in Eastern Norway are not a separate population but overshoots from Eastern Europe where changed in agricultural practices plus weather conditions effect how many come to Norway each year. It is very warm at the moment though so there is a chance that a few more birds will turn up.

I took some video which I hoped would allow one to hear the songs but the distance was just too great and the songs are barely audible so there is no point in posting it here and there were no pictures to take so this is my third text only posting in a row – but I will soon be back with some eye candy for you all to feast your eyes on!

 Per Christian was also out and about after I had tipped him off about Halvard’s gropper and had spoken to the farmer at Skjerven where the all the birds were (and where Corncrakes were last year). He is not particularly happy with birders turning up at all hours but is bird friendly and could report that he had saved three Lapwings nests from the plough this year (I thought there were only two). Whilst we were listening to the warblers a Lapwing got very agitated and we could just make out a fox walking across the field so a baby Lapwings life is not an easy one.

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