Friday, 26 August 2016

Beans r back

Rain might stop me painting the house but gives good wader conditions. Årnestangen this morning was cooking with over 200 Dunlin but I failed to find anything too rare although a supporting cast of Sanderling, Knot, Turnstone, Little Stint and Curlew Sand amongst others gave me lots to work through. A family of Peregrines made a lot of noise and kept putting the waders up. There were three youngsters with their dad. The dad is a tiny bird in comparison to his offspring (who are probably all females) and must be the same bird I saw on Saturday. No harriers of any sort today although I hope to turn up a Pallid this autumn. Little Gull, White-tailed Eagle, Pochard and Pintail were also good birds.

Two of the tagged Bean Geese have been, according to their signals, back in Akershus since the very early date of 14 August. The plots show they checked out the traditional fields before flying to the NW and settling down in a large area of forest which probably resembles their breeding grounds with small vegetation rich pools. The reason for going there is quite simply that in mid-August the fields have not yet been harvested so are unsuitable. A third tagged bird turned round and headed back towards Sweden whilst the fourth (and final) tagged bird stayed in Sweden much longer before heading for Norway this week. After a day in the same area of forest he moved to the traditional area a couple of days ago. I went up there today without any live plots to know exactly where to look but as it was the middle of the day checked out the peat bog which is traditionally used in the middle of the day. The birds saw me before I saw them and started calling. I saw some heads sticking up at least 200 m away and stopped to put up the scope. The birds were very wary though and flew up though and took with them another group (I have noticed before that these birds are far more wary in the autumn than the spring for reasons that I’m not sure about although I have wondered whether they are subject to (illegal) hunting in August. There were exactly 50 birds and they flew around calling looking very unsure as to where to go (suggesting very newly arrived). I took lots of long range pictures which show three neck collars plus a bird with only a metal leg ring. Of the three neck collars one was a GPS collar and this bird had a green leg ring showing him to be the same tagged bird (10) that had recently moved to the area. The flock should build up over the next week or so and the harvest has just begun in the area so stubble fields will soon be available.
A real surprise was a Woodlark which flew up in front of and perched really well but vanished into thin air whilst I took my camera out of the bag.

The final good bird of the day was a roadside adult Hobby that was chasing Crows. I'm not sure if this was for the fun of it or whether there were young Hobbies nearby but he eventually drifted off.

The taiga Bean Geese (sædgås) at long range (uncropped with 500mm) just before they flew up. Note the bird with a completely orange bill. I have noted this or a similar bird in the flock before and it has on at least one occasion been mistakenly reported as a Greylag

the two groups joined up and flew around calling loudly and seemingly unsure as to what there next move should be. I make it exactly 50 birds

more experienced eyes than mine might be able to age the birds from this shot showing upperwings?

the three neck collared birds. The right hand bird has a GPS collar and a green leg ring showing him to be 10. The two other birds have enscribed neck collars but my pictures do not allow them to be read. I believe the birds to be a pair

here it is just possible to see "10" on the collar of the upper bird plus the green leg ring. The other bird has a metal leg ring but has lost its neck collar

adult Hobby (lerkefalk)

montage of it chasing a Crow

and another montage

briefly landing
the waders at Årnestangen were frequently in the air because of...

..a family of Peregrines including this youngster which still had a lot to learn

Dunlin (myrsnipe), Little Stint (dvergsnipe) and Sanderling (sandløper)

At least 500 Cormorants are clearly finding lots of fish at Årnestangen

and keep heading off in squadrons when they feel the need for food

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