Saturday, 20 August 2016


I had a plan for this weekend. Based on the weather forecast (never a good idea) I was going to “do” Fornebu before breakfast on Saturday and Årnestangen on Sunday. This was because Saturday morning was supposed to be dry whereas rain was forecast very early on Sunday morning. When I awoke at 6am I could see it was wet and overcast outside and a check of the weather forecast (for what it’s worth) showed rain was no longer forecast for Sunday morning. I therefore changed my plans and headed off to Årnestangen. Arriving just before 7am I was surprised to see no other cars and a 15-minute bike ride later I was alone on the observation platform with good light and no wind. AND BIRDS.
Unlike a visit a week ago when there was hardly a thing to see there was now loads and it was one of those days when you don’t know where to look because you are afraid of missing something or just when you get to grips with a wader flock a raptor puts them up and you have to start again.

Highlights were a single Broad-billed Sandpiper, 16 Curlew Sands, 35 Little Stints, 2 Knot, 2 Turnstone, 2 Little Gulls, 1 Shoveler, 51 Pochard, 4+ Marsh Harriers, 2 Peregrine and 2 White-tailed Eagles. Compared to end July/beginning of August there are far fewer waders species (although total numbers are high) and I only had 12 species with a single Wood Sandpiper the only tringa and juveniles are now dominant.

waders do not come close at Årnestangen but at one stage the Broad-billed Sandpiper (fjellmyrløper)was one of the closest birds (everything is relative) allowing a picture that just about classifies as a record shot. Here together with 2 Little Stints (dvergsnipe) and a Curlew Sandpiper (tundrasnipe)

the best crop I managed

Three Curlew Sands and a Dunlin (myrsnipe)

a calidris collection. Mountain Marsh Runner, Dunlin, Little Stint and Curlew Sand

Little Gull (dvergmåke)

I saw three juvenile Marsh Harriers (sivhauk) together but there may have been more. This one showed well from the observation platform

this is an older female Marsh Harrier (maybe a 2cy) and was being chased off by a Little Gull

a large 1cy female Peregrine (vandrefalk) being chased off by Common Terns (makrellterne)

Two Peregrines together. The large 1cy female and a noticeably smaller male. The Light was bad (as you see) and it was difficult to see plumage tones but I think it was an adult male (dad) with his daughter

Lots of Teal (krikkand) but a single Shoveler (skjeand) was the only scarce duck I could find

Yesterday on a strictly no birding trip in Maridalen with the girls I was very surprised (shocked) to see, whilst trying to get close to some horses) that the Whooper Swan pair which I hadn’t seen since 17 April and had assumed had moved off had actually bred and had 7 large young! They were in the same place as I saw them in April (and where they bred last year) but had clearly not bred on the small (and visible) pool they used last year but in the adjoining flooded woodland where they quickly disappeared. Isn’t it amazing that such a large and obvious species can hide away - what else don’t I see?

some swans amongst the trees

can just make out one of the juveniles
this is where they have been hiding since April - amazing!

this Red-backed Shrike (tornskate) didn't mind the girls getting close

a Camberwell Beauty (sørgekåpe)

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