Tuesday, 13 September 2016


I’ve seen a few pictures recently on Facebook of Bluethroats in gardens so concluded that the passage is peaking and set off to Fornebu this morning with high hopes of gaining good views (and my first sighting this autumn) of one of my favourite birds. My hopes were not to be fulfilled with there continuing to be an almost complete absence of passerines. I do not believe this to be a result of a bad breeding season as I believe that the vast majority of Norwegian species have had a very good breeding season but more a result of the continued warm, sunny weather which is meaning the majority of birds are migrating high and far without being forced down (or alternatively they are still in the mountains and have yet to migrate).

The best birds at Fornebu were a couple of Dunlins that shoed at very close range. I often struggle with ageing autumn Dunlins and initially thought I had an adult and 1cy bird together but see now that they are both 1cy birds with one in very bright juvenile plumage and the other moulting into 1st winter.

 The morning started with a layer of cloud that did not burn off until around 11am. I arrived in Maridalen just after the skies cleared and had expectations of a raptor fest. Well I did have only my second Oslo Hobby of the year and 4 Sparrowhawks but nothing larger. The Hobby was hunting dragonflies of which there were many in the air and I experienced that a half distant dragonfly can look like a very distant raptor….

Best bird and also one I was hoping for was a calling flyover Red-throated Pipit. This is a very scarce but expected species at this time of the year even though it seems to be in Southern Norway in very low numbers this year. Unfortunately, it flew over rather than joining the Meadow Pipits on the fields.

The Queen of Spain Fritillary continues to fly up from the exact same bit of the path from where I first saw it on 18 August and still represents the first report in Oslo.

Dunlin (myrsnipe). This bird is moulting from juvenile into (1st) winter plumage

This bird though has hardly begun moulting with just a couple of grey scapulars. Because of the extensive black on the belly I first thought this bird was an adult but the white V on the mantle shows it to be a juvenile

The two together looking very different

This bird almost looks like a Little Stint from behind

Queen of Spain Fritillary (sølvkåpe)

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